We’ll be hearing the iconic horns, opening gags and the triumphant shouts of ‘Nine-Nine!’ for the last time later this year.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has mellowed the growing excitement around season 8 by announcing that it’s coming to an end. Fans might imagine how a couple of characters would react to this: Jake Peralta uttering “cool, cool, cool, cool, cool” in a downcast manner and Captain Holt flatly stating “that saddens me”. NBC have commissioned a short series of 10 episodes, though there’s no set date yet. Due to the show’s success, it’s hard to imagine that Fox cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine in 2018, causing a public uproar and a saving act by NBC. At least the decision is their own this time.
Co-creator and executive producer Dan Goor commented in typical Nine-Nine fashion that “Ending the show was a difficult decision, but ultimately, we felt it was the best way to honour the characters, the story and our viewers. I know some people will be disappointed it’s ending so soon, but honestly, I’m grateful it lasted this long. Title of my sex tape.” The reasoning partly seems to be that the characters’ development might have reached their pinnacles, which is understandable because many of them have established stable home lives or secured promotions. Infinite plots can’t be drawn from the same people and finishing soon makes sense from that perspective. 143 episodes, plus the remaining 10, is a fantastic run.
However, some would argue that Brooklyn Nine-Nine could’ve continued for longer. The show, amidst many things, is renowned for its progressive themes and diverse characters, skilfully balancing potentially abstract storylines with a sense of realism. I believe there’s still a place for a production so conscious that they literally ripped up the initial script to ensure their depictions aren’t removed from current developments relating to police in the United States.
Maintaining comedy while tackling a range of serious issues is impressive. The characters, as they should be, are the humour’s focus and all have their own defining traits. These personalities drive the plot, with numerous social problems embedded and explored in specific episodes or instances. Nine-Nine avoids shoehorning in attempts at ‘woke politics’. Instead, timely social issues are interwoven among a variety of characters who charm us with their humour and diverse personalities.
The character of Captain Holt epitomises this effective style. A black police officer who happens to be gay, his journey through prejudice to reach and maintain the position of precinct captain has been tough. A robotically strict and expressionless aura is the main aspect of his persona, providing hilarious segments of him being completely deadpan while verbally describing extreme feelings. He often shares witty quips about social struggles such as “He was a great partner. Smart, loyal, homophobic, but not racist. In those days that was pretty good.” (season 2, episode 13), making him an appealing source of satire.
Holt sporadically breaking this demeanour to convey temporary bouts of unexpected emotion are some of the show’s most memorable moments. Brooklyn Nine-Nine usually records improvised as well as scripted versions of scenes, meaning he can even be unpredictable for the cast. A nearly incomprehensible and constantly surprising character like Holt, who tactfully addresses themes surrounding race and LGBTQ+ issues, will be sorely missed.
Andre Braugher, the award-winning actor who plays Holt, remarked last year that “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”, a notion they won’t ignore. I anticipate that the lovably amusing characters at the show’s forefront will receive a sentimental send-off, and if anyone can create a comedy while considering troubling contemporary events, it’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Seasons 1-6 are available on Netflix and season 7 will be added on 26 March.