Friday, September 7, 2018

Emmy Episodes: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the third year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 5, Episode 14 “The Box” (A-)

I don’t know why I couldn’t get into this show when it first started. I enjoyed watching it the three times that Andre Braugher was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and this is my first episode in two years since he fell off the list after that. Fortunately, Sterling K. Brown, who won an Emmy for “This Is Us” last year and contends again this year, is up for Best Guest Actor for portraying murder suspect Philip Davidson. This is probably the hardest – and most consistently – that I’ve laughed watching an episode of any show in a long time. I love the way that Andy Samberg and Braugher interact as Jake and Ray, and this episode provided a fantastic setup for them to go at their suspect together. His swift decision to cancel his opera night so that he could make Philip sing led to an entertaining series of missteps, the highlights of which were Jake trying to find a way to have “You can’t handle the tooth” come up naturally and Ray trying to bait Philip by saying dentists shouldn’t be called doctors only to have the tables turned on him when he had to defend those with PHDs as doctorates. Philip bringing up the fact that Jake had to be the dumb cop in the smart cop, dumb cop routine was a good moment for him, before Jake got him good by understanding exactly what he needed to feel which would lower his defenses enough to trap him. While Brown is clearly having fun here, I think I’d give Samberg and Braugher more credit for making this episode hilarious. I’d be fine with him winning, though I have to finish watching all the nominees in this category first.

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