Tuesday 29 August 2017

Brooklyn Nine Nine: Season 4 ★★★★★

At the end of season 3 Jake Perolta (Andy Samberg) and Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) had been forced to take on alternate lives in Florida, and at the start of season 4 they have settled into their new lives well – both now have steady jobs and they are fully knitted into the community. Of course the real focus is taking down Figgis, while the rest of the squad back at home are being punished for the previous season’s events by undertaking the dreaded night-shift.

The first few episodes feel quite strange, what with Perolta and Holt being separated from the rest of the squad, but you’ll be pleased to know that this isn’t a permanent thing. Once they’re back from witness protection the team are in full-force again, yet some things have changed quite drastically since the pair last saw everyone else. 

Season 3 was really good, as all of the seasons have been, but the further I get into a series the more I worry that it’s going to fall flat (sadly not every season can be as iconic as comedies such as ‘Friends’, and so on). I was concerned that it might be time for ‘Brooklyn 99’ to lose its brilliance, but just a few episodes in and I could tell that we were still at top-quality comedy again. The jokes and one-liners are hilarious as always, and still Goor is finding ways to make us laugh when you’d think it would have got old by now. Braugher steals the show again as Captain Holt – the moments where he breaks character are particular funny in this season, and we get to see the bond between him and the squad deepen further.

Each season has a similar formula every time but comes up with slightly different ways of presenting it, be that through introducing new characters, reintroducing much-loved old ones, or mixing up things completely with unexpected scenes, such as a very dramatic experience for Gina (Chelsea Piretti) just before the mid-season break. This time round it’s less ‘Jake with another character’ and more focus on the rest of the team independently, such as Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) and her hectic relationship with Adrian Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas), and several mini-crises that have to get resolved around the main story. There’s actually one really serious episode featured this season focusing on racism within the police force after Terry (Terry Crews) gets profiled by another cop – it’s very different to the usual style of Brooklyn 99 but it worked really well and made the viewer think between the gags.

One of the best parts of the season is getting to meet even more of Boyle’s (Joe Lo Truglio) crazy family – they’re so ridiculous that you can’t help but laugh, and despite the weirdness of the bunch you find yourself warming to them. Talking of weird, Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) are also excellent yet again this season – they don’t really change much, but it works. The most interesting change to see is how Charles develops after he becomes a father – and, how it impacts his relationship with both Jake and Terry in particular. In classic Goor style the season ends on another explosive cliff-hanger, meaning we’ll all have to wait  Autumn to find out how on earth it all gets resolved.

If you haven’t started watching ‘Brooklyn 99’ yet and you want something that will have you laughing until you cry every time, then you really need to get to it. As well as the humour the connection you develop with the characters is particularly strong, making the series one of my all-time American comedy favourites.


Hannah Read

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