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Brooklyn Nine Nine: "Funeral"/S3E2

Posted on October 6, 2015 at 6:20 PM

By Dhruv Rao

I often muse at the idea of television as a medium for communication. On one hand, it offers impeccable entertainment and moments to which we can deeply relate. On the other hand, there's a great number of entertainment slots that offers its audience content that's derivative and puerile, which undermines the audience. The funny thing is that more often than not sitcoms would be more engaging to our brains than dramas with serious overtones. I think that the latter genre of entertainment often crosses the limits of reality and enters a region of imagination that is trivial and irrelevant. During those moments, television is mocked and belittled, and what I passionately do each week is mocked subtly by comedy sketch shows like Saturday Night Live. It's hard to work under circumstances where people often view what you're doing as a "waste of time". According to a large portion of my friends, I dissect scenes, put the broken pieces into a bigger picture, and ruin the fun for them. As far as I am concerned, every time I write a review, I feel like I've learned something about television or about writing through the mistakes I make. What you're currently reading is the final product, but en route to this piece is a plethora of tiny mistakes which include, but are not limited to, typos, hitting two keys at once, writing non-sequiters, and grammatical errors. 

While watching tonight's effort put forth by the writers at Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I was trying to imagine this episode in the master plan of the show. Ever since How I Met Your Mother's polarized ending, I have been placing all the little elements in random episodes into the big picture, and it really helps me in understanding the creative direction the writers choose whenever the show meets a forked road. As far as this season of Nine Nine is concerned, I am considering it as the one which will stand out when the show eventually has its own legacy for a number of vital reasons but mainly because it is the one where the writers decided to shake things up, i.e. the one where the show caught up to modern trends and offered its audience some fresh material, especially since the string of ending episodes last season were weak: they simply involved the awkwardness between Amy and Jake while also indulging the audience in an interesting back-and-forth between Wunch and Hoult. 

This season continued exactly where the last one left out, but instead of having things run slowly, this season offers a change of pace with a rapidly changing atmosphere of the show. We are still confused as to how Hoult will work his way back to his home, but we do know that the journey to get there will be a significant part of this season. What I commend the writers for this week is keeping the ongoing chemistry between Hoult and Peralta and not ditching it for an awkward "reunion" with a former colleague. Had that been the case, I would have immediately lost interest and assumed that the rest of the episode would tank. Fortunately, the pair's chemistry was as great as it was initially, but with this episode, the audience relishes it because it knows that the future episodes may or may not contain the light-hearted banter from Peralta complimented by the grave tone of Hoult. With the episode turning a cheek and focussing on the close bond between Hoult and Jefferds, I almost got nostalgic of how the precinct used to be run by Hoult. The small moments with serious undertones, like when Hoult utters 'pain' dramatically, makes the audience root for the "good guys" even more now that it knows how close and friendly the workers were, and still are, to the Captain.

The B-plot this week marked the return of Gina's blunt and hilarious attitude towards he coworkers while also keeping in mind her love for gossip.  The triangle of Boyle, Gina and Rosa is always an interesting one because it always ends up with one character's known trait to be blown perfectly out of proportion to give the audience a good laugh. Moments like when Boyle discovered that Singh was a vegetarian and threw a fit in the middle of the funeral are ones which protect the show from the use of a laughing track. It doesn't require one, becuause the comedy here isn't as subtle as it was on HIMYM, it's evident yet excellent. It's something very special about this show: it can take a joke already made by another show years ago but can still offer an own original take on said joke such that the audience feels like the joke was written only for Nine Nine. The fleeting nature of the writing does help the comedic moments, and this week was no exception: the episode ran smoothly, and time moved at the right pace. The comfort here indicates how the writers have officially settle into this new season: there are no moments of butterflies, no over-the-top speeches, and the audience isn't aware if there might be a big change coming for the characters. This episode, along with many others that build upon the stories the premiere and previous finale, shape the way for the show to go while maintaining a fairly cool mood. Let the good times of Jake and Amy trying to figure this out roll!

Grade: B+ 

Stray Observations:

- "I'm going full douche!"

- Terry's favorite mango yoghurt got discontinued: what a tragedy!

- The bagpipes playing while the Vulture was cussing is a television classic, and I loved it!

- "Well, never wearing these again!"

- I feel bad for Captain Dozerman: three speeches yet none were actually about him.

Categories: Other Shows

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