The complete New Year’s Eve Parade from the hard ticketed Disneyland Paris New Year Party 2017, featuring virtually every working Parade float in Disneyland Paris at the time, as well as a soundtrack featuring old favourite parade songs.
Paul “TVPaulD” Douglas and Tom “SteepInKline” Kline are back with another roundup of their thoughts on the Electronic Three…But this time, there’s Video. And it’s broadcasting LIVE. This manner of nonsense can only lead to trouble, and it’s all right here.
Nigel has a dead-on understanding of the nature of TV going forward. I have long been trying to make people realise that the traditional TV is the natural home of video content, and integrating content with the existing TV paradigm is the optimal experience. Hence my belief that Smart TVs are the only worthwhile innovation TV manufacturers have pushed since FullHD (except ultra narrow bezels, which are also fantastic).
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is Universal Television’s (By way of FOX) effort to fill the hole in the sitcom landscape where a cop show parody should be. It’s also the latest vehicle for Saturday Night Live‘s biggest recent success story, Andy Samberg – following the decidedly uneven Cuckoo. Alongside Samberg are Terry Crews (Apparently Will McAvoy’s bodyguard Lonny went off to become a cop, explaining his absence from The Newsroom Season 2) and relative newcomer Stephanie Beatriz.
Samberg plays an immature but gifted detective whose “dammit I get results” stylings come into conflict with the “by da book” new Captain’s way of doing things. Despite that seemingly clichéd premise, the show isn’t going for a straight parody of cop show tropes, and instead opts for a more subtle (Yes, subtlety in an Andy Samberg vehicle – if only Cuckoo knew such luxuries) deconstruction, more along the lines of Scrubs.
It’s unclear from the pilot if the show will be able to develop the same dramatic chops as Scrubs did with its cast of beloved characters over the years, but there are early signs of deeper thought at least, with Captain Holt given a decent backstory which earns him the sympathy (and, more importantly, the respect) of Samberg’s Jake Peralta.
But while the dramatic underpinnings of a sitcom can give it the prestige and enduring appeal to make it a long runner (The Simpsons, Friends, Scrubs, how i met your mother…), any sitcom which isn’t funny will sink like a rock (I’m looking at you, majority of the pilots from Amazon Studios’s first Pilot season). So is Brooklyn Nine-Nine a comedic dud destined to end its run in a graveyard slot and be forgotten about by next Christmas?
No, it’s actually pretty funny. Samberg’s smug performance actually manages to be charming because the show makes the wise choice to show us immediately that he’s actually good at what he does, and he is nevertheless more of a smartass than actually condescending. Meanwhile, the absurdity has been kept just about in check. There’s no lengthy fantasy sequences, and all of the hijinks the cast engage in are relatively grounded.
It’s all just stupid. And I don’t mean that as a knock. It’s the best kind of stupid. It’s the kind of dumb joking around you get into when you’re hanging around with friends or killing time in an office. Too often, this kind of dumb comedy doesn’t work out so well. Microsoft published a video game example recently in LocoCycle, which just feels like you’re watching someone else’s inside joke. And it’s never explained to you. So it never becomes funny.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine invites you to laugh at its characters with the rest of the cast by constantly ensuring there’s someone to laugh with. The cast takes turns playing straight man for each other as the situation demands; mocking or being mocked, laughing along or hiding their shame. It’s relatable because that’s how people are in real life.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is part of a movement in sitcom writing to reflect the kind of humour people experience day-to-day. Rather than placing absurd caricatures in front of you and inviting you to laugh mercilessly at their failures (Two And a Half Men), Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows the formula successfully deployed by how i met your mother of allowing its characters to know exactly how funny the things that are happening are. And it mines that area mercilessly for extra yucks as Samberg or another cast member manages to deliver that extra quip at the end of the scene that perfectly encapsulates the audience’s feelings.
Oh and by the way, I think you’re overdoing it on the man-scaping.
Possible Ratings, in Descending Order:
Hi there folks,
It’s once again the season of Christmas, a yearly custom of merriment and gift-giving whose true meaning is, as we all know, the birth of Santa. As is now tradition, whether some of you like it or not, I am sat here writing my annual Christmas letter (in lieu of sending Christmas cards because I feel I can waste far more of your time this way) on the train home. It’s not, like. Moving, but I am ON it.
Now those of you who’ve read one of these before know the drill, to those of you who are new I say…You’ll catch on quick. Those of you who make your own tradition of summarily ignoring this correspondence can return to your miserly ways and less amusing pastimes and continue being miserable sods. See, I can call them that, because they’re not actually reading this.
Because they suck.
But you, dear reader, you do not suck. You are someone who does the opposite of suck. Not, you understand ‘blow’, for that would be just as bad. Let’s go with ‘kick ass’ if for no other reason than the fact I have already typed that.
After last year, a corker [not really sure why I’m using that expression, having never knowingly done so before in my life] by any measure I expected the general theme of this year’s letter to be that of disappointment brought on by 2013 being rather akin to the band that had to go on second – after The Beatles.
Instead, as it happens, 2013 was a pretty damn good year. It was punctuated by incredible highlights for our entire country (My Graduation) and for me personally (Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, which also won me the first sporting bet I ever placed!).
Of course there were dark times too, such as Sebastian Vettel turning Formula 1 into a form of torture specifically designed to affect people who like something called ‘drama and excitement’ in sports – AKA, every sports fan in history.
Except baseball fans. Who apparently enjoy mind-numbing tedium. A trait they share with cricket fans, coincidentally.
Meanwhile, closer to home, I left mine to take up employment in London for Britain’s premier pay-TV provider, Sky (™, Believe in Better®), which has been a delight. Even if I still remain relatively dazzled by how big London is.
I mean, it’s really big. You may think it’s a long walk down the road to the chemist, but that’s peanuts to London. Listen…
Oh, I’m sorry, I appear to be plagiarising a beloved work of comedy science fiction. That…Does tend to happen some times with me. I blame the parents. Mainly because it’s my dad’s copy of the aforementioned beloved work of comedy science fiction I read.
At this point, those of you who are new to these letters have likely begun to cry out in despair that this is all a colossal waste of time. A glorious, preposterous, unjustifiable intrusion on your otherwise perfectly adequate free time.
To which I say….
I can’t actually HEAR you, you know. It’s just a letter I’m writing on the train (which, incidentally, is now moving and has been for at least six minutes – yes, it takes longer than five minutes to write this. I take real care with my trivial pointlessness).
If it makes you feel any better, one time when I was writing one of these it started to snow. I don’t see that happening this time, but hey maybe it’s started snowing where YOU are in the seven hours since you started reading this unconscionable wall of impenetrable prose. Run to the window and check.
Meanwhile, those of you who did NOT check, I can tell the sad reality: there’s very little chance it will be snowing when they check.
Ah, back are you? No snow? Shame.
Merry Christmas and all that…
(/son/brother/other relative/mortal enemy/some guy)