Brooklyn Nine-nine (2013-present) is a classic intelligent sitcom that not enough people are talking about. If you have not seen this show, it is set at the 99th police precinct in Brooklyn, New York. The show follows the detectives of the 99th NYPD precinct. Although the show is primarily comedic, it touches on important and relevant social issues in a serious tone. The show has covered racial profiling, racism, homophobia, sexism, sexual harassment, mental illness, and many more important issues that need to be talked about if there is going to be any positive change for our future society.
The show has many ways of talking about social issues and important topics through humor and the different story lines that can take place at a police precinct. I will do a brief recaps of the show’s episodes that had a major social issue embedded into the story line and the identity of the relatable characters of the show.
Season 4, Episode 16: Moo Moo
TW: Racism, Racial Profiling
Sergeant Terrance Jeffords (Sarge) played by Terry Crews is stopped for walking in his own neighborhood by a racist white cop. Sarge tries and tries to explain to the racist white cop that he is in fact a detective for the NYPD–however, the cop did not listen and cuffed Sarge and put him in the back of the squad car. When the racist officer finally listened to Sarge’s claims that he is a detective for the NYPD, he let him go. Sarge talks to his Captain and his coworkers about this issue and not surprisingly, they all have his back. This episode is an eye-opener to the current racial issues happening in America. Episodes like this help spread awareness about how it affects people, why it is wrong and what we need to do to help minorities.
Season 5, Episode 9: 99
The shows 99th episode seems more important than the hundredth episode given the name of the show and the precincts go-to saying is to yell “Nine-Nine,” when they do something as a team. Detective Rosa Diaz comes out as bisexual to Detective Charles Boyle after he berated her about who her new lover is. This episode shows the audience how to respond to a friend or coworker who comes out as being a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Season 5, Episode 10: Game Night
The shows 100th episode goes even further into Detective Rosa Diaz’s story about how she knew she was bisexual, what she is going through with her homophobic and strictly religious parents, how she is processing her emotions and how her friend, Detective Jake Peralta, is being there for her. It is an extremely emotional episode in relatable and heartfelt ways. The episode also covers the wrong ways to react to a loved one that has just come out. Scenes like that are also important so everyone knows how to best support someone they love.
Season 6, Episode 8: He Said, She Said
TW: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault
This episode covers a sexual assault and harassment in a white collar workplace that is reported to the precinct. The episode clearly lays out the politics in the workplace along with the power dynamics which usually place the men at top. So many lessons are learned in this episode that it should receive some type of award. No sitcom could have covered a serious topic like sexual abuse in such an emotional, honest way–with the added comic relief. This episode is perfectly written and directed, and the acting is suburb.
Season 6, Episode 11: The Therapist
TW: Mental Illness, PTSD
Therapists can be scary and creepy as Detective Jake Peralta so clearly mentions many times in this episode. However, he comes to the conclusion that talk therapy can be extremely useful. This is another important lesson about how the mental health stigma and stereotypes saying that therapy is for weak or crazy people is absolutely wrong. Seeing a professional for mental health is just as important as seeing a professional for physical health. Take care of your mental health. These messages ring true in this episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been renewed for Season 7 and Season 6 is still airing new episodes every Thursday on NBC at 8:00PM. You can stream Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Hulu and NBC.