Brooklyn 99: A Show Beyond just a Cop Sitcom
Theertha Aravind | July 11, 2022
Brooklyn 99 is a cop sitcom.
The first thought I had when I heard about the show was that it would have a serious tone to it. Initially, I thought the show would be focused on crimes, murders, thefts, etc. However, when I actually started watching it, I realized that the show is the complete opposite of what I thought it would be. It is a package of humor, intelligence, and fun while also showcasing important values of society. The best part of the show is that the major plots, which are based on social issues, are dealt with in a light-hearted manner.
An episode titled ‘Moo Moo’ focuses on how people often judge a person by their race. Terry Jeffords is a Sergeant who goes out at night in search of his child’s missing toy but is stopped and arrested by another cop while doing so. The cop thinks that Terry is a danger to the community. Without knowing anything about him, the cop assumes he ‘looks dangerous’ due to his race. Terry ends up filing a complaint against the cop. The most noteworthy scene is when Terry says that he is worried that, in the future, his kids might also get racially profiled and arrested by a cop when they go out at night to look for their children’s toys.
In the episode ‘He said, She said’, Amy wanted to further investigate a case in which a woman defended herself by injuring her co-worker who was about to assault her. Jake, to whom Amy expressed her concern, was confused as to why she wanted to investigate. If they investigated further, there was a likely chance that the woman in question would lose her job. Amy later revealed that she too was once abused by her working captain. She wanted justice for the woman, who is part of a large social justice group for abused women, aiding their voices in a time of recognition. In the end, the woman lost her job, with the abuser getting arrested. The episode ends on a positive note when another woman working at the same establishment becomes inspired to make a complaint.
During one of the show’s famous Halloween Heists, Amy was excluded by both Jake and Captain Holt since she was Jake’s girlfriend and also Captain Holt’s devotee. Both Jake and Holt saw her as a threat, as they thought she could secretly help their rival win the heist. Unknowingly enough, Amy tricked both of them and won, showing them that she was more than just someone’s girlfriend and someone else’s admirer.
Rosa knew that she was bisexual since she was young and when she finally came out to her parents, they completely cut her off. They were not ready to accept the fact that their daughter could ever be bisexual as stereotypically, females should be attracted to males. Her parents continued disapproving of her sexuality, deeming it a "phase", angering her. The next day, her father apologized to her for his behavior, telling her he loves her and accepts her for who she is, but her mother will need to take time to accept it. This plot line teaches us the importance of accepting others for who they are and that there are still many cases where parents are unwilling to accept their children’s identities.
Thus, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is groundbreaking for the way it deals with the complex social issues of racism, sexism, and homophobia, which most TV comedies glaze over, or simply ignore. The show has touched on the #MeToo movement and the Black Lives Matter movement. Thus, it delicately balances comedy with these hard-hitting issues, rather than making light of things.