New cop comedy shines

By Josh Alfrey

Crime may not always pay, but it can certainly be hilarious, as in the new Fox comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a cop comedy about a successful detective who needs to learn how to grow up. This detective is Jake Peralta, played by former “Saturday Night Live” star and Lonely Island member Andy Samberg. When his unit receives a new captain named Ray Holt, played by Andre Braugher, Peralta learns not everyone has his sense of humor.

This show premiered Tuesday and immediately captured my attention. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” did very well at mixing the serious with the ridiculous. With a cold opening and Samberg providing a joke speech from the crime drama “Donnie Brasco,” the show set the atmosphere for nonsense.

As an avid Samberg fan, I went into this show with high hopes. While watching, my own beliefs were reassured that Samberg can do no wrong. His style of comedy contrasts with the serious mood of a cop show. Samberg could be the only actor in this show and I would continue to watch it.

On the other hand, the rest of the cast may take some time to warm up to. I appreciate the acting talents of Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews and Joe Lo Truglio but the writing for their characters can fall flat at times.

The writing is either hot or cold: It’s either laugh-out-loud hilarious or a bit awkward. For this only being the pilot episode I can forgive these problems.

A pilot episode has a lot of hills to climb with introducing the main characters and the attitude of the show in less than 20 minutes. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” gets no help here because it has an ensemble class.

Being a cop-based, single-camera ensemble show, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” reminds me of the film “The Other Guys” but if it took place in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” It brings in an air of the familiar but manages to be unique by bring together its single-camera ensemble and police show aspects.

For a pilot episode I definitely respect what direction this show is going in. With some character work and better writing this show can fall among the ranks of “Community” and “30 Rock” in television comedies. It doesn’t take much detective work to see “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has the potential to be a great show.