This week saw the season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a very funny workplace sitcom that also functioned as an engaging police procedural, and boasted an admirably diverse cast, thanks to a conscious effort by the writers to reflect the New York borough in which their show is set. Two of the four male characters are African-American, and one of them (the station’s stone-faced Captain, played by Andre Braugher) is a happily married Gay fella… while two of the three female characters are Latina:
Melissa Fumero plays Detective ‘Amy Santiago’, an uptight apple-polisher who desperately craves the Captain’s approval… and even volunteers to host Thanksgiving dinner for her colleagues, just so she can read out a four-page (double-sided) essay extolling his virtues. Fumero has a fantastically expressive face, and is absolutely adorable in the role… especially when she’s squirming over some impulsive comment she’s made to her impassive superior. I can’t say I’m especially invested in the “will-they-won’t-they” thing she’s got going on with Peralta (played by Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg), but they have had some very sweet and funny scenes together over the course of the season, and I do enjoy seeing them team up to crack a case.
Stephanie Beatriz plays Detective ‘Rosa Diaz’, an aggressive, enigmatic badass who cites RoboCop as her favourite film, because: “It’s got everything I like… gratuitous violence.” (End of list) Regular readers may not be too surprised to learn that she’s my fave character in the show, with her surly demeanour and battered black leathers… while Beatriz is quite possibly the most stunningly gorgeous woman on TV right now (though she does face some stiff competition from her co-stars, I admit). Her hair… her lips… her cheekbones… her eyes… her brows… I just can’t take my eyes off her when she’s on screen, no matter who else is acting alongside her! In real-life Beatriz seems to be quite smiley and girly (by her own admission), but Diaz is so dour it’s always a treat to see her pearly whites come out… though she often smirks when one of her colleagues amuses her, so she obviously isn’t totally humourless… and the way she’s worried over Boyle in recent episodes proves that she must have a heart-of-gold hidden somewhere under all that darkness, right? Bless her.
As for the remaining, non-Latin lady… that would be Chelsea Peretti, who plays the station’s civilian administrator, ‘Gina Linetti’. The portrayal of her character has been a little uneven this season, and my feelings about her have fluctuated from week to week. When there’s a productive method behind her scene-stealing madness, I can appreciate her dry delivery, off-kilter perspective, and irreverent attitude… but when she crosses the line into job-threatening irresponsibility or actual criminality, I have a harder time suspending my disbelief. I mean, Captain Holt came down so hard on Peralta for not wearing a tie on duty, I don’t see how or why he’d turn a blind eye to Gina stealing silverware from his home! That isn’t just harmless eccentricity… that’s a sackable offence (at the very least)! She really won me over with her emoticons-in-everyday-speech schtick in the finale though, so for the moment I’m feeling pretty pro-Gina… and there’s no doubt that Peretti gives a great performance in the role. Besides being hilarious on-screen, she’s also written for shows such as Parks and Recreation, Portlandia, and The Sarah Silverman Program, and is currently schlepping around the States on her “American Treasure” stand-up tour. Hope someone’s filming it for release!
I thought this season went out on a real high-note, with a fantastic cliff-hanger for Peralta, and a sneaky bait-and-switch in the final scene… so I’m very glad it’s been renewed for a second season already, and can’t wait to see what happens next!