Brooklyn Nine Nine

An Ode, not a Eulogy, to Brooklyn Nine-Nine

In the latest trash news from the world at large, it was announced that Fox is cancelling the beloved detective show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It didn’t take long for the news to spread, and so shocked were fans that within an hour the show was trending head-to-head with Eurovision on Twitter.

It’s a no-brainer why fans are heartbroken over the news that Brooklyn Nine-Nine will not get its much-deserved sixth season. It is one of the most diverse shows on US network television. Not only does it feature two Latina women, a fact that was not lost on both Setphanie Beatriz (Rosa Diaz) and Melissa Fumero (Amy Santiago), but its lead male Jake Peralta (played by Andy Samberg) is Jewish, Captain Raymond Holt (played expertly by Andre Braugher) is a gay African-American, but not the only main African-American on the show. There’s also Terry Crewes (an outspoken feminist and #metoo campaigner) as the yoghurt-loving Sgt. Terry Jeffords. And that’s just for starters.

Its diversity is not just skin deep. There are multiple LGBT characters on the show each dealing with their own sexuality in deeply personal ways. The goofy-foodie Charles Boyle (played by Joe Lo Truglio) actively challenges stereotypical notions of masculinity, and the brilliantly narcissistic Gina Linetti (played by Chelsea Peretti) reminds us that women don’t have to be anything but themselves – unashamedly so.

The show tackles tough issues; from season to season it deals with interpersonal relationships, family, sexism, and especially relevantly to the situation in America today, it challenges racism and policing.

In a season four episode titled “Moo-Moo”, Brooklyn Nine-Nine dealt with the issue of racial profiling when Sgt. Jeffords was stopped on the street in front of his own home by a (you guessed it, white) fellow officer. In a touching scene between Jeffords and Holt, the two men – who approach race issues in different ways, from different times – talk candidly about what it means to be a black man in today’s day and age. Even writing about it brings tears to the surface for its quiet, wonderful poignancy.

In short:

http://fantasticandfemale.tumblr.com/post/168704857463/hi-why-arent-you-watching-brooklyn-nine-nine

Of course, it’s also hilarious. Though humour is often subjective, Brooklyn Nine-Nine bridged the Atlantic Ocean sized gap between British and American humour. It is a show that a New Yorker and a Londoner can sit side by side to watch and both howl with laughter. This is unsurprising, given that Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s creators Dan Goor and Mike Schur were the team behind NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” and Schur’s “The Good Place” is an undeniable sensation.

It wasn’t only fans that took to Twitter to openly fume against this (let’s face it, super dumb) decision from Fox. Celebrities took to the social media platform to lodge their displeasure.

But this isn’t a eulogy, because there’s hope yet.

Streaming services are already being talked about as Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s saving grace, similarly as Hulu was for The Mindy Project which was also cancelled and then revived on the streaming site. Other networks may be eying the show, too.

Fox’s decision stems unsurprisingly from viewing numbers, but if networks stop using outdated ways of recording popularity of shows (does anyone watch live television anymore?) maybe they would see how important, timely, hilarious, and heartwarming this very special show is and what a boon it is for their network.

We can only hope it’s safe to be tentatively optimistc that we haven’t yet seen the last of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine squad. As Kathryn VanAredonk said in her Vulture essay:

The outpouring of grief at [Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s] cancellation has been evidence there is an intense need for shows like this. Shows that celebrate humanity and goodness and silliness, and weave those things together with diverse faces and a real insight into the world. If this is all the Brooklyn Nine-Nine we’ll get, I am so thankful for what it’s given us.