Social Observers

5 WAYS HOW BROOKLYN NINE-NINE IS INSPIRING CHANGE

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is my FAVOURITE show right now. After I found this series, I binge watched the first 2 seasons in 2 days, and have watched every episode multiple times since then. When I found a way to write an article about the popular sitcom, I was delighted. Ever since the show aired in 2013, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has addressed several issues that are prevalent within society in the hope of inspiring change.

 

Casting:

In an interview with BUILD as shown below, Stephanie Beatriz, who plays the terrifying, yet lovable Rosa Diaz, spoke about her experience in auditioning for the role she has made her own. After reading for the role of Amy Santiago, as well as Rosa (known as Megan at the time of the audition), Beatriz revealed how crestfallen she was after Melissa Fumero was cast in the former role. Although happy for Fumero, she believed that “there’s no way that a network is gonna cast two Latinas”. However, she was proven wrong as she was cast alongside Fumero, and we are ever so grateful for the decision to bring her aboard.

 

The obstacles of Captain Holt:

Same sex marriage has been legalised in several countries in recent years, including Australia and the United States. These changes to the law have been a reflection of changing social attitudes, that have been highlighted by several movies and T.V shows. Andre Braugher’s character, Captain Holt, has faced challenges throughout his entire professional career, not only for being African American, but also being homosexual. Despite the obstacles and discrimination he faced from fellow officer, Holt’s resolve never wavered, resulting in his rise to his position of Captain.

 

Gender Equality:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is blessed with several strong female characters that have made every episode even more enjoyable. From the professional, uptight nature of Amy Santiago to the informal, whimsical Gina Linetti, the female characters of the sitcom have shown that they are more than capable of anchoring their own segments and storylines. The show also highlights the issue of gender equality in other aspects of the show, noticeably in season 4, where Amy chastises her father and Jake regarding their squabble over who she can date. This lecture by Amy allowed Jake and her father to realise an unsolved case from years prior was committed by a woman, announcing that “we arrested a woman today because [they] are feminists”.

 

Gun Laws:

A common issue with society in the United States is the never-ending debate regarding the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Multiple suggestions have been raised by several sources, with Donald Trump even suggesting that arming teachers would be a solution for ending school shootings. In Season 4, Peralta and Holt attempt to purchase weapons, and bribe the owner of the gun store to not run a background check on them. After successfully bribing the owner, Peralta mutters “our country is broken”, highlighting the ease that people have in purchasing firearms within the United States.

 

Discrimination of African Americans by law enforcement:

Several incidents regarding African-Americans and the law enforcement in the United States have gained national attention, sparking several movements, such as ‘Black Lives Matter’. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has addressed this issue, with the Terry falling victim to the discrimination at the hands of another police officer from a neighbouring precinct. I watched this episode again, realising just how powerful and compelling the message was, very different from the regular comedic model the show adopts. The effects of this discrimination against Terry were noticeable, as he was torn between wishing to report the officer who racially targeted him, and navigating the political landscape of being a police officer. Ultimately, Captain Holt, who had previously suffered from discrimination because of who he is, submitted the complaint on behalf of Terry.

 

The comedic aspect of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a great aspect of this show, but its most important aspect is to highlight the social issues that are prevalent within society. By relating it to the lives of its viewers, it has placed itself in a great position to inspire sweeping social change throughout the world.

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