Friday, June 26, 2020

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and the tropes of policing

Although with Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" thematizes discrimination against homosexuals and African-Americans, it cannot escape the standard tropes of police shows and the problems of American policing. It begins with a standard conflict between the rule-oriented Captain and the unorthodox but effective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), who may get reined in by Holt, but his successes still outweigh his rule-breaking. Further, Peralta's  bet with his rival Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) to see who can make more arrests reflects how police departments are evaluated in terms of how many arrests they make. So even a show addressing discrimination reproduces the issues that lead to calls to defund the police. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 26 June)

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