First off: why “Grumpy Bird”? If you know me, you can probably guess. If not, then you should know I am guilty of not liking many things. Dark Knight Rises. Ruroni Kenshin: the movie. These are things I do not like. Recently when I gripe about such things my friend Edgar tells me to “stop being a Grumpy Cat.” Grumpy Cat already occupies a place on the internet. So, for now, I will give in to hate a review under the guise if Grumpy Bird. Like a super hero whose mutant power is disdain. This week I shall whine about:
I wanted to like this show, which has an IMDB rating of 7.6 out of 10, for a reason consisting of two words. Andre Braugher. If you don’t recognize that name, YouTube it and prepare for chills. I you do know the name, then isn’t Homicide awesome? Did you see Men of a Certain Age? You should. Andre Braugher is a master of the craft. I would watch 22 minutes of noise for one minute of sweet Andre Braugher goodness. That is pretty much the review of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Here is why it fails to entertain: (feel free to add “except for Andre Braugher after every reason.)
1) The characters are one-note and plastic. After eight episodes they have barely risen above one word descriptions. Arrogant. Zany.?Bitchy. The complex characters get a phrase. Fawning incompetent. Muscular coward. Driven-pretty. I realize those last two have physical descriptions but the show uses those as character traits. Which brings me to:
2) Attractive= good. Ugly= bad. Just be looking at the cast profiles you can spot with of the cops are competent. Young, attractive and stylish? Must be a good cop! Old and fat? Must not have any value other than being a punch line. The one physically in between, almost attractive (or at least non-repulsive) character is also in between capable. He’s a bootlicker but close to helpful. The recent guest star was also old and fat. Turns out he was also a schmuck. Coincidence? I’m betting not. I understand that pretty people is basically a major part of TV and movies, but does it have to be this blatant?
3) The comedy is not funny. This is obviously subjective (unlike every other point which is FACT!) what I mean is that all the jokes are punch lines with painfully obvious buildups. Nothing feels natural. Every line feels like a deliberate set up for the payoff line. There is nothing clever about it. Just like the Big Bang Theory. (Don’t like that either.)
4) The main character is annoying and meant to be the good one. I was reading about the making if the 80s sitcom Alf and learned that most of the actors hated it because they served as setup for the Alf puppet to get the good lines. This show is the same. Every character exists to feed Main Cop punchlines. It gets stale and dull very quickly.
5) It could be good. I don’t think anyone on the show is doing a bad job. The characters might be one-not and boring but I get the feeling the cast is just doing what they are told. Their archetypes could even work if they weren’t so static and ill-used. The serious cop drama is a great starting point for silly comedy. I keep hoping that the next episode will be the one that gels it all together. But, nope, it just keeps being the same heavy handed delivery with the same punchline. The lines change but the jokes are the same. Angry cop is angry. Let’s have someone say something that makes here angry! Comedy!
Those are my five reasons for why the show is not worth watching. And yet Andre Braugher. Someone give the man a better show. He deserves it.
Seriously watch the episode Three Men and Adena from season 1 of Homicide. Then watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Isn’t that a waste of talent?