September 18th, 2013

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Dads

The new broadcast TV season is underway. I checked out a couple of the new sitcoms on Fox: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, about which I'd heard many good things, and Dads, about which I'd heard none.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine was as pretty much as enjoyable as I'd been led to believe. Andre Braugher, playing Capt. Ray Holt, was great; who knew he could do comedy? It was a bit of a shock to see him with gray hair, or for that matter with any hair at all; in my head, I still picture him as Frank Pembleton, the character he played on Homicide: Life on the Streets, which is to say with a shaved head and 15 years younger.

As for the other lead, Andy Samberg's Det. Jake Peralta, I found him pretty annoying. Defiantly childish know-it-all characters kind of grate on my nerves, and I've found you need a tremendously charismatic actor to keep them from being more unpalatable than not. James Roday pulls it off on Psych, most of the time; Samberg didn't, in the pilot episode at least. However, Brooklyn Nine-Nine was created by Michael Schur and Dan Goor, respectively the co-creator and producer of Parks and Recreation, so there's reason to hope that Peralta will get less annoying as the season progresses, just as they've allowed the Parks and Rec characters to grow.

The rest of the cast is fine, and I like cop shows, so all in all I think Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be worth watching. Not so Dads, which was just as terrible and unfunny as I would expect a show executive produced by Seth MacFarlane to be. The cast is filled with great comic actors -- Martin Mull, Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, and the always underappreciated Peter Riegert among them -- but even they're not good enough to elevate material as bad as what they were given to work with. I did, however, get a little kick out of a scene in which not one but two bags of Let's Potato Chips are visible on screen:



Let's is a fake brand created by Independent Studio Services, a Hollywood prop house, that is frequently seen on Community. Hey, until NBC puts the fifth season on the schedule, we Communies take our jollies where we can find them.