Exploring serious topics in comedy
Review: Brooklyn Nine Nine Season Seven
Starring Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Andre Braugher
Fighting off a potential cancellation, Brooklyn Nine Nine’s seventh season contains plenty of rewards for long term fans.
After a slow start, and some new characters that fail to land, Brooklyn Nine-Nine season seven returns to a number of past staples. Viewers witness the return of the Pontiac bandit, the ‘Jimmy jabs’ games, and the Halloween Heist, among others.
The show takes some time after the first few episodes, but rights itself, returning to much of the funny approaches to serious topics that typified prior seasons. Maybe the best writing comes in Episode 10’s exploration of fatherhood, which questions whether or not parents are destined to repeat prior generations’ mistakes (returning to an internal Old Testament debate about whether or not God punishes current generations for “the sins of the father.”)
In all of this, Brooklyn Nine Nine’s cast continue to deliver their usual solid performances. Captain Raymond Holt remains the best character on television, and there are also some noteworthy moments from Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago.
Unfortunately, the writers don’t treat all characters with the same degree of respect. A number of potentially fertile grounds for future storylines are dug up and abandoned, with perhaps Rosa Diaz’s character arc from the prior season sticking out as the biggest example.
Season eight has been confirmed for early 2021, with the cast and writers saying the show will explore the subject matter of Black Lives Matter.
As cast member Andre Braugher (Captain Holt) explains, the real-life political situation surrounding police in the US means that this cop workplace comedy is forced to get serious.
“We’re going into an eighth season with a new challenge, which is that everyone’s knowledge and feelings about police… have been profoundly affected,” he said.
“What we have from [creator] Dan [Goor] is a commitment to write a smart show that will not attempt to hide itself in a fantasy.”
Season seven of Brooklyn Nine Nine is now available to rent digitally. Seasons one to six are streaming now on Netflix.