It’s time to herald the return of one the best, most underappreciated sitcoms on the air: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Created by Michael Schur (“The Good Place”) and Dan Goor (“Parks and Recreation”), “Brooklyn” entered its fourth season last week with a premiere that continued its adventurous foray into more serialized storytelling.
It’s ostensibly a series about cops in its eponymous precinct, but it’s probably better described as a workplace comedy. The show is a paragon of the network sitcom, an ideal every such series should aspire to. It’s a testament to diverse casting, the strengths of ensemble comedy and simply clever, hilarious writing.
When the final “Greatest TV Duos” lists have been tabulated, chief among the winners should be the mismatched cops Andy Samberg (“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”) and Andre Braugher (“Homicide: Life on the Street”): this unholy pairing is about as weird, wacky and utterly hilarious as you’d expect. Samberg’s trademark goofiness takes a backseat to his ironic sensibility and underrated charm, and this dynamic plays off Braugher’s deadpan perfection to create the most consistent laughs a network comedy could hope to mine.
The ensemble cast — including Terry Crews (“Everybody Hates Chris”), Chelsea Peretti (“Kroll Show”), Stephanie Beatriz (“Short Term 12”) and more — truly deserves to be in the same conversation as those of “Veep” and “Silicon Valley.” And, as of the past season, “Brooklyn” has even ventured out of standard case-of-the-week plots into longer arcs — and done so to predictably great success. It’s ultimately a shame, then, that the show is comparatively underappreciated. FOX is home to a dizzying menu of fantastic comedies — “New Girl,” “Bob’s Burgers” “Last Man On Earth” — but “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is what everyone, at some point, needs: comfort food.