Amid the global anti-police brutality protests sparked by Minnesota police officers killing George Floyd, TV shows centering around cops are starting to re-evaluate their priorities. One of those shows is the goodhearted NBC sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which we learned last month is trying to grapple with its place as a comedy show about cops by scrapping its season 8 scripts and starting from scratch. But even star Andy Samberg, who has played Detective Jake Peralta on the show for all seven seasons, admits that moving forward with Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be “a challenge.”
In an interview with People, Samberg revealed that the writers room for Brooklyn Nine-Nine is “rethinking” the direction that the beloved NBC sitcom will take in light of this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests.
“We’re taking a step back, and the writers are all rethinking how we’re going to move forward, as well as the cast. We’re all in touch and kind of discussing how you make a comedy show about police right now, and if we can find a way of doing that that we all feel morally okay about.”
“I know that we’ll figure it out, but it’s definitely a challenge, so we’ll see how it goes,” Samberg added.
Samberg’s comments echo that of his co-star Terry Crews, who late last month revealed that the Brooklyn Nine-Nine writers had scrapped their scripts for season 8 amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and conversations about police brutality to start fresh.
“We’ve had a lot of somber talks about it and deep conversations and we hope through this we’re going to make something that will be truly groundbreaking this year,” Crews said. “We have an opportunity and we plan to use it in the best way possible. Our show-runner Dan Goor, they had four episodes all ready to go and they just threw them in the trash. We have to start over. Right now we don’t know which direction it’s going to go in.”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has always been a piece of escapism, but the show has readily tackled heavier topics before, like active shootings and racial profiling. But the show’s glowing depiction of its goofy, goodhearted detectives is at odds with the rising real-life tensions against the NYPD, making one wonder how Brooklyn Nine-Nine will deal with current-day issues, and if it will do it well. At least the cast and crew seem to be approaching the topic seriously, on top of making a $100,000 donation to the National Bail Fund Network to support “the many people who are protesting police brutality.”
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