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How ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ is relevant in today’s world?



2020 had been a hard year for everyone alive. Even being alive seems like a luxury. The world economy dropped, people lost jobs and lives, several companies were shut down, the marginalized groups are starving and what not. But the grass is always greener on the other side. This year saw the changes which we needed to see all this time. Nature started breathing, we are more careful with the hygiene, people are being compassionate towards their lives, and most importantly, raising voices against the age-old atrocities.

With everything going on in the United States, it seems like they needed the revolution. How long will they tolerate being suppressed? With the killing, rather murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, by the cops, people lost their cool. They took to the streets, formed peaceful rallies, burnt down police cars and looted shops. Several protestors were arrested, whereas several new racist stories came up on the internet. No one feared the pandemic anymore when their country has the highest number of deaths, because some things needed the spotlight. In between all these, debates took birth regarding the cop shows who all these years brainwashed the audience with the rose-tinted picture of the cop world. Of course, Brooklyn Nine-Nine was also on the list.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine just got over with it’s seventh season this year, with Jake and Amy giving birth to their son, Mac. The show talks about the 99th police precinct in Brooklyn, and how a bunch of cops solves cases, highlighting the real societal issues along the way, with the spark of comedy. The audience complained that such shows made them forget the police brutality, suppression and illegally arresting and killing of people. But before we start with the story, one should know that the TV sitcom started with the very notion of manifesting that good cops do exist and they do follow the “serve and protect” policy when citizens started losing faith in them.

Captain Raymond Holt, an openly gay, black cop had been a huge inspiration for all of us. He held up the rough truth of the society, how it is nearly impossible to rise in power in the white dominating field; how on the first day of his job, his colleagues thought him as a criminal rather than a new cop; how his superiors never supported him just because he was black. He had every reason to give up, but rather he was adamant enough and believed that he needed to reach the top tier in order to gain respect as a person. After years of struggle, he achieved the position of a commanding officer, and lucky enough to get juniors who respected him for his position and work.

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On the other hand, the second Black character Sergent Terry Jeffords got a whole episode to himself, and mainly to the topic of racism (Episode: Moo Moo). Terry, when his kids lost their stuff toy while coming back from school, went out to find out the same, only when he was stopped by a white cop in his neighborhood, who suspected him to be a criminal roaming around to rob houses. Even though he repeatedly said that he lived in the same block, he was still arrested, but only released when he told him he was a cop. He sought help from the captain, expressing his fear and anger, not only for him but for his daughters, showing concerns about how they are going to escape such internalized, systematic racism.

In the immediate next scene, we are shown that Amy and Jake, while baby-sitting Terry’s daughters, was asked about racism. The scene is particularly very painful as kids who are full of innocence were so much woke about the fact that their father got into trouble just because of his skin color, and fearing that they are going to face the same when they grow up. Captain Holt, even though initially refused to complain against the cop, helped Terry with filing a legal complaint, since he realized as a junior he never got any moral support and now it will be immortal and unethical to not support his juniors when in need. Such a true leader.

With everything that’s happening in America, this scene is more poignant than ever. from brooklynninenine

Apart from racism, Brooklyn Nine-Nine also raised concerns about issues like homophobia, sexual assault, gender discrimination, loyalty, sexuality, passion, workplace bonding, and togetherness. When the creators showed good cops, they also portrayed bad cops like Vulture and Deputy Chief Wuntch, who only fulfill their own purposes and move away from the “serve and protect” notion. Even though the world has progressed a lot with the position of women, and yet workplace harassment is still prevalent (episode: He said, she said). On the other hand, Amy, the only girl in the family of seven brothers, had to constantly prove herself to be superior to her siblings in order to acquire respect in the eyes of her mother. Jake, as a child, had a disruptive family and a “bad” father, which shattered his entire childhood and raised “daddy issues” in him. The relationship between Holt and Jake proved you don’t need to be blood-related to someone to receive love from each other. Holt rebuking Jake whenever he did something wrong, and teaching him the complexities of life and guiding him minutely, which made him a true “Captain Dad”. Such heartwarming moments filled the father-son relationship gap in Jake’s life. In return, Jake protecting Holt’s dignity and didn’t take him a minute to throw his favorite author out of the window upon one homophobic comment about his leader.

Charles Boyle, Jake’s best friend, has his own problems like that with his ex-wife, repeated failed relationships, physically weak, but a person who idolized his friend, true to passion, and a supportive, caring friend in the group. Everyone deserves a pal like him. Rosa, with harsh teen years, is that badass co-worker who appears to be stone-cold, but rather a person who expertised the art of suppressing emotions over the years. Even though she appears to be less emphatic, yet she has the most justifiable feelings as a human being.

Last, but definitely not the least, Gina, who might seem a bully, but her banters and rantings are cherry on top for the show. A girl who manages her work, as well as her passion and studies, and later on becoming a single mother, is someone one can look up to.

Preach what you say, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine has proved it. Recently, the whole team donated $100,000 to The National Bail Fund Network, in solidarity with the protestors. Playing the role of cops as well as being a mere citizen of the country, they understood the grave situation and their responsibilities as influencers.

For knowing about the background scenes of the cast and crew members, follow their podcast Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Podcast available on Spotify.


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