Though the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” cast and crew are back to the grind, beginning production on the show’s second season, the team took some time out to talk about the show, its characters, and what fans can look forward to in season two. Executive producers David Miner, Mike Schur and Dan Goor joined the cast for a set-visit as part of the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour on Wednesday.
Boasting one of comedy’s largest ensembles, the Fox laffer follows Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and the rest of the team at New York’s 99th Precinct: Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), Sgt. Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews), Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio), Det. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker), Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller), Gina (Chelsea Peretti) and Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher).
When asked about his character’s childish nature and growth throughout the season, Samberg revealed that while “at the core [Jake] is just a silly person” with a “zest for the job and for his life,” he has enjoyed watching him grow and change.
His co-stars share his appreciation for their dynamic characters. Peretti and Fumero also noted that their characters’ arcs throughout the first season were a joy to play. “No one wants to be a one-note character,” Peretti said of how her character matured. “You want to have layers and be able to experience life as a human being does.”
“It’s a big testament to the writers and how damn good they are,” added Fumero. Her own character, Amy, went from being the uptight, straight-woman in the precinct to having more opportunities to deliver the laughs.
The show nabbed two Emmy nominations this season, including one for Braugher, for supporting actor. “Given a character and situations, there’s a lot of storytelling that can shine,” said Braugher. “So I have to, of course, congratulate our writers for cracking these stories.” He stars in the comedy as Captain Holt, who just so happens to be gay, though the writers stressed that his sexual orientation is not intended to be a comedic element.
“As opposed to sometimes on comedy shows where [being gay] becomes, sort of, the focal point of the comedy, we wanted it to be a characteristic of the person and his backstory as opposed to a focal point,” said Goor. “When we were developing the show we wanted the captain to have a strong drive for having a really great precinct, and we wanted the captain to have faced adversity and for that to be the reason that he had waited so long to get the captain seat or the command.”
History told the writers that being an out cop would have meant different things in different decades. In the ’80s an officer like Holt would have been encouraged to remain closeted, while later years would have turned him into a “poster child for being an out cop,” said Goor. “So, in a way, it’s maybe an alternate history, but it’s actually based on what we were told was an accurate reporting of what happens.”
The panel also previewed the upcoming season, confirming that the season will follow up from the finale’s cliffhangers. Audiences can expect to see the fallout from Jake admitting his feelings to Amy — “We wouldn’t have done the cliffhanger that we did if we had no intention of following that story into season two,” Schur assured — as well as his new undercover position with the FBI.
“That was the big debate in the writers’ room … how do you handle a subject like this?” Schur said of the dark connotation that goes along with undercover storylines. Though the debate isn’t unique to this particular thread; “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” writers have dealt with the question before — after all, the show’s pilot revolved around a murder. “You are never going to see a giant puddle of blood unless it’s so comedically huge that it actually goes all the way around and becomes funny again,” said Schur.
“This is a half‑hour comedy show. We are literally on between two cartoons,” he remarked. “You don’t want to suddenly present people with something that’s horrifying, dark, and bleak. So that’s the guiding principle of the show every episode.”
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” returns with all new episodes Sunday, Sept. 28 on Fox.