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Brooklyn Nine-Nine (season 07)

Josh Reviews Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season Seven!

After being cancelled two years ago by Fox, Brooklyn Nine-Nine roared back on NBC with possibly its strongest season ever.  The recently-concluded season seven can’t quite top that magnificent season six, but it’s still a terrific season of comedy that demonstrates that this veteran show continues to have a lot of gas in its tank.

The first few episodes of season seven were OK but not spectacular.  I was a little surprised that the show didn’t manage to milk more comedic energy out of the season six cliffhanger in which Captain Holt was demoted to walking a beat.  I’d thought the show would get a lot of mileage out of the idea of the Nine-Nine’s boss now being a subordinate to all of them, but that plotline didn’t seem to build to much.  I was thrilled to see Vanessa Bayer (SNL, Trainwreck, Office Christmas Party) join the ensemble as Holt’s new beat-partner, but while I loved her initial oil-and-water pairing with Holt, I didn’t like the u-turn to make her pretty much insane in episode five, “Debbie,” after which she was gone from the show.

I did love episode three, “Pimemento,” a brilliant title for a fantastic Memento parody that brought back Jason Mantzoukas as Adrian Pimento.  I love Mr. Mantzoukas’ crazy energy, and this loony story was a good match for his character.

I enjoyed the way several episodes last season played with the show’s usual format, and so I was pleased to see that kind of creativity again on display in episode six, “Trying,” which took place over six months.  Six months in twenty-two minutes is no easy feat!  The episode depicted Jake & Amy’s unsuccessful efforts towards Amy’s getting pregnant.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine has often experimented with weaving the occasional serious emotional story in with all the cartoon craziness.  Sometimes that merging of disparate tones can be awkward, but I was pleased at how funny and also heartfelt this episode was.  I particularly loved the bold choice to not end the episode with a happy ending; instead, we see Amy learning in the final seconds of the show that she has again failed to get pregnant.  (I only wish they didn’t jump into Amy’s actually getting pregnant at the end of the very next episode.  It would’ve been better to have let the ending of “Trying” linger for a few more episodes.)

The season’s five final episodes were all terrific, a fantastic run of hugely funny shows.  In episode nine, “Dillman,” the great J.K. Simmons turned in a phenomenal guest appearance as the super-skilled detective friend of Captain Holt.  In episode ten, “Admiral Peralta,” Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) returned as Jake’s not-so-great … [continued]