Brooklyn Nine Nine is one of those TV shows that you can watch again and again, made by some of the the same writers that have churned out brilliant comedies like Parks and Recreation, The Office and The Good Place. Never before has a cop show been such a light-hearted, ridiculous comedy with some deep messaging. From the first episode onward, it has broken countless stereotypes and here’s how:
1. Captain Raymond Holt is a stoic, no nonsense, black man. And he’s gay.
The first episode reveals that Holt came out as gay in the 1980’s while being in the NYPD. Being black and gay, he faced a lot of discrimination and homophobia. Despite his good work, he has only got to command a precinct now. Being gay has been stereotyped as flamboyant and emotive, but anyone who’s watched the show would know that Captain Holt is far from either. His expression barely changes, come hell or high water.
2. Rosa Diaz is a straight up badass and everyone’s terrified of her.
Women are often thought to be sensitive, talkative, and soft-spoken. Well, Diaz is anything but. She’s been friends with Jake Peralta (the protagonist) for years and he often talks about how he knows nothing about her; she likes it that way. She rocks a motorcycle and a leather jacket, and the entire precinct is terrified of crossing her. Rightfully so, considering she carries hidden weapons on her person, and we’re not talking about her cop gun. She’s had a mysterious, out-of character past as a ballet dancer and a gymnast, which proves that there could be more than one side to everyone.
3. Charles Boyle is a lovable mess, and he’s not afraid to show it.
Boyle loves many things; food, his job, and most of all Peralta. Boyle and Peralta’s friendship is an unconventional bromance where Boyle expresses his insecurities and sensitive side to Peralta without fear of judgement. He embraces his own flaws and works hard as a detective. He has no issues interfering in Peralta’s love life and encourages Peralta to do the same. He often talks about his love for food and is the perfect, self-proclaimed Alfred to Peralta’s Batman.
4. Sergeant Terry Jeffords in one of the most towering, muscular men you will ever see. And he’s a loving father of three with a soft corner for yogurt.
Terry’s introduction in the pilot speaks of how he’s on administrative leave because he was scared to leave his twin girls fatherless. He has 1% body fat and his shirt can barely contain him, but he is sensible, sensitive, and he puts in a lot of effort for his children. He is also known to paint, write, illustrate kids books, eat loads of yogurt, and be a great mentor to the rest of the team.
5. Amy Santiago is ambitious and Jake Peralta fully supports that.
Peralta and Santiago got together in the beginning of the third season, something everyone was rooting for. Peralta’s a good cop, but he’s also goofy, childish and evades boring responsibilities like paper work. Amy is just the opposite; she’s a nerd who loves paperwork, puzzles, learning and reading. She also hopes to be Commissioner one day, and in Season 4 Episode 18, she’s on her way to becoming Sergeant. Here, she hesitates for a second, thinking about the implications her promotion might have on her relationship. Jake then goes on to say how she was always meant to be his boss, and she can’t change her lifelong dream just for him. He has no qualms accepting she was meant to climb the ladder and even pushes her towards it.
6. Rosa comes out as bisexual, and the precinct’s okay with it.
Rosa reveals she’s dating a woman in Season 5, and even though she was a tad bit nervous about it, the entire precinct reacts the way they should: they love and accept her in a heartbeat. No one has qualms with her sexuality, except maybe her parents. Brooklyn Nine Nine deals with the issue of coming out to family and loved ones, and handles it brilliantly. They also reiterate that even though her parents just found out about her sexuality, she is still, in essence, the same person.
7. Gina decides to leave the precinct after giving birth, so that she can start her own business and make her child proud.
Gina Linetti is one of the most charismatic, ridiculous, straightforward characters on the show. Sadly she leaves the show in Season 6, but her exit was glorious. Even though she is a mother to a infant, she chooses to move on to better things and start her own business, rather than becoming a stay at home mom. Her child does not become her reason for stopping, it became her motivation to become more than what she was.