A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Brooklyn Nine-Nine mixes slapstick crime fighting with some positive messages when it comes to men and women working together as part of a team. There are also a number of positive role models across a range of genders, races, and sexualities. Language is mostly limited to gateway terms like "hell" and "ass," and there's some sexual humor and interoffice romance. And while officers do carry weapons on the job, violence (and any substance use) is typically played for laughs.
What's the story?
When a straight-laced captain (Andre Braugher) takes over command of Brooklyn's 99th precinct, the men and women of the BROOKLYN NINE-NINE line up to impress him -- but high-performing detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) isn't about to revamp his reputation for skirting the rules. Will this slapstick officer ever get serious and learn to respect authority?
Is it any good?
For anyone who's up to their eyeballs in dark, gritty crime dramas, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is bound to feel like a breath of fresh air, adding laughs to the largely predictable plots of police procedurals, much like Scrubs injected much-needed levity into the disease-ridden world of hospital drama. And it's an offbeat series, indeed, that would name a pair of newborn twins Cagney and Lacey and make the "straight man" an openly gay officer (played perfectly on point by Braugher, the breakout star of the Emmy-winning cop drama Homicide: Life on the Street).
Do these crime-fighters make good role models? Surprisingly, yes. And since the tone is intentionally lighthearted, the sex, drugs, and violence that are so central to serious crime shows take a backseat to jokes about office shenanigans (including a fire extinguisher roller-chair derby) and interoffice dating. Samberg's SNL roots also lend themselves to comedic cameos from the likes of Fred Armisen and other improvers, which sounds like a recipe for good times.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Brooklyn Nine-Nine compares to popular crime dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order: SVU. What does it have in common with these serious series? What does it try to do differently?
How accurately does Brooklyn Nine-Nine portray the work environment of real-life police officers, particularly when it comes to women and gay men taking jobs in a historically straight-male profession? Does the use of comedy downplay the challenges those officers might face in the real world?
Do you think it's a good idea for detectives who work together to date each other? What are the risks of getting romantically involved with a colleague?
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