TV Club: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Payback”

For all of Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s successes as a modern sitcom, my biggest criticism of the show’s sophomore season over the past few episodes has been its habit of leaning too hard into its role as a sitcom (almost entirely bypassing the “modern” part of that description). “Too much of a sitcom” is the term that keeps coming up, even though that description doesn’t necessarily take away the show’s ability to be funny—it just makes more necessary to have to divide the show into two parts (the funny part and the storytelling part) come criticism time.

So having “Payback” be an episode that features the very late 1990s/early 2000s trope of the accidental message to the world at large—Joey Potter or even Felicity Porter, Jake Peralta is not—and, to a lesser extent, a rhyming bit that ends in toilet humor, it almost feels …

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