Brooklyn 99 is one of the most beloved comedy sitcoms in the modern era of American television. With Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) at the centre of this universe, Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher), an eccentric commanding officer supervises his team of diverse quirky officers and office staff to solve rather uncommon crimes in the city of Brooklyn. Like other NBC television hits, Brooklyn 99 decided to continue with the single-camera setup giving it a more candid feel.
Another similarity is the classic cold opening sequence which is often unrelated to the rest of the episode, like in The Office. The comic use of cinematography with a deadly combination of cold humour sets the tone for this light-hearted wholesome comedy series.
Amongst the many reasons why it continues to be a popular show is because of its ability to emphasise the long pause. When the comic lead Andy Samberg had to choose his favourite cold open through the glorious eight seasons, he specifically mentioned Season 4, Episode 9, ‘The Overmining’. For this episode, we follow a classic discussion between the duo Peralta and Boyle. When Jake asked Boyle how his weekend was as he entered the office, Boyle responded mentioning that he had been sick.
As Jake empathises, Boyle mentions in a prideful manner that he was, in fact, down with a ‘big ol Dianne Wiest Infection’ which was of course followed by a rather cold and long pause. Almost as long as 10 seconds. The camera kept zooming in to emphasise the stone-cold expression of both Jake and Boyle. This is what we iconically call ‘painful to watch,’ of course in a good way. When Boyle finally breaks this awkwardly long pause with a sharp scream, ‘Like yeast!!’.
Samberg mentions how he could barely keep it together during the shoot and he could not contain himself even after. The beauty of such openers from a creator’s perspective is that it does not particularly need to be an onset of the plot. It is rather a playground for the auteurs to show the quirkier sides of the characters.
Definitely, as a devoted fan of the show, I will highly recommend you to watch it if you have not already. It is the perfect example of a light-hearted series. The show does not need an active viewership to be able to enjoy it. This makes it just the perfect uplifter during busy days. Check out the opener for Samberg’s favourite opener here!