Police officers, specifically New York City police officers, are a frequent staple of TV broadcasting. Hard-hitting, dark dramas with grim men chasing down the criminal element on the mean streets of the Big Apple.
You’re not going to find that on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a sitcom set in the County of Kings, which owes more to the classic comedy “Barney Miller” than to “Law & Order” or “NYPD Blue.”
Andy Samberg makes the jump from “Saturday Night Live” to star as hotshot detective Jake Peralta, who excels at his job but acts like a child and would prefer to show up to work in a hoodie over a tie. His world of freewheeling police work is put in jeopardy when a straight-laced, by-the-books new captain, Ray Holt (Andre Braugher, of “Homicide: Life on the Street,” at his most stoic), takes over at the precinct and is adamant about cleaning up the place.
Created by “Parks and Recreation” veterans Michael Schur and Dan Goor, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is must-see television. Samberg, who thus far has a hit or (mostly) miss film career, is perfectly cast and his goofy, likable persona is a great foil for both Braugher’s dignified manner and his partner Detective Amy Santiago’s (Melissa Fumero) tense, competitive nature.
The cast is rounded out by the massive Terry Crews (“The Expendables”), who plays a sergeant who is unable to work in the field after having kids changed him, and hapless detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio, “Role Models).
Great sitcoms often take time to get their footing. “Cheers” flopped its first season and the first few episodes of “30 Rock” belie the grandeur that would come in later seasons. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a stud right out of the gate.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” premieres Tuesday night at 8:30 on Fox/5.