Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The 9-8

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No one likes a fraud dog.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3: Episode 15: The 9-8: GRADE: A

Over the course of three years we’ve seen the men and women of the 9-9 mature and change, its nice, but for as much people changes they can also be stuck in their ways as evidenced in this week’s adventure when the 9-8 has to come over from flooding, but it leads to yet another big season highlight.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has always used their guest stars perfectly and every time they do, I will highlight it because man this show makes everyone work. This week its Damon Wayans Jr. as Jake’s former partner, Steve, which sends us right into overly jealous and protective Boyle, which I had hoped for back when reviewing The Cruise, albeit under different circumstances now. Boyle’s jealously is what helps to drive the main plot and its hilarious. Boyle on some level has a right to be jealous given how seemingly more buddy-buddy Jake seems with Steve, The Beatsie Boys reunion tour in full swing, since its not really all in his head. Its very much in tune with how personal Boyle makes well, everything. His friendships, his family, his food passion, and proper stakeout time, it means a lot to Boyle. Joe Lo Truglio plays it off well and even manages to bounce off Wayans as much as he does Samberg.

Damon Wayans Jr. does come in and steals the show. He’s always been such a gifted comedian and actor with great timing and delivery. He fits well into the mold of the show, which is kinda sad that he turns out to be a dirty cop and his reappearances seem very limited now next to Bill Hader and Paul F. Tomkins, who I forgot to bring up in my review of The Cruise. He has a charisma and way of him that makes his past partner and friendship with Jake believable. The Beatsie Boys flashback in particular had me in stitches. Having Wayans on here was just perfect since he can elevate anything and anyone he’s with. Him rapping with Samberg just felt very right, as well as all three jamming to Toni Braxton at the end of the episode.

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As for the rest of the crew the 9-8 coming in is a nightmare. Holt has to share his personal space, Rosa is desked with a chatty Cathy, Amy has to deal with a fraud dog, and Terry tries to be cordial AF (As Frasier). Even Gina seems to weld her own power over the 9-8’s captain assistant. They all clash in perfect little spurts that keeps the episode alive and the notion of them creating a makeshift office on the balcony area was hilarious since it came to be because Hitchcock and Scully were made about the microwave line. In a way this is as close to an alien invasion storyline this show could do because it certainly feels like that which makes the all out brawl at the end of the episode very much worth it and hilarious.

Also the cold open was just exceptionally perfect as well for the auction of a mystery briefcase. Classic 9-9.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Joe Lo Truglio in the "The 9-8" episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE airing Tuesday, Feb. 9 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: John P. Fleenor/FOX.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine further shakes things up for an episode and bring one of the better installments of an already winning third season. Could we meet the 9-7 someday?

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Karen Peralta

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Happy Birthday, Jake! Time to grow up!

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3: Episode 14: Karen Peralta: GRADE: B+

Maturity has always been the crux of development for Jake Peralta. He fit the leading man-child role many sitcoms tend to have and Samberg played it well while showing what a impressive detective Jake is as well. Jake has gone through major changes over the course of the show and we’ve touched on his childhood before via little touches like his friendship with Gina and the huge influence Die Hard has had on him, but we’ve only gotten one real big development through his dad last season in one of the show’s finest half-hours. Captain Roger Peralta was the apple of Jake’s eyes until he fully and finally saw his father for who he is and thus makes it understandable how Jake reacts to seeing Roger pop backup in his life as a birthday surprise when he though it would be celebrated with Amy and his mother, Karen, played by Katey Sagal.

It really is nice any time to see Katey Sagal as she is an actor that can really put herself into a role and she’s honestly a good fit here and she is a more low-key, but really believable chemistry and mutual affection with her and Andy Samberg that balances well with how high energy and the bigger personality that Bradley Whitford’s Roger is, but more significant is how Jake handles the situation. To be honest how Jake is portrayed in this episode is much better than one could expect. Karen’s optimism is a great counter to how Jake believes he can solve anything and things driving Roger off is really the best idea since Jake is someone who can’t really take another disappointment from him. Jake benefits from the deeper characterization here as we see another side of him in trying to protect his mother, a mentality he has about everyone he works with really. Which is why it does hurt for him to give his father yet another chance to be with his mother, despite knowing it could blow right up in his face and thankfully the anger he feels is nicely fit right into his goofiness. Jake’s willingness to do this for his mom shows that caring side of his.

Jake’s maturity this week also speaks volumes as to his relationship with Amy. A situation like this might also have Jake freaking out if he himself could become like his dad or what this could mean for him and Amy in negative ways, but again the maturity I spoke above of his mentality for those he loves prevents that and for the better. Jake and Amy have always had a great friendship, only now it involves more flirting and naked bodies. Amy even gets great laughs when she is thrown into defusing tension either faking constipation or awkwardly singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Plus her getting hot at Jake quizzing her at her desk seems perfectly in character.

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Now whereas Jake’s step forward was entertaining, the subplots were some standard fair. First to get Boyle/Rosa/Terry who successfully apprehend a drug dealer and have concrete evidence via body cam, but Rosa accidentally sees Boyle naked when arrested. Its a small joke and while a nice one, its just an over extended one because naked people are still a comedy cornerstone and always will be. I mean the biggest laugh for me was the best objection ever from Boyle on the grounds that its his penis on the TV. Lets see SVU get that deep! But really body cams are a much bigger plot that the show could easily tackle.

Holt and Gina attend an apocalypse simulator/team building exercise thing and get joined by Hitchcock and Scully. This I’ll admit is the funnier of the subplots given it lends itself to some more jokes and feels far more fleshed out and lends itself to more than one joke with Andre Braugher still being the greatest gift of comedy right now and of course Gina, who rode into the precinct on a horse for her last birthday and I want a follow up on that!

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While there were plenty of character development, hoverboards, vicious air humping, and nudity to go around, Brooklyn Nine-Nine this week can only stand strong on its main plot while the B and C-plots play catchup, but hey now that we have the Peralta family all here, next Thanksgiving episode?

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: 9 Days and The Cruise

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Hey I’m writing it now so, yeah.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3

Episode 12: 9 Days: GRADE: C
Episode 13: The Cruise: A-

These past two episodes have been all over the place with our first one being a more than standard affair and the next week offering a familiar, yet welcomed structured episode. Both are some slowed down one off affairs that do have their moments. I know some shows will often repeat themselves and I’m not against that, not everything can be a stellar and outstanding episode as I’ve said many times before. Just gotta be sure to throw in some really good material though and Brooklyn Nine-Nine really does do that.

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With 9 Days, the subplot becomes more interesting than the main plot. Jake tries to keep Captain Holt some company while Kevin is away so he digs up an old cold case and in the process accidentally contract mumps so we can yet again have Holt and Jake bond. By this point they already do have a solid and structured friendship and partnership in the precinct based on respect and the beats are just as familiar, but there do come highlights such as when they get worse and worse with their mumps, even poking each others swollen neck glands, which was the biggest laugh I did get out of the episode.

Again the Jake and Holt plot is fine for itself and does have a nice resolution and speaks to how often people might feel when someone does something or just hangs around them for out of pity. Some will be thankful, but others might feel like you see them as some sort of charity case and to them that can be demeaning. Both sides get their appropriate reactions as to their character, Jake being a nice guy who does want to help and Holt as a man of incredible pride to not show any weakness. Its okay.

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The real highlight comes in Terry being in charge as a way to really get him ready for the lieutenant’s exam and that’s the better part since it highlights some really good character and plot advancement for Terry and is the first follow up of that we get since Yippie Kayak. Terry of course must deal with Hitchcock and Scully’s hunger strike over a meatball sub despite, potato chips don’t count since no nutritional value, and Boyle mourning the loss of this dog. Hitchcock and Scully were the funnier thing, I barely got a good laugh from Rosa bossing Boyle to get his work done. His grieving process feels real to him, but the jokes kinda just didn’t stick for me. Particularly the sealing dog collar in a air tight bag. That was just too weird for me. Rosa getting a puppy, great though.

Terry’s uneasiness is set perfectly here as he tries to ready himself for this advancement in his life that feels strange, yet he was more often than not shown he’s a more than capable leader. Terry is a strong, compassionate man, but its easy to see his nervousness. Its a big step, but even thought Terry is dealt a bad hand, he’s gonna be more than ready thanks to the wise words of Gina.

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Now as to more familiarity, Doug Judy AKA The Pontiac Bandit. His episodes are like say the Halloween episodes, the different perspective episodes of Scrubs, The Tammy episodes of Parks and Recreation, or almost any Christmas episode of anything ever, there is a structure that is always follows. With episodes featuring the Pontiac Bandit, Jake and Doug bond despite differing moralities, Doug cons Jake, and gets away before being arrested. Its old hat, but is really always welcomed here given the ball of charisma that Craig Robinson is and how he bounces off so well of not just Andy Samberg, but Melissa Fumero too who sends them two free cruise tickets since someone is sent from Doug’s old crew to kill him at his new job, Caribbean cruise lounge singer. Of course to highlight Robinson’s musical abilities, but you don’t see me complaining.

But Doug calling upon does do something for the plot in that it is also advancement of Jake and Amy’s relationship. They clearly love each other, but of course its a while before the big L word is even said. Jake instead says “noice” and/or “smort” in response to the emotional moments of this relationship. Speaking to Jake’s child like senses sometimes and how often he really does need a poke in the ass to move a inch closer to maturity, especially given how Amy has a full itinerary planned out while Jake wants to lay in bed and eat a lot of shrimp (a man after my own heart). The scenes of the trio are obviously the highlight of the episode and provide the biggest laughs from proper shuffleboard terminology to how they find the hitman himself. Its solid work all around and does lead to the conclusion of Jake and Amy saying “I love you” to each other in one of the kindest and sweetest moments the show has ever done.

Now also you’d think the episode would be a trilogy to close things out, but the ending doesn’t and I do believe that to be deliberate as the show knows it doesn’t feel like it, there is no sense of finality to the Jake and Doug saga and I’m happy about that since it means more Craig Robinson. It leaves us with enough fun to keep us hanging for next time when Boyle will be involved since Doug and Jake are so similar and a best friend off between Boyle and Doug would be too goddamn good.

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Back mainland, we get Captain Holt’s sister. Holy shit there are other Holts! Holt’s sister is very open and loud unlike Holt and even better, played by Niecy Nash. I love this so, so goddamn much I can’t believe it even happened. What works is their opposition as to their approach to what’s going on with them, but what’s going on with them brings them closer together. Sending Kevin away has actually done wonders for the character development of Captain Holt and both episodes have that in common. Its opened up a whole lot of avenue, including being more emotional and showcasing yet again how goddamn amazing and much needed to the world Andre Braugher is. Braugher and Niecy Nash also happen to have great chemistry together and I welcome any chance to bring Holt’s sister back.

Boyle and Rosa sadly are yet again saddled with the least interesting angle, though it is better, each of them fighting over the apartment of a recently deceased woman and sucking up to the landlord. Not bad and actually provided a much better use of them, but paled in comparison of the two much better plots of the episode. It feels more fleshed out, but again in comparison to what just came, its okay.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine uses a well-rounded, character focused and advancing episode to follow up a bit of a lackluster one. Season three keeps going along!

Top 10 Comics of 2015

Man you know I love me them comic books and I could talk about them all day, but sadly we don’t really have all day and I read like a lot of fucking books so let’s just get down to the absolute top 10 of my personal favorites.

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10. The Wicked + The Divine

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie have created a wild ride of a comic with this one about 12 gods who resurrect every 90 years as full pop stars and are treated as such in their young and attractive bodies. Some worship them, others fear and hate them and its taken off into some exceptionally well done social commentary as to celebrity culture, the pursuit of fame, idolization, even alpha and beta roles among genders, and a look at religion in of itself.

The book is finely woven with all it hits upon and Gillen makes sure to fully flesh out all those involved be they us humans are the gods that make up the majority of the cast. This book snuck up on me and I’m really glad that it did because its such a dynamic read whenever its out. McKelvie’s art is crisply done and smooth with expertly done lines and edges and further helps to add to the personalities of everyone involved, how they carry themselves, their expressions, and how well done all the weirdness of this book is presented and it is an inherently weird book.

The Wicked + The Divine is a book that covers many layers within one premise, but even with its wide and expansive scope, each issue feels so nicely contained and builds towards one larger part of the story as it goes. This book is just so damn good.

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9. Descender

With more advancements and experiments being done with artificial intelligence, its no wonder more stories revolving around it are coming. Ex Machina in 2015 was one of the year’s absolute best films and Descender was one of its best comics.

It tells the story of an advanced future where we’re all good together, humans and aliens and androids and robots and the like until mysterious robots appear and wreck unspeakable havoc on us and years later we are severely anti-robot anything, but a young robot, Tim-21 awakens years later on an abandoned moon base and goes on a wild adventure. The exploration of humanity across the various species is done with such care and honesty as to who these characters are deep down from backgrounds and motivations. Its one of the best characterized books done in 2015 and speaks to how Jeff Lemire’s strongest suit as a creator might be his care for those that he writes, be it his original creations or say characters like Green Arrow and Hawkeye. Dustin Nguyen’s beautiful watercolor painted look helps to breathe humanity into the book. Its some of the most stunning art out on the market today and his designs really make the world come alive. It gives us the scope needed to tell such a story.

Descender is great sci-fi that should be read right now. Its simply fantastic.

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8. Southern Bastards

Still as dirty and grimy when it started, Southern Bastards really stepped its game up in year two of publishing. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour really expand on the cesspool that is Craw County by getting into the roots of its overlord, Coach Boss in a great arc of examining what made him who he is today and how he’s lead the town to where it is now. Its absolutely exceptional in that regard, but then got even better by examining the town itself with the story set around the big homecoming game against its biggest rival after its leaped off from the end of the Coach Boss arc. Following different people through the town and how their story plays into who they are and where they are is some of the best stuff I’ve read all year. Its making great self contained stories all the while adding a little but more of life to the setting.

Aaron’s writing and Latour’s art is a perfect match for creating the book we have and I’m excited by the news that the book has been optioned by FX because this would make for such an exceptional crime drama on TV. Also because this fills the Justified sized hole in my heart.

Read Southern Bastards. That’s really all I got to say about that.

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7. Deadly Class

The insane 80s punk rock flavored madness that is Deadly Class is one of the most interesting books out there on the market today. A high school for young assassins is instantly familiar, but Rick Remender isn’t one to be familiar and goes all in with the concept and complicated relationships of several of the students. I think maybe its because there is a highly insane amount of violence and some honesty about what dickholes teenagers can be is what makes me enjoy the setting of this book. Teenagers are pretty bad, but when you let them in an environment where killing is a means of getting ahead of the class, well shit gets insane.

Thankfully Remender creates a diverse cast that cover so many character motivations and interesting situations they all find themselves in be they bad acid trips, going up against on friend’s insane family, a drug fueled depression, or the fact that for your final at this school, its murder free for all to find out who a rat is. Deadly Class is certainly exciting and it actually does benefit from its late 1980s setting with following our youthful characters and how they navigate through the world in and out of school.

Though for me I think one big reason I love Deadly Class is the art of Wes Craig. This kind of insanity could only feature his pencils. He’s perfectly made for this book. He makes this book so dynamic and adds to the frantic craziness that perfectly captures the spirit and tone of the writing and helps to really benefits all its characters.

Deadly Class makes high school interesting again, but in the weirdest way possible.

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6. Batman

Alright yes Batman is my reason for loving comics and in many ways my favorite character, but man I too am sick of BatGod. By BatGod I mean how DC loves to promote him thanks to Grant Morrison’s run where he was an über being and a walking deus ex machina even. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to enjoy about Morrison’s run, but I hate the image of Batman it created and that’s what DC loves to present despite that fact that Scott Snyder is doing the opposite of that. Be it when he’s written Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, and Jim Gordon in the role he always made sure that Batman, while he did plan ahead, was a man. Snyder writes a humanity to Batman that DC seems to be really forgetting right now and I even kinda resent putting it on the list here again, but I can’t deny that its still one of the best comic books out on the market today and the most consistent book that DC puts out regularly. There are a better number of books with DC Comics than there were last year, but they are still kinda really struggling to me and also Image still continues to kick a whole lot of ass as you can tell by this list.

With this Snyder shows that while Batman wins, he also loses in a way, particularly with the New 52 book ever since the Court of Owls storyline. From the supposed final conflict with The Joker to a new mech suit Batman, Snyder and Greg Capullo really shine with their insights on all the characters involved. The book keeps getting wilder and yet somewhat grounded too. Its balance is essential to the book and all the interactions make it grow, make the characters grow, and brings along for a great ride. Artist Greg Capullo continues to pull off amazing feats of action and nicely done character pacing with whatever Snyder throws at him. They are a pairing that just keeps getting better and better.

Batman keeps being the DC darling with its impressive storytelling and while it seems I both love and hate that, I really can’t deny the book is so damn well done.

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5. Daredevil

Now I know there is a new Daredevil book out there on the market from Charles Soule and yeah its really good, but as its ben since 2011, this is the Mark Waid book we’re talking about and it finished its run earlier this year.

Daredevil has had a great 2015, what with the amazing TV show on Netflix and the equally amazing book. Waid and Samnee closed out their tenure on The Man Without Fear in spectacular fashion. While so much of Waid’s run can be enjoyed on its own, this truly one huge epic tale of a turning point in Matt Murdock’s life after being put through the ringer when with Brain Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker. Matt learned to really enjoy himself, be the hero he’s suppose to be both in and outside of the legal system be it the jungle of New York City or San Francisco. Matt’s life was severely changed and Waid guided him through it with ease, taking good care and attention to who the characters truly are and what they mean to Matt, even the villains with The Owl, Shroud, Purple Man, Ikari, and the return of the Kingpain himself, they all meant something and had their roles in the tale of Matt’s life.

Chris Samnee and his pencils kept the book so full of great life and made for some exciting moments from characters simply talking or when Dardevil was off jumping about San Francisco. There was a great simplicity to how he put the book together yet made it wholly outstanding. It pulled in your eyes in and you couldn’t help but keep following it.

Daredevil ended maybe its best run ever, only time could tell, but one thing is for certain, Waid is gonna be listed with Frank Miller, Bendis, and Brubaker among the definitive Daredevil writers and Samnee as on its best artists. Thank you both for an incredible book.

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4. Harrow County

Now 2015 was a great time for horror across various mediums, but I think comics is where it really took off with books like Wytches, Coffin Hill, and our number 1 pick, but then suddenly out came Harrow County and what I am giving my best new title of the year.

From the minds of Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook came a tale of a young girl who on her 18th birthday discovers she is that she might be the reincarnation of a witch hung by the townspeople a long time ago. What make Harrow County so exceptional is that its instantly engaging and grips you into the story. This book brilliantly sets itself up very quickly and smoothly. You get a sense and feel for the town and the people who inhabit it from our main characters and to all the people you meet along the way. It does the contrast of being one story and slowly seeping into the horror of the book very well. Bunn writes a very atmospheric book from his narration to how the characters speak and another reason is the art of Tyler Crook. Like Nguyen’s work on Descender, this book is watercolor painted as well, but its a lot more effective given its bit of cutesy and innocent look which make the terrifying and horrific things in the book that much more memorable. The charm of it really helps to highlight the evil that lurks in this book.

Harrow County is an exceptional read that just keeps getting better and better as it goes along.

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3. Ms. Marvel

For superheroes in 2015, no one came close to the awesome that was Kamala Khan in the role of Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel is the best thing going on at Marvel as its maybe the most grounded book they have in terms of its setting and the character interactions that occurs. Kamala Khan’s everyday life is as every bit as fascinating as when she goes out and kicks ass.

This year really got to get into the mind of Kamala more now that we got past all the origin story and see her make her way through the Marvel Universe from teaming with her idol Captain Marvel, fighting her very first supervillain, and the world ending to personal struggles with her family, her first crush, and just being an average teen. The book also still does a great job at showing how it is growing up Muslim in the current we find ourselves in. G. Willow Wilson is a fantastic writer and shows true understanding with Kamala, true heart, compassion, and honesty. Something I adore about both women. Adrian Alphona’s art keeps get more beautiful with every issue. The team up with Captain Marvel in particular being a personal highlight and the final issue before it relaunched post Secret Wars. Alphona has a great look about his art that expresses so much in every panel.

Ms. Marvel is a book that is very much needed. Its purely great superhero fare, but also an amazing character piece that is one of the best examples of a coming of age story. Marvel’s best book, bar none.

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2. Saga

Always a bridesmaid, never the bride seems to be the case with Saga each year for me. Every year Saga gets close to being the absolute best book I read that year, something else has to come along and upstage it. But yet I still praise Saga as being maybe the most absolute consistent book ever since its debut.

Issue after issue the world of Saga gets bigger and bigger and yet more intimate with all the characters that have become more and more developed. The scope of this book is only as impressive as the efforts of its amazing creators, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples to keep such a daunting task up for a book that’s 30+ issues in now. Things definitely have changed for our favorite characters recently and its absolutely meaningful. The emotional investment certainly gets tested with the latest arcs. Saga keeps up its unique blend of emotion and humor and even blend it well into the action often that makes for a perfect storm of a story. Its still simply amazing.

Saga is still a great example of amazing storytelling within the medium of comic books. Its themes, characters, art, amazement, it just never feels dull when reading and feels like it will never stop and that I’m incredibly excited about that.

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1. Nailbiter

Nailbiter since the start gripped me with its premise and never let go. No book in 2015 had me more excited month to month when it came out and pushed it high to the reading list. I wrote before on here about how amazing the book is and it still stands.

Nailbiter is an intriguing story and great examination as to society’s fascination with serial killers and their mindsets. Nailbiter deepened its mystery and raised questions as they answered them. No other book made me exclaim, “WHAT THE FUCK?!” more than Nailbiter. The character investment deepened as well with the exploration of the town and how it and this case are deeply affecting them into the decisions they make. Each decision made leads to the next and the next that honestly change the story and that is great storytelling along with the psychological exploration in the book is second to none.

Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson have crafted the finest horror book out on the market today. This book is bloody and raw. Its writing and art blended into each other so nicely and create the atmosphere that the book needs in order to be as effective as it is.

Nailbiter is without a doubt the best comic book I read throughout 2015. Its just excellent and you need to be reading it!

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Hostage Situation

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BACK TO WORK!

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3: Episode 11: Hostage Situation: GRADE: A

Well first off, welcome to 2016 and I promise to get my site as more active as I can with my other pursuits this year, but now, lets get back into Brooklyn Nine-Nine which has now moved on to Tuesday nights. This I didn’t know until last night since the only Fox shows I watch live are well this and Bob’s Burger. Thankfully this is on after The Flash so right now, no compromises.

Anyway, given the episode we left on in 2015, it would have the title Hostage Situation or we’d have a tense episode that would allow for some more seriousness in addition to the fun on the show. Nope, the hostages are Boyle’s sperm samples in the hands of vindictive ex-wife. Welcome back Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I did miss you.

We return with Boyle and the spotlight and starting to do better yet again by the character now as things are still great between him and Genevieve. They even shared a scarf when Charles goes off to work. Now they seem to be wanting to have children together and naturally Jake steps in to  see if that’s really the best idea right now, but we all know Boyle will go right through it and Genevieve too, which is what makes them such a great fit for each other. He sets his eyes on something, its gonna happen and Jake knows this too. But thanks to an accident in the field, which included Boyle’s crouch getting sacked over and over again, they can’t seem to do it all natural, but years ago Boyle had sperm samples set aside for such a situation. Great! But his horrible ex-wife, Eleanor is holding his sperm hostage from cold storage in order to use his influence as an NYPD officer to help her out.

Now having Kathryn Hahn play Eleanor is perfect because Kathryn Hahn is. This is a grade A performer and its no surprise she shows up here given her appearance on Parks and Recreation, but she’s a great talent with a wide range, but damn it she succeeds in comedy. She plays a great mean bitch in this episode and her back and forth in playing off of Samberg and Lo Truglio shines brightly. A situation like this reminds us how empathetic a character Charles Boyle is despite how he could be seen as a sad sack sort of character, well at least early season 1 Boyle, which speaks to how strong his writing has gotten after the first season one and what a great performer Joe Lo Truglio is. This was the episode that reminds us why we love Boyle the way he is and why. He deserved much better than Eleanor and got it. Boyle’s marriage to her can be seen as a sort of building block to the man we see now. A marriage to someone like her might break someone, but it strengthened Charles into finding a much better love after that crazy divorce in where Boyle is friends with Eleanor’s current husband, Hercules, they go to spin class together. Boyle gets to finally have the moment he never had and standup to Eleanor and have a moment of empowerment. Its endearing to see and well earned, but this could have used more Kathryn Hahn. I’m holding you to bringing her back show. DO IT!

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Now its a Boyle centric episode, but this first episode back really utilizes all of its ensemble and that is when this show really clicks. First up is Amy and Terry who are put to great use together. Now this also does something great that Parks and Recreation did and that is make us interested in both their personal and professional lives. We honestly want to see everyone succeed and so we root for Amy to make it up to Terry after she breaks his nose in his selfdefense class while needing his recommendation letter for a great detective mentorship program. Terry does reminds us how much a great detective Amy is and their moment to end this subplot is definitely earned when they get to have a nice chat, even through a plot misunderstanding contrivance had to happen. Its earned and shows us more of these people.

Even the Holt/Rosa/Gina subplot shows that too when Gina is brought in to talk to a suspect because they went to school together and understands that crime’s kinda cool (not really, any law enforcement people who happen to read this). Its unlikely but Gina even really cares about her job too and deep down does for Holt and Rosa and wants to do a good job in helping them out. All these stories help keep the show deeply grounded and our characters as well.

Hell even Hitchcock and Scully get to be used and their scenes are great and Captain Holt break dances. I had no real way of working that into the review, but I think you and I agree we all needed to know that and see it.

Also the end tag of Boyle and Genevieve coming across Jake’s dad when looking at sperm donors is too damn funny.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine comes into 2016 with yet another great installment that puts everyone upfront and makes them work, has jokes firing fast and furious, and reminds us why we do truly care for this ragtag group of law enforcement. Its an episode that ranks to me personally as one of its best episodes.

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Yippie Kayak

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: L-R: Joe Lo Truglio and Andy Samberg in the “Yippie Kayak” episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE airing Sunday, Dec. 13 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: John P Fleenor

Come to 99, get together, have a few laughs!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3: Episode 10: Yippie Kayak: GRADE: A

Its taken three seasons but we now have Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Die Hard episode and I’m glad we waited this long. First season, we were still getting to know the characters, but the influence of the greatest Christmas movie ever (shut up, it is) has been seen on Jake as to who he is and his professional career. Season 2 maybe, but honestly then we wouldn’t have gotten the return of the Pontiac Bandit. But now, now is the time for Jake to live out his fantasy in being a full Die Hard situation. The episode is perfectly setup for character dynamics that needed time to be fleshed out to make this work and that’s what makes this such a great episode.

Choosing Jake, Boyle, and Gina as the ones in the building is perfect given their now interconnectivity with Jake and Gina being childhood friends, Jake and Boyle being best friends, and Boyle and Gina being family now. All have had great chemistry together and within the pairings I’ve said. Gifting circumstances all bring them to the same department store they sneak into in get said gifts only to find themselves in a Die Hard situation much to their bad luck and Jake’s sick delight of the situation. Jake takes too much of his cop attitude from Die Hard above all other cop fiction and Samberg plays it up so well to keep Jake being honestly serious about the situation and feeling a sincere delight that this is happening. Jake is a damn good cop and goes above and beyond to prove it, even when upset its Canadians with names like Mike robbing the store, but the gang does definitely have its own Hans Gruber, but still you know, Canadian.

Jake and Boyle being a team as they take down the crooks is a delight next to Gina’s insistence of being useful to them, but mainly through the uses of a flame thrower. The show makes the best out of what its homaging, while still feeling true to what makes this show the show it is. Jake might be in control and aware, but he to a certain degree even deep down knows he is in over his head, which makes some sense that he’s not the hero at the end, but Boyle who gets to have the total McClane moment and ruin the quoting of his catchphrase, which silently kills Jake inside horribly. The show going full Die Hard just worked better than you could imagine.

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Now for Amy who needs to make up for accidentally leaving what was perceived to be a bomb on Holt’s desk in a not-so-clever way to give him a Christmas gift. Amy tries to resolve the conflict that is only in her head by joining him and Rosa for for a Polar Swim. Amy tries to prove she’s not a wimp when no one really even called her one. This is the deep rooted insecurity of someone needing approval would do and for Amy, its just another day for her with that. Melissa Fumero really keeps playing this character very well and adds some nicely done layers. This is great character work since its better than having Holt and Rosa goat her on, but we’re in year three now and they’ve gotten beyond doing something like that would it to happen in more so season one. Jake is amped about his situation, Amy isn’t, but at least seeing Jake’s text about the store leads her to travel into the water, yell at Holt to shut up, and get them down to the store.

Terry has to deal with his Christmas being ruined after dealing the whole squad no one is to disrupt his dinner plans, which are then ruined, but for good reason and after telling off deadbeat brother-in-law Zeke, which obviously made Terry’s holiday, he becomes the point man on the outside and has to deal with The Vulture who is in charge of the situation. Terry swallowed his pride when Vulture was the captain, but now a whole different dynamic opens up and makes for some nicely done back and fourth. Terry won’t take shit, especially with the lives of his friends on the line. So Terry literally dumping him in the trash makes logical sense where the story goes and its worth the suspension and Holt urging Terry to take the upcoming lieutenant’s exams.

Even Hitchcock and Scully get in on the fine by helping Terry corner the getaway point of all the robbers. Also hostage situations would make me very hungry too. Also Gina waving her flame thrower is amazing. I had to work that in somehow. Its just amazing.

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An inevitable Brooklyn Nine-Nine gimmick episode turns out to be a real Christmas treat and one of the shows finest episodes yet. So lets all get together, have a few laughs, and watch Die Hard again.

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Swedes

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We learn about friendship from Sweden!

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3: Episode 9: The Swedes: GRADE: A-

Brooklyn Nine-Nine keeps hitting a great stride of firing on every cylinder yet again with its latest episode.

Our main focus is yet again how Jake perceives friendship, a theme nicely done last season in Chocolate Milk. Now Jake has been deeply explored with almost everyone in the department. Take Chocolate Milk for instances where Jake and Terry did become friend friends and Jake is now the godfather to his new daughter. Friendship is a key thing in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and it likes to explore how people differently perceive friendships. Jake is the kind of guy that thinks everyone he chooses to spend his time with is his friend and what better place is that examined than in a police precinct? Jake likes to think he and Rosa are friends and while having some nice moments together, its mostly been centered around work and not actual friendship. Rosa is a tougher customer to know for Jake than Terry is since Terry loves being open. Rosa isn’t gonna tell Jake she broke up with Marcus, outside of Holt of course, or that she’s seeing someone new (Tom from the library).

Jake is genuinely hurt that he doesn’t know that or that much about Rosa aside from their time together in the police academy. Friendship with characters on TV shows can be easy to assume in a workplace setting like this, but what this does is show how that really isn’t always the case and its sort of that thing in life. Having the complete opposite of Swedish detectives coming over to work on a linked case was a good way to showcase that with well caste guest stars Riki Lindhome and Anders Holm. Now they work exceedingly well together in their roles and with Andy Samberg and Stephanie Beatriz. Sure it comes to the conclusion that they are honestly friends, but maybe a bit more could have been done and I am slightly disappointed that the case being a jewel heist didn’t give Jake any jewel heist like puns or action movie scenarios to do. Finale maybe?

The charm of this main plot is how it Samberg and Beatriz sell it which they do and Lindhome and Holm make the best of their screen time as their polar opposites. Its perfectly crafted.

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While we’re still on friendship, we see more of that developing between Holy and Boyle as Boyle is brought in as Kevin’s replacement for a squash tournament to make sure he and his husband can threepeat as champions. Me I’m more than fine with this since it means Andre Braugher and Joe Lo Truglio working together. We know how Holt is with pretty much everyone else and getting to see how his is with Boyle allows himself to open up, such as not indulging how super competitive he is, which matches well with Holt’s desire to win, but the flashbacks show how much crazier Boyle is and watching Lo Truglio go nuts is great. Its a great way to further trademark how intense a character Boyle is, that and suggesting Jake put a baby in Amy for their six month anniversary (convenient time jump to match up with real-time).

But that is why Holt chose him, his intensity and also how he sees his value as a great detective to the force, but Boyle is self-conscious when it comes to Holt for how intimidating Holt is as a person. I’m always up for more of these two together since its lead for great development these past few weeks.

Elsewhere Gina is having trouble struggling with trying to pass an astrology exam is cute and nice for what it is. It certainly does feature many laughs from Terry and Amy’s interpretive dance to explain it to her after she already passed it, Terry being at the same gym as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gina not know who that is, and how much Neil’s benches. Note, more than most of us might. ITs just psychics.

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The show gets a boost from its Swedish friends to keep things hot in the cold winter months. This show continues to get better.