After five years Brooklyn Nine Nine has been cancelled by Fox, and I am gutted. Season 5 saw the show enter its prime – covering institutional racism, coming out (’99’) and mass shootings (‘Show Me Going’) among many moral conundrums, whilst maintaining the light-hearted humour the show was loved for. While we knew a cancellation was on the cards I am surprised it actually happened – and judging by my Twitter feed, I am not the only one.
I can’t imagine it won’t be picked up by another network (Netflix, we mean you) but if it doesn’t it will be a crying shame. While it is in short a silly cop comedy show – it’s more than that, to a lot of us, because we see ourselves in it as more than a novelty filler.
The show focuses on characters that are often there only to complement the more societally conventional star. In Brooklyn Nine-Nine the stars ARE the black gay police captain, the Latina detectives, the Italian-Jewish alpha female that is Gina Linetti.
Intersectionality is normalised, and that is the realist thing I have ever seen.
It’s also something all of my other favourite shows fail to do (okay, so the only other show I watch is Eastenders really). Sure, there might be the black sidekick, the goofy Indian guy, or the gay best friend – but that tends to be all they are, an embodiment of that stereotype alone – no depth, no expansion, no character quirks that everyone can relate to, only a play on what makes them different.
Captain Raymond Holt is a black gay captain and while his struggle is discussed on the show, he’s more than a marginalised character. He’s hilariously stoic, a no-nonsense go getter, an endearing father figure to the squad, a loving husband in a healthy relationship and an adorable dog owner.
Rosa Diaz is another one of my intersectional faves – a bad ass bisexual Latina woman who you don’t wanna mess with – but deep down she’s just a bit socially awkward, and I get that.
I can also relate to her Latina co-worker Amy Santiago – nerdy, awkward and uncool, I know I have felt like Amy before.
And Charles Boyle, the food-obsessed best friend of main man Jake Peralta, someone who isn’t afraid to cry or dress up for Halloween or express his emotions.
The wonderful Terry Crews is the precinct sergeant who represents a hard-working family man who still faces racism in his position. One episode sees them tackle the situation of Terry getting stopped by a cop while off-duty for being black.
Then there’s the main star Jake Peralta, the hilarious man-child who admittedly I am in love with.
The show tackled many social issues, and what I admire about it most was the ability to do that while remaining light-hearted – it was a mentally relieving show after a horrible day, the opposite vibe of me in my worst mood, it put me in a happier place with its relatable silliness, and I’ll miss that. Ultimately it was my happy show when I was sad, and so I now feel personally victimised. RIP 99, we hope somebody saves you (HURRY UP NETFLIX)!