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March 30, 2020 | °F in Baltimore

New Brooklyn Nine-Nine season starts off strong

By BINYAMIN NOVETSKY | February 13, 2020

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (B99) has returned. For those who don’t know, B99 is arguably one of the funniest shows on television. I would watch it over The Office or anything else, really, and I’ve felt that way since I first sat down to watch the pilot episode at home with my mom way back in 2013. 

This new seventh season is the second season to be made by NBC, who picked up the show after Fox withdrew at the end of season five. Season six was excellent. It improved on the fifth season that, admittedly, had dropped a little in terms of quality. 

Yet, the background to this new season is that the show has already been guaranteed an eighth season at NBC, a promise made before a single episode of this new season had aired. 

The show has been on the rocks and potentially on the verge of being canceled since its third season at Fox, so for it to finally have a confirmed future is a huge win for fans.

This past Thursday, the new season premiered with a double episode, both directly connected to the ending of season six. 

One thing that B99 has always been great about — especially for a comedy — is actually caring about its plotlines and refusing to paper over the core problems. 

A previous example of such shortcomings would be at the end of season four, when two main characters are falsely imprisoned, and they don’t get out for a significant chunk of season five. 

And so it is with season seven. At the end of season six, Raymond Holt, the captain of Brooklyn’s 99th precinct (and potentially one of the funniest characters ever written for television), is bumped back down. 

He needs to work as a simple officer for a year, after his main rival takes advantage of a technicality. So, for at least the first two episodes of this season, Captain Holt is exactly that — a beat officer with no power to command anyone. 

The first episode is about a potential assassination which is being investigated by the protagonist Jake Peralta, Andy Samberg’s character. Meanwhile, his wife is afraid she’s pregnant but is too nervous to take the test. 

The entire time, Captain Holt is in the way, because he can’t fully accept his temporary demotion. The second episode is about the replacement for Holt. 

The squad deals with the new captain, who seems too good to be true. At the same time, they do not want to accept anybody in the position of their beloved leader.

As much as I love this show, I have to admit that these two episodes were certainly standard. In a sense, it seemed that their goal was to remind fans that the show will be what it always was. 

It deals with serious issues, both cleverly and jokingly, but it is also full of ridiculous situations and shtick. 

So, as a longtime fan, I loved it. I laughed a lot and just generally found the two episodes to be thoroughly enjoyable, but they definitely didn’t take any huge risks. 

They didn’t really stick with the newly introduced characters, instead being more conservative and focusing on the dynamics of a group viewers are already well familiar with.

The jokes were great, but the drama was a bit forced, with incredibly dangerous situations being resolved in very silly ways, something the show generally avoids doing. 

The episodes went big, but at times they felt rushed because of that. Problems were solved too quickly and sometimes overly simplistically. 

At the end of the day, I really enjoyed the opening to season seven of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I’m a huge fan of the comedic style, and it lived up to that, but it didn’t push the show in any new or exciting directions to the extent that I’d hoped for. 

I don’t think there’s much to be disappointed about, necessarily, but I do also hope that the show picks up and moves on from where it began. 

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