Comedy is a tricky genre to pin down for what makes a good show and what doesn’t. There are people out there who don’t like Parks and Recreation (crazy, right?) and there are others who have stayed with Two and Half Men for however many seasons that show got. This week’s Yesflix/Noflix takes a look at a couple of the comedies on Netflix that keep you laughing, and the others that don’t quite make the cut.
YesFlix – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
You’ve probably seen that jarring yellow thumbnail on your scrolling sessions on Netflix and, if you’re like me, you skipped over it countless times. Clicking on it just because I recognized Andy Samberg and Terry Crews lead to discovering one of the funniest running sitcoms on TV.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show currently airing in the states and has just finished premiering season 2. It follows the lives of police officers, detectives and desk workers in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct, with plenty of hilarious and familiar faces such as Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, Joe Lo Truglio and Terry Crews.
The show has a plethora of instantly likeable features aside from its exceptional comedic tone. The cast is extensive and diverse, every character being a pole apart from one another; from the dry, dead-pan Captain Holt (André Braugher) to the bubbly perfectionist Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). There’s a strong variety and its played out well in the writing, with no two characters being confused for one another; each is strong, unique, and is built upon rigorously throughout the show. A+ characters? Check.
After accidentally binging the first season, I realised the show is not unlike Scrubs. It takes the tried and tested formula of a cop show and flips it around to try and find the fun and comedy inside, and it does this surprisingly well! You’re definitely in for a few of the old tropes, like good cop bad cop interrogations; the suspect that keeps getting away and office romances. But Brooklyn Nine-Nine delivers them with a fresh execution and perspective, which I loved.
The act of taking a cop show formula and bending it to a comedy is done with ease by the amazing cast. It’s not only a real joy to see their comedic spirits fly onscreen, but also to watch them tackle the dramatics and tensions that are woven into the show seamlessly. A certain arc early on where Crews’ character refuses to go on field duty certainly breaks the mould of what character we expect to see him play.
A feat the show achieved early on in is how effortlessly the tone shifts from the mildly morose back to jaw-stretching laughter. This is a testament to the unique take on the procedural cop show formula, and you’ll catch onto it pretty fast if you give it the grace of three or four episodes. And at twenty five minutes an episode, you’re not wasting too much of your time if it’s not for you!
Think Scrubs, but in a police station, with amazing representation and wonderfully diverse characters, on top of an incredible ensemble of Saturday Night Live veterans and comedy masters.
If you’re stuck for something to watch but don’t want the pain of working through 9 seasons of something else (I love The U.S Office but, oh wow, that’s a lot of episodes) then this is the show for you!
It’s got one hell of an opening too!
Fans of Community, Scrubs and Parks and Recreation will LOVE this!
NoFlix – Blue Mountain State
Only ten minutes into the first episode and I almost lost count of the exploited ancient tropes and dude-bro jokes. That’s all Blue Mountain State is. A comedy set in a college, that plays up the fratboy party aspect with all the lingering skirt shots and stereotyping you can picture. If you took Two and a Half Man and set the characters back twenty years, it’d be Blue Mountain State. And with a little bit of Entourage thrown in for good measure. Say what you will about Chuck Lorre’s shows, but they’ve got timing and interesting settings. Blue Mountain State feels dry and it’ll leave you with the lingering sense that you’ve seen it before.
Shows like Blue Mountain State are a dime a dozen, where the jokes seem like they’re written and targeted at fifteen-year olds, and the women are only there for the men to sleep with and leer at. It’s been done before and done a whole lot better than this.
With punchlines based on mild homophobia and misogyny, it’s not the best crack at comedy despite being something that’s aiming for the lowest common denominator.
If the thought of an Entourage take on college life, with the comedic styling of Two and a Half Men piques your interest, then give Blue Mountain State a watch. However, it wore on me exceptionally quickly and I forced myself through four painful episodes to make sure you shouldn’t.
If you get to the part where three of the main characters go through a hazing involving keeping Oreos where the sun don’t shine, running a football field and eating said Oreos, do yourself a favour and give the next few episodes a skip, along with the show.
Instead, throw yourself into a show thats a lot more innocent in its light-heartedness and genuine with its characters and comedy…. Like Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
Fans of MASH, How I Met Your Mother and The Mighty Ducks will HATE this!