This week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode “Into the Woods” split the squad up into guys and girls, with Rosa and Holt in the middle. We got to explore the aforementioned and rarely seen character pairing, went out of town with the boys, and also got to experience some classic Amy/Gina. The most enjoyable aspect about this episode was the flawless way Amy and Gina’s story passed the Bechdel Test. It is happening more and more on my favorite shows lately — though it’s still not often enough — so it still deserves recognition when it happens.
Here are this week and last week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine reviews over on Just About Write!
This week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was not only hilarious and focused on the Jake/Holt dynamic, but also brought things back to the status quo for the characters.
This week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine completed the trilogy of Halloween Heist episodes. The game is this: an object in the precinct must be stolen by the challenged before midnight, or they will not be crowned King of the Nine-Nine. As Jake recapped, he won the first year, Captain Holt won the second year, and this year they’d both try for the same object –– a crown. Whoever wins will be called an “Amazing Detective/Genius.”
Catch up on my Brooklyn Nine-Nine reviews over on Just About Write!
Everyone PLEASE read this awesome blog post by actress Stephanie Beatriz on Latina.com. I love Brooklyn 99, not only because it’s funny and it’s so similar to Parks and Recreation (same showrunner, so duh on that part), but because it’s so diverse and tries to actually look like a New York police station. The fact that there are TWO black men and TWO Latina women on the show feels like a first on network TV (psh, cable even) and it shouldn’t. But it is and the fact that Stephanie didn’t think she had another shot on the show after Melissa Fumero was cast is absolutely ridiculous but completely indicative of how the business works for people of color.
I am so glad that there are two Latina women on the show and the one is the main love interest and neither are made to be stereotypes of their culture, they just are and they don’t compete for men or attention, they coexist like real human beings. Just the fact that they’re both on the show and have such different personalities is fantastic because it immediately disproves the idea that people of color can only fulfill one type at a time on any given show. Brooklyn 99 just makes me really happy and I am glad that in this dwindling age of network comedy, it’s a beacon of hope for both a brilliant, hilarious show, but also for the future of what television will look like. I quoted Stephanie below, but click through for more of her blog posts.
When I was waiting to hear about my screen test for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I started looking at Deadline.com constantly. It’s a website that often posts up to the minute casting news, and is pretty handy during pilot season if you want to drive yourself absolutely bananas. I checked it, at minimum, eight times an hour. I was a woman possessed, because this show was the thing I wanted more than anything in the world. And then I saw that Melissa Fumero had been cast as Amy Santiago on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I felt my guts roll up into my throat and try to escape out of my mouth. Omgomgomgomg that’s it then. There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.
And then next day my agents called and told me I’d booked it.
I couldn’t believe it. I had been saying to my boyfriend the night before how there was JUST NO WAY. Normally, The Latina is a singular element of the ensemble she is working in. She’s there to provide contrast, or sexuality, or humor. Or she’s there to clean the floors and/or steal your man. There are some serious stereotypes very much alive in film and TV today, and The Latina is one of them.
Here’s the thing though. The world is changing. Slowly but surely, television is changing. The character stereotypes are changing, or being turned inside out by some fantastic writers and actors (I’m looking at you, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, and The Mindy Project). People of color are on TV playing roles that are fleshed out, complex, human. And yes, some of those characters are maids. Some are sexy heartbreakers there to steal your man. Some own BBQ joints, while some are Chiefs of Staff. Some are prisoners, and some are cops. All are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, and all the other vast human emotions and desires.
Right now, you can turn on your television or log onto your Netflix or Hulu account and SEE YOURSELF. Not always, and maybe not as much as you’d like, but you can. You can find characters who look like you. I couldn’t do that very often when I was a kid, and it subtly informed me that I might be kind of unimportant. Thank God for Luis and Maria (Sonia Manzano and Emilio Delgado) on Sesame Street, who were the first Latinos on TV I ever saw. I was fascinated by them both, and remember thinking how lucky I was that my mom looked just like Maria. I watched Sesame Street into junior high, simply because I loved seeing Maria and Luis on TV. In fact, in my memory, PBS was one of the only places I regularly saw people of all races on my television.
This is important. Because young women are watching TV, and they are getting messages about who they are in the world, who the world will allow them to be. And in big important steps, television is showing a reflection back to those young women that YOU CAN BE WHATEVER THE HELL YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE, and that two Latinas on one show is NORMAL. I think that’s a win for everybody.
“Your heart’s in the right place. Your heart and your butt.”
I’ve honestly forgotten why Leslie was being recalled in the first place. I know it’s Jamm’s fault but what was the “reason”? I know it doesn’t really matter, but I definitely forget what the exact catalyst was for his hate.
TATIANA MASLANY! Tom in her face was a GREAT moment. WHY did he switch into a British accent (besides the BBC America reference, I suppose). I can’t wait for more Nadia/Tom, because she thinks he’s really weird but then she says things like “Jet Blue Ivy” and we all (Tom included) discover there is something there that could draw them together. Hope she gets to stay for a while.
This was a great Ron story. It was nice seeing Ron and Ben interact; we know Ron loves Leslie, but it’s nice to see him extend that sentiment to Ben in his own way. Making Ben and Leslie the godparents to the kids is so wonderful (I wish I’d been able to see Leslie’s reaction to it), because you know they’d do their best to raise them the way Ron would have wanted. But Ron will only die by the man who understands the symbols on his first will. So he’s safe.
I’m happy we got a Donna-centric episode. I can’t remember every getting one, and if we did, it’s been a long, long time ago. This was the perfect plot for her. Retta played sheepish Donna really well (it was kind of adorable). I hope we get more Donna-centric episodes, because she’s the Parks Department member that gets the least amount of screen and story-time. Even Jerry gets more screen time than she does.
I need a Leslie Knope so someone can get me presents at every turn.
As usual, Parks episode posts are mostly quotes, because this show is just so funny.
“That folder in my hand is deadlier than his bow in yours.” “Oh thats… probably true.”
“What are these weird symbols?” “The man who kills me will know.”
“We’ll be all set, like two biscuits inside a tin.”
“Obviously accountants are a little more bad-boy.”
“I’m going to say this one last time Wyatt–check that accounting crap at the door.”
“Are you a doctor? Somehow?”
“I’m going to keep her here using the most powerful weapon I have–beaurocratic incompetence!”
“Another word for jokes is lies. I do not lie.”
“isn’t language fun? it’s like racquetball for your mouth!”
“Jet Blue Ivy”
“We need to talk.” “That has never been true.”
I don’t have a lot to say except to quote some of tonight’s fabulous lines. But it was fun seeing Ben and Chris be good cop/bad cop. I’m sad for Leslie, but her acting out was great. Again, it’s interesting that the plot is being introduced so early, as I believe they’re leaving in episode 13 and we’re just in 4(?). But ample time for all the characters to say their goodbyes, which is nice and well deserved for Chris and Ann.
I loved the distraction waffles and distraction Joe Biden.
Donna is fabulous and I love that she got to mention Scandal referencing her real life love for the show (it’s even better that Scandal airs on Thursdays as well.)(aside: I can’t wait for Retta to watch the premiere! Her livetweets will be EPIC!)
April was brilliant and hilarious as Tynnyfer’s counterpart. It was merely funny at first until you realized that April was a genius in bonding with the girl to get her to leave her position.
One thing I would’ve like to have seen was the Eagleton Parks Department interact with each other. I was going to say that I wanted to see them act like our Parks Department, but then I realized that of course they wouldn’t act like our department–our department is a family; the Eagletonians aren’t. But it still would have been nice to see if Craig went to alt!Ron for advice and what the answer might be. I also might have liked to see what an Eagleton Jerry might have looked like. I imagine they would have just been like a Pawneean (poor, unworthy, lol) and everyone thinks he’s awful because of it. Leslie would be a Jerry in Pawnee.
I had more to say than I thought, but quotes below!
Ron is basically a better version of George Washington.
OH MY GOODNESS IS THAT JOE BIDEN ON A HORSE SHIRTLESS??
You’re developing an accent from that town you might move to!
You’re like skinny Mother Teresa.
Giving into hate is like drinking salt water. The thirst only gets worst.
“The meth-like high of solving accounting puzzles”
- TV: Parks And Recreation: “Doppelgangers” (avclub.com)
catching up on TV during a sick day, so some of these will combine shows from earlier in the week.
I love where you can see where they just redecorated an old set to make it in the Bed and Breakfast. The Bar/Lounge area is probably just the MacLaren’s set redone.
Is Lily gonna be slightly drunk this entire season? lol
Oh that bottle of scotch! Yuckkk! But oh Lily, stealing the new bottle.
I totally forgot about Ted moving to Chicago… Also, I missed The Mother in this one!
Aww the Mini-flashback of Ted during Lily’s Life Lecture lol. I enjoy their friendship.
Oh Cliffhanger!! Barney sounds mad in the scene, but why would he be upset? He’s been fine with Robin all this time (I don’t remember but I don’t even think they kissed?) so why is he suddenly mad at Ted? I guess I’ll find out Monday.
I suppose, for now, they’re succeeding in stretching the story to fit just the weekend. Though there is some time fudging. Each episode hasn’t been approx 30 mins of time (right?), but continuity is doing pretty well, especially the jokes from the premiere (“thanks, Linus”), so that’s good.
Yup. still enjoy the theme song. is this Scully the Jerry of the precinct? He has a disgusting body thing, is married, and they kind of also look similar.
“What did I say about doing voices.” “It’s my craft, I’m a storyteller.”
Oh ok I am finally getting some Santiago character; all about praise and commendations. Also as a friend of mine said, Chelsea Peretti’s character is Sam Puckett from iCarly, but so is Rosa. The mixture of them is the perfect Sam Puckett (Sam meets April Ludgate probably). Now that I’ve spotted the Jerry of the precinct, now I’m gonna look for other Parks characters in the B99 cast.
“This is taking too long! I’m going to miss the farmer’s market!!”
Oh hey that kid in the beanie is on WildnOut!
“Not now, Boyle, let a brother breathe!”
I think Santiago and Rosa are basically Sam and Carly. I hope they’re paired together often and become best friends lol.
Oh, I just noticed in the chief’s office, his binders are Rainbow colored right behind him.
I love how the Captain can get away with pranks right back to Peralta and because he is so serious, Peralta believes him. It’s brilliant.
No better way to scare children than weird dancing.
Wow, Terry Crews had some of the best lines of this episode.
(really, yesterday, but I had to rewatch because I was so tired and couldn’t blog)
Parks is easily one of my favorite shows on television. From lovable, hilarious Amy Poehler, to snarky and dark April, and tough as nails but the best giggler on television Ron Swanson; comedy fans across the nation have fallen in love with Parks and Recreation. The only people who don’t seem to love Parks is the Emmy nomination committee, who nominate it but don’t acknowledge the brilliance of the show or its lead. So of course I am super excited it is back on my television.
Ron Swanson is a fantastic character. I love how rough and gruff he is, but how deep his sensitiveness goes. His romantic yet brief gestures for
Xena (sorry, I must) Diane are completely sweet and completely in character. (He built her a canoe!!) And you can tell why he loves her so much because she’s also brief and to the point but still with a sly sense of humor. I can’t wait to see what kind of Dad he’s going to be. (I’m surprised he doesn’t already have older children but then again, with either of the Tammy’s, those families would have been jacked up.) I loved everything about their impromptu wedding, best of all Leslie’s joy and excitement, which as some posts on tumblr claimed, are how we all feel when watching our favorite TV show.
Everything about the Teaser was the perfectly the show.
London was a fun trip and I see some of the seeds of the rest of the season developing (Andy’s character development to match his hair and ab changes lol), also Ron and Chris/Ann becoming parents (and the latter’s departure). But I have to say that Tom’s storyline kind of bored me. There were perhaps too many Saperstein’s in the episode and they kind of cancelled each other out for me. Jean-Ralphio is my favorite, but mixed with Mona Lisa and their dad, it didn’t hold as much weight or excitement for me. I wonder, though, where the Tom/Jean-Ralphio relationship is heading, considering how frustrated Tom was with Jean-Ralphio in this episode. “I need some better friends.” Dr. Saperstein wasn’t as dynamic as he perhaps should have been for a father of JR and ML. He was kind of normal and oblivious to his children’s antics.
I am really in love with Leslie/Ben and it rivals my other 2 current TV couples for best post-will-they-won’t-they relationship upgrade. (Castle/Beckett and Nick/Jess are the other two.)
The best parts of the episode were the beginning and Jerry’s epic Jerry-ism with Chris and Ann. That scene cracked me up!
“When did you make the switch to boxer briefs?” More Donna, please!
I need Leslie Knope in my life, so she can help me figure out my life and get me awesome, super personalized and thought out gifts. LOL
“One bearded lady. She got all offended when I marveled at her.” I really dig April’s character development and how she showed her love of Leslie and supported Andy. And got to be Ron Swanson’s best man. She would’ve been the only choice for the job even had they decided to have a real wedding. Her letter to the committee about Leslie was so beautiful and made me tear up.
“I’m basically Babyface.”
Parks and Rec is not only super funny, but it’s got the most heart of any sitcom on television. And that’s why I love it. People can love Breaking Bad and Mad Men and things that focus on what’s dark in this world–and that’s fine–but we also need shows that focus on the good of people and friendship and love. We should focus on that equally as much.
In order to think of spec ideas, one tends to turn to recent events in the news to spur an idea. I’m not always good at that. But a show that I would love to spec (I’ve been trying and have yet to get it right) is Parks and Recreation and I think they’ve been fantastic, especially this season, at taking current events and adapting them to Pawnee.
Just from this season:
- 5.02 “Soda Tax” pokes fun at cities (esp NY currently) that are imposing rules on the size of soft drinks in stores. Great way to adapt to Pawnee. Especially the great visual humor of the “child size” cup.
- 5.13 “Emergency Response” makes reference to cities’ amount of preparation for major storms and in giving Pawnee a failing grade, subtly makes commentary on the fact that most cities have been unprepared for the crazy kinds of storms we’ve been getting recently. (Quakenado!)
- 5.16 “Bailout” took the idea of a major government bailout and scaled it down to be about an independent movie rental chain (covering two things at once, really).
These are just a few examples in which Parks is able to take a major news story or a recent trend (as with the movie chain idea) and adapt it to life in Pawnee. I really like this idea and keep searching for ways to take media stories and move them to Pawnee.
Side note: I wrote this post yesterday but scheduled it for today. I’m working my way towards blogging more!