Pilot Perception: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fox in the U.S. and CityTV in Canada, Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c

The Pedigree: The show was created and written by Daniel Goor and Michael Schur of Parks and Recreation. They executive produce along with David Miner (30 Rock). Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street) directed the pilot.

The Cast & How You Know Them: Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars Andy Samberg (SNL), Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street, Last Resort), Melissa Fumero (Gossip Girl), Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris, The Newsroom), Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad), Stephanie Beatriz (Short Term 12), and Chelsea Peretti (Parks and Recreation).

The Premise: The show centers on Brooklyn Police Detective Jake Peralta, who is gifted but has never had to take anything terribly seriously, and how he and his fellow quirky, undisciplined coworkers are affected when they get a new captain who cares about following the rules. It’s a cop show, and they solve crimes, but it’s primarily a workplace comedy.

A Taste:

What Works: I thoroughly enjoyed this pilot. It was funny – it actually made me laugh out loud more than once – and also set up characters and situations about which I genuinely want to learn more. More of the characters are already interesting you might expect from one twenty-one minute episode, and I was especially pleased to see that one of the main characters is a gay black man, but that these are simply two aspects of a more complex characterization.

What Doesn’t: As with many comedies, this pilot relies a little too much on jokes based on race, gender, and sexuality, and I really hope it tones those down. Many of the characters are drawn pretty broadly, but again, that’s a common issue with pilots of all kinds. If it can successfully keep its comedy centered with a character-based heart, a la Parks and Recreation, it should make for reliably good viewing.

Our Favorite Line: “Hey! Welcome to the murder!”

You Might Like This if you like workplace comedies like Parks and Recreation – it has a somewhat similar tone and humor – or cop shows with a lighter side.

If You’re Interested: Tune in tonight (September 17th) at 8:30/7:30c on Fox or CityTV.

(Photo courtesy of FOX.)

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