DVD Review: BROOKLYN NINE NINE – SEASON 1

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Saturday Night Live had its last great run when its cast included the likes of Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, and Seth Meyers. The show certainly has suffered with their departures, but the individuals have prospered in film and television. Fey had her run on 30 Rock while Poehler is still going strong on Parks and Recreation. If you enjoyed those shows, then Brooklyn Nine Nine might be right up your alley. Brooklyn stars another SNL alum Andy Samberg, who became best known for his impression of Mark Wahlberg and the digital shorts he produced with his Lonely Island cohorts Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. The series sprung from the minds of Dan Goor, a writer on Parks, and Michael Schur, a co-creator of Parks and a former writer on NBC’s The Office.

Brooklyn Nine Nine combines elements from each of those shows as a single-camera sitcom focusing on workplace comedy. It just happens that workplace is the fictional 99th precinct in Brooklyn and the stars are the men and women doing their best to keep the streets of New York safe. Samberg is Detective Jake Peralta, the standard hotshot who doesn’t play by the rules. His partner is Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), who is all about regulations and views Peralta as an immature annoyance. Det. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) is a badass, no-nonsense officer and her toughness tends to scare her colleagues. Then, there’s the bumbling, yet well-meaning Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) with a penchant for exotic cuisine and a crush on Diaz. Sgt. Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) is the squad leader in charge of keeping these chuckleheads in order. He’s backed away from active duty since becoming the father of two daughters he named Cagney and Lacey.

Finally, we have Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti), a civilian administrator with a host of eccentricities such as narcissism and kleptomania. Everyone has great comedic chemistry with one another, but the real highlight of Brooklyn Nine Nine is a wonderfully understated Andre Braugher as the stoic Captain Raymond Holt. The Captain isn’t a fan of the goofball antics of his precinct, which had long been overlooked by his lackadaisical predecessor. However, Capt. Holt earns the precinct’s respect when they learn he’d been passed over for promotion several times due to his homosexuality.

Universal has released the first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on a 3-disc DVD set. The episodes included are:

-Disc 1-
“Pilot” – Peralta and the detectives of the Nine Nine are determined to solve a murder in order to impress their new captain.
“The Tagger” – Peralta is assigned to track down a notorious vandal who turns out to be the spoiled son of the deputy commissioner.
“The Slump” – Peralta is desperate to crack a case and break his lump while Santiago gets Diaz and Gina to help her with a group of at-risk youths.
“M.E. Time” – Peralta holds up the results of a crucial autopsy report when he begins romancing the medical examiner.
“The Vulture” – Once again Peralta is pitted against his arch-rival, The Vulture (Dean Winters), a detective from Special Crimes who swoops in and steals cases from other officers.
“Halloween” – Santiago is less than thrilled to be wearing a dopey costume for a Halloween stakeout while Peralta bets he can successfully swipe the captain’s Medal of Valor.
“48 Hours” – Peralta forces everyone to work non-stop over the weekend in order to gather evidence against a perp before he is set free.
“Old School” – Peralta gets to spend the day with a legendary crime reporter (Stacy Keach) while Boyle and Jeffords assist Rosa in looking less scary on the witness stand.

-Disc 2-
“Sal’s Pizza” – Peralta has a run-in with an obstinate fire marshal (Patton Oswalt) during the arson investigation of the precinct’s favorite pizzeria.
“Thanksgiving” – Thanksgiving dinner at Santiago’s turns into a complete disaster when Peralta and Holt leave to track down a thief who stole money from the evidence locker.
“Christmas” – Peralta is tasked with protecting the Captain when he receives a number of death threats while Santiago attempts to create the perfect Christmas card.
“Pontiac Bandit” – Peralta and Diaz team up to hunt down a car thief known as the Pontiac Bandit and who has always eluded arrest.
“The Bet” – Peralta must re-evaluate his relationship with Santiago when the two are paired up for a stakeout. Boyle blurts out “truth bombs” as an unintended side effect of his pain medication.
“The Ebony Falcon” – Jeffords is back in action when he goes undercover to bust a steroid ring at a popular gym.
“Operation: Broken Feather” – The Captain attempts to improve efficiency within the precinct as Peralta is upset about the proposition of Santiago transferring to Special Crimes.

-Disc 3-
“The Party” – Jeffords does his best to make sure everyone is on their best behavior when the precinct is invited to the Captain’s birthday party.
“Full Boyle” – Boyle asks for Peralta’s help for an upcoming date while Diaz and Santiago are pulled from a case and replaced by the incompetent duo of Scully and Hitchcock.
“The Apartment” – Peralta needs financial assistance when he can no longer afford living at his grandmother’s apartment.
“Tactical Village” – The Nine Nine is excited to practice their tactics at an annual training exercise while Capt. Holt becomes addicted to a mobile game.
“Fancy Brudgom” – Peralta is surprised when Boyle picks him to be best man at his wedding. Meanwhile, the Captain forces Diaz to apologize for humiliating a patrol officer.
“Unsolvable” – Peralta spends his time off by attempting to solve an 8-year old cold case with the help of Sgt. Jeffords.
“Charges and Specs” – Peralta risks his career when he goes after a well-respected leader of the community. Boyle is heartbroken about his broken nuptials.

Video/Audio: 7
The video is presented in anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The transfer is clean with vibrant colors and nary a defect. It’s not as detailed as the high definition broadcast, but it more than does the job. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The show is mostly dialogue driven so the sound is evenly distributed while coming in crisp and clear.

Extras: 3
Deleted scenes are spread across all 3 discs. Unfortunately, there’s nothing else. No commentary tracks, featurettes or even a gag reel.

Film Value: 7
A lot of television shows take a while to gain their footing, but Brooklyn Nine Nine hits the ground running. The series doesn’t break any new trends nor does it just retread familiar tropes. It’s not an outright parody like Police Squad or Reno 911 nor is it a straight documentary-style comedy (no talking head interviews).
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