See the face newly-crowned Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg is pulling in this picture — full-on grimace, crazy eyes, neck vein that might pop at any second? It’s a mug that screams “mugging,” even without the benefit of motion or sound — and it’s also a nice encapsulation of why more than one friend has told me that they’ve decided Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn’t for them, even without laying eyes on a single episode. Their objections generally boil down to something like this: “I might be able to get into that show… if it didn’t star Andy Samberg.”
Tonight’s all-new episode of Brooklyn — the first to air since the star and his comedy won a pair of shiny statuettes at Sunday’s Globes — may not convince those naysayers to change their minds. Its A-plot, for the most part, revolves around Samberg’s Detective Jake Peralta acting as obnoxious as humanly possible: pledging to take his quasi-love interest Detective Amy Santiago on the “worst date ever” after she loses a bet to him, hiring a children’s choir to sing a song about how much Santiago sucks on said date, wearing the top half of a tuxedo with cargo shorts. Don’t get me wrong: All these things are pretty funny. But occasionally, Peralta’s behavior seems less irritating than downright cruel; in those moments, you can sort of see why Brooklyn and Samberg might leave a bad taste in some potential viewers’ mouths.
But as those who are already fans of the show know, it’s absolutely worth persevering through the times when Peralta’s antics go too far. Because even while the Globes might have been a little hasty in naming Brooklyn 2013’s best TV comedy — we’ve only seen half a season so far! Where’s the fire, Hollywood Foreign Press? — it is still the network season’s most promising new sitcom, give or take a Trophy Wife. (P.S. Why aren’t you watching Trophy Wife?)