Posted on May 18, 2015

For two seasons in a row now, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has produced a cliffhanger season finale that posits a rupture in the "family" of the precinct, first when Jake took an undercover assignment and now with Holt being promoted to a position he doesn't want. The threatened loss of a beloved character is, of course, a staple driver of tension in TV drama, but I think to a lesser extent in comedy. The stakes normally just aren't that high. But B99 is nearly as much a cop show as it is a sitcom and, if it can't perhaps put its characters in mortal peril terribly often and still be a comedy, it can at least ground its comedy and character work in the bureacratic complexity of police procedure and the clashes of powerful men and women.

It's also been uncomfortable comparing the workplace comedy of this series with the gristly, racist reality of American policing in New York and other cities. I have to wonder if the show, in itself groundbreakingly diverse, can attempt, or want to attempt to address that reality in forthcoming seasons.

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