When you can roll out an impressive ensemble and quirky characters, a TV series has the ability to transcend its era. For “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” there’s plenty of reason to believe it has reached its pinnacle. One part “Parks and Rec,” another part “Friends,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” goes down like comfort food. With the Season 7 premiere, its clear that the characters can still grow and change, but the humor never dips. Regardless of the storyline or guest performers of the week, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has the highest floor of any comedy today.
The two-part season premiere, “Manhunter” and “Captain Kim” reset the board for Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and friends. Holt (Andre Braugher) has been demoted. Jake and Amy (Melissa Fumero) discuss starting a family. Each member of the cast gets to play into their personas for the best. Terry (Terry Crews) is self-conscious, Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) is a badass, and Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) is awkward. Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) serve up incompetence as comic relief. Nothing they encounter will be the most outlandish event on TV, yet because of the talent on hand, they appropriately raise the stakes of their material.
Dan Goor continues to helm the ship with gusto, expertly pairing and unpairing characters. While “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” passed the 100 episode mark last season and was canceled before moving to NBC, the show continues to thrive. The quality of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has never been a question. The jokes come at an unrelenting pace, and the duo of Samberg and Braugher yield the most laughs. The police procedural might be fine-tuned, but it is never boring. More often than not, it remains an unexpected joy. Considering the state of the sitcom, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” comes across as a diverse and fresh take on the tried and true formulas of the genre.
Samberg continues to bring energy and excitement to every scene he’s in, playing up his absurdist humor at every turn. He’s truly become an underrated star, and despite his idiocy, his charm always shines through. Beatriz continues to thrive in limited screentime, but she makes it impossible to stifle a laugh when she imitates a brook/river. Her deadpan humor kills and shows incredible growth from the first season. Braugher’s absence from the Emmys the past few years continues to feel depressing, especially as he delivers some of the funniest work of his career. A lighter and more playful Holt than early in the series, the man who would be Chief remains the show’s secret weapon.
Another huge win for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” comes from its guest stars. Beyond the Michael Schur players that pop in and out of each episode, alums from “Saturday Night Live” and beyond join the fray. Vanessa Bayer continues to shine in guest-starring roles, and one cannot help but want her to join “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” as a regular after her appearence. Her head-in-the-clouds cadet should become an instant fan favorite. Nicole Bilderback plays the opposite of Bayer, a cool and collected woman-in-control of her career. Bilderback sells an inherent goodness, even as the character question her motivations. Of course, it would not be a Schur production without the return of the wild Jason Mantzoukas. His return leads Samberg and Lo Truglio on another wild goose chase. You would never want it any other way.
In one of the less surprising turns of the season, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” remains one of the funniest shows on network television. Unfortunately, season seven only has thirteen episodes, despite being one of the funniest shows on air today. However, that bodes well for the quality of the season, with the team bringing positivity and excitement to every scene. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” excels at every turn. Fingers crossed that the Emmys notice the workplace sitcom once again.