25 Nearest and Dearest 21/25
The 99th Precinct (Brooklyn Nine Nine)
First and foremost, if you happen upon this without having watched a single episode of FOX’s Brooklyn Nine Nine, do yourself a massive favor by closing your browser and watch the pilot. And while I’m not sure how it works for others, usually when it comes to comedies, I personally need at least six episodes to determine whether or not it’s my cup of tea.This is without a single doubt, the very first comedy that had me hooked since the very first episode. Brooklyn Nine Nine is a gift for countless reasons, but mainly it’s a series with some of the most incredible and engaging friendships. And Brooklyn Nine Nine does an especially remarkable job focusing on the interpersonal dynamics while fortifying the entire unit as a team. Most importantly, as all great friendships, their loyalty to one another is a constant light which stands out beautifully.
The first relationship that easily tugs on my heartstrings and has from the very beginning is the father/son like relationship between Jake and Captain Holt. Although it is always more of a mentor/mentee thing, as an audience we’ve come to understand that Jake sees Holt as an inspiration — the same way a father figure would be. Jake may not be as bold about wanting to do right by him as Amy is, but the subtly is what often speaks loudest. Jake’s fears of losing Holt as a captain, primarily a constant figure in his life, are often manifested through his fervent determination to solve each and every case perfectly. It’s been sort of a competition with Jake, but through the seasons we’ve come to learn that his determination is stemmed from the losses he’s seen in his past. And while Holt may not always agree with everything Jake does, it has become clear that he is someone Holt is incredibly proud of in his unit. And that in and of itself is enough. Jake may not have a reliable biological father, but he has someone who can offer wisdom while effortlessly inspiring Jake to rise higher. He has someone who’s a great man all on his own and his nobility along with the unique kindness he showcases is enough. Maybe one day Jake’s real father will come around, but it’s clear that Holt has reminded of him more of the man he can be in the last three years than anyone else.
Loyalty is unquestionable in a lot of pairs, but it is the foundation in which Jake and Charles’ ridiculously hysterical brotherhood stands on. The two could not be more different from one another, but they make one incredible team — “partners in crime” fits them exceptionally. It’s always great to see Charles showcase the amount of faith he has in Jake, and it’s always great to be reminded of the fact that for Jake, Charles is irreplaceable. People will always come and go, but no one could ever take the place of their best friend. And what essentially makes their friendship marvelous isn’t the fact that they work incredibly well together, but it’s the detail that they’re so different from one another and yet, there’s great depth in the fact that they’d never want to change one another. Charles is ridiculous and Jake is presumably cool (at least for Charles he is), but it’s in the profound way in which their unique attributes continuously inspire growth in the other that perfectly reflects what friendship should be like.
Over the years, TV has gotten better at establishing male/female friendships that don’t lead to romance, and Brooklyn Nine Nine is full of them. From Jake/Gina to Rosa/Charles Holt/Gina, and Rosa/Terry. Jake and Gina being childhood best friends is incredibly fitting. The two are alike in numerous ways making their closeness expected. And in beautifully fun ways, they have each other’s backs through everything. But personally, I find it intriguing that the two cannot stand the sight of each other romantically. Often times, childhood best friends turn to lovers and while many have grown to love the trope over the years, in this case, I’m thrilled that’s not the direction we’re going in. Gina and Jake understand each other in ways not many members of the precinct do, and that very understanding that has helped them grow. It’s what has led to great moments showcasing the wonderful ways in which a friend’s steadfast devotion can do in even the most fragmented moments.
In the same fashion, sometimes, in the midst of a great friendship like Jake and Amy’s something else is blooming. However, in spite of Charles’ obvious crush on Rosa, an even stronger friendship developed giving the two a friend and someone who understands them even when they haven’t said a word. Friendship is about knowing one another better than others and accepting one another through everything. Charles and Rosa are incredibly complex and when they’re together, things are bound to be hysterically entertaining and uniquely heartwarming. Brooklyn Nine Nine has developed the friendship with such subtly, it’s incredible. Throughout the beginning of the serious you wondered if perhaps the two would eventually get together, but along the way, life took a different course and that in my opinion, is the best route it could’ve gone in. “Roro” and Charles are plainly, simply better as friends. She needs someone like him in her life who’ll throw her the perfect surprise party.
In addition, another perfect example of a dynamic duo could be found in Terry and Rosa’s exceptional friendship. Their scenes together often tend to be my favorites, and I’m still not over Rosa doing everything in her power to rush Terry to the hospital when his wife was in labor. (I may or may not have watched this episode 87,019 times. It’s that great!) They’re not only equals, but the fantastic teamwork they’ve established never fails to work in their favor. Some people work best together for the understanding they share often takes the lead. There’s a phenomenal vibe on-screen when the two are together, when the series ends, I propose the two get a reboot.
In the real world, someone like Gina couldn’t always be “herself” in the work place, but on Brooklyn Nine Nine, she’s a beloved member of the precinct who’s always a great help to Holt. And over the seasons, they’ve progressed into outstanding partners. Gina tends to be right often and without Holt’s trust in her, a lot of things would’ve been different for the Nine Nine. Plus, who else would keep him up to date with pop culture? It’s little moments between the two that frequently give Brooklyn Nine Nine it’s uniqueness on television. It also helps heal my Parks and Recreation withdrawal by reminding me of Ron Swanson and April Ludgate’s friendship with a twist. Unlike Ron, Holt needs Gina to do her work, but when it comes down to it, her strange tactics tend to work despite how different they may be than Holt’s.
Moreover, despite their slight difference in rank, Holt and Terry are equals. They confide in one another in ways that are unique to their traits. Every work space, especially one like the 99th Precinct needs a set of adults — Holt and Terry are those adults. Sometimes — after all, even the most mature men will one day have to voice their concerns about everything being garbage, and their profound frustration over the discontinuation of mango yogurt. Terry and Holt need each other to protect their squad in ways only someone with great heart can do. Their partnership through the years has grown so beautifully and in the most subtlest of ways which is ultimately what leaves me most in awe. It never fails to astound me that the depth of respect they have for one another is ceaseless.
Last, but most certainly not least, although the three ladies don’t get to spend as much time together as I’d like them to, when they do, things are almost always remarkably inspiring. One of the Brooklyn Nine Nine’s most memorable episodes is “House Mouses” where the girls conquered their biggest fears. Sure it didn’t go as planned, but the fact that they stood by one another and encouraged each other to the very end is exactly how friendships should be. Gina, Amy, and Rosa are all so vastly different, but they bring out parts of one another that would’ve otherwise never been explored. In spite of their differences, they care for one another tremendously and in their own unique ways, they find ways to show just how important they are to each other. And it’s moments like ones in “House Mouses” that reveal the depth of that adoration beautifully.
Oh, wait no we’re not done. Oops. I forgot about Scully and Hitchcock. They’re best friends. They never get the job done. But they always have each other’s back.
The 99th Precinct is indescribably special. The steadfast loyalty to one another effortlessly plays an immense role in each of their individual success as detectives while always inspiring them to be very best versions of themselves. There is nothing they wouldn’t do for one another and above all, they’ve each got something unique to offer which seamlessly and gorgeously strengthens their friendships, the unit, and each other.
If you aren’t watching Brooklyn Nine Nine, starting it now is bound to bring you great joy.