‘brooklyn 99‘ is one of those sitcoms which, far from getting worse after the third or fourth season, got better with each episode. Each year he further refined the formula… until it was finished.
Was it something from the hearings, like when ‘Scrubs‘ ended up in the trash after many dire decisions, including tearing down the hospital and replacing almost all the leads with non-bodied characters? A little, yes. Why tired of the stars of him, like that’The Big Bang Theory‘ which ended when Jim Parsons said enough to the flesh and blood Sheldon to dedicate yourself to the voice-over of ‘Young Sheldon’? It is not clear.
I am afraid that the decision was motivated, mainly, by more dramatic events, which had to do with real life and not with creative or corporate decisions. We will explain this and we will analyze the season, but be careful, cadets, that there are some guts.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died at the hands of the Minneapolis police: an officer pressed his knee on his neck for more than 8 minutes. As a result of this event, and despite the pandemic, there are numerous protests that resume the slogan Black Lives Matter, denouncing institutional racism and police brutality.
In New York, these protests ended in May and June 2020 with several violent and disproportionate police actions, to the point that the popularity of law enforcement falls and falls. Even their budget, already monstrous in itself, is cut: to give you an idea, in 2022 their budget has been 10,000 million dollars (the anti-crisis measures of the Government of Spain for 2023 will be… of the same amount and they are for the whole country).
Either way, since May 2020 is not a good time to have a comedy starring New York cops… and the seventh season of ‘Brooklyn 99’ ends in April of that same year. Come on, the gibberish catches them writing the new episodes.
as explained Terry Crews to an American medium, the events of that summer motivated that four already written episodes of the new season went straight to the trash canand that production stopped until it was clear how to assimilate reality to its fiction.
With several months of delay, ‘Brooklyn 99’ premieres its last season in the summer of 2021 and, after ten episodes, says goodbye forever with the worst audience data in its history and a rough season. And that it was canceled by Fox after its fifth season and had landed on NBC…
Real problems, magic solutions
In the first episode of this eighth season, ‘Brooklyn 99’ takes the bull by the horns: Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) leaves the police as a result of what happened with George Floyd. and Jake (andy samberg) tries to show her best friend that there are still good cops, like him. However, they end up involved in a case of police brutality.
To express that anger against part of the police system and, also, so that it had a less nebulous objective than the body itself, the writers take Frank O’Sullivan (John C. McGinley, having a blast), the head of the most powerful police union in New York. A guy who is an expert in defending officers at all costs, whether or not they are guilty of abuse: the personification of police impunity.
With this framework, and up to the last episode, ‘Brooklyn 99’ decides to say goodbye and at the same time contribute her two cents: Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and Captain Holt (andre braugher) engineer, throughout the season, a reformation of the police to try to improve their performances and their reputation, while their colleagues juggle the line between professionalism and buffoonery.
The 99 in a stopped elevator
After so many years, of having improved the relationships between characters and having extracted gold from its cast, it is hard to believe that the farewell season tastes so bitter. There is still chemistry between the cast, but at the same time they seem uncomfortable, as if they were all trapped and, as much as they love each other, wanting to leave.
The plots no longer make them come together so much except in the final firecracker, a double episode with the obligatory hit of Halloween, and sometimes they seem to come from two very different series. Especially the character of Rosa, a perennial reminder of what is wrong with the police, and at the same time forced to appear in all the chapters with strange excuses because it is part of the main cast.
On the one hand, Jake, Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) or Terry (Terry Crews) have the cases of the week with Rosa. At the same time, Amy begins balancing motherhood with work life, like Jake, before concentrating on police reform. Inexplicably, Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) is supposedly out of the country, blurring Scully (joel mckinnon) and limiting their interactions to bizarre video calls.
And at the height of the misplaced, Captain Holt, with a subplot that starts from his separation with Kevin (mark evan jackson), although we all know that the second best couple in the series will end wellBecause they are made for each other.
Not a bad episode, but just a couple very good ones
One of the best, and at the same time worst episodes, is ‘The Hunt for Boyles’, a parody of ‘daggers in the back‘ (‘Knives Out’, which pulls on the worst sitcom trope: the one for which a character is eccentric because his whole family is. The habit of turning something special into routine, of turning a rare character into a mold for her entire family and, therefore, of diluting her rarity and at the same time choking the viewer on it.
I know I may be alone in this, but it’s been a relief that there won’t be any more episodes with Doug Judy (craig robinson), the most stretched joke in the history of the series. Maybe at first it could be funny to see a scammer pulling Jake’s leg, but his lurches are already boring and his last chapter, ‘PB and J’ is a constant groundhog day.
The rest of the episodes remain in line, with the aforementioned roughness, and It stands out, of course, the final fireworks, the two parts of ‘El último día’. An assault full of surprises and reunions, very funny, although the thesis on which the episode revolves seems a bit out of character for Jake (and that we already saw, in last season, how he wanted to distance himself from his father’s legacy). We know that he wants to be a good father, but also that being a policeman means everything to him. and that he would try everything in his power rather than quit (to be what? He’s so defined as a policeman that it’s impossible to imagine him in any other job).
They have been able to give it a closure and even make a toast without its spirit faltering, but more chapters are missing. These cops were very well liked.
By the way, from their subplot about the demerits of the NYPD, you have to give them credit for putting it on the table, but also the warmth of aiming for an ending that is too happy, perhaps so as not to go out badly with the forces of order. Amy and Holt manage to reform the body, as if it were as simple as repainting a place and changing the napkin rings.
It is not worth making blood about it, since the facelift is implicit in a creator, michael schur, bent on finding and exploiting the kinder face from routine office work (he worked in ‘The office‘ in its American version), the government machinery (‘parks and recreation‘), the police and even the afterlife (‘The Good Place‘, in which literally a devil becomes a force for good, just for starters).
The art of saying goodbye
The problem of the eighth season of ‘Brooklyn 99’, the real problem… is that they already had eight seasons. They more than fulfilled the cycle of a sitcom and have been able to avoid some of the pitfalls, such as the flanderization (when a character’s quirks devour their personality).
For example, Boyle started with more weight in the series, but he was demoted as he became more eccentric and, thank goodness, he was erased from all romantic subplots. Or when they deleted Gina (Chelsea Perretti), one of those archetypes that are so popular in the United States, that of the permanently annoying and hostile secondary schoolthat it was impossible to exaggerate more.
They have also managed the usual drought of plots, since they have always resorted to police cases so that not everything was bogus at the police station and there has been a variety, from kidnappings to murderers, from brawls to dealings. What does not mean that, at this point, everyone’s personal lives were more than amortized and there was no more scratching around.
In the end, the atrocious facts of real life only reaffirmed to ‘Brooklyn 99’ that its cycle was over as much as they had made comic gold based on the police, like the gag up there, and that it was time to put the chairs on the tables, turn off the music and lights and close the door on the way out, paraphrasing a certain Eternal and sister of Sandman.
Nor would it have been bad if they made the partridge dizzy for one more season, but they have been able to give him a closure and even make a toast without his spirit faltering. With sorrow, but at the same time joy, we only have to shout one last time: 99!!
*’Brooklyn 99′ is available on netflix