(This post contains spoilers from the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Season 6 premiere.)
How many times does a collective Twitter freakout lead to something positive? Not often, obviously, but it resulted in a small TV miracle last spring. Moments after Fox canceled its comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” the show became the No. 1 Twitter trending topic in the world. Celebrities tweeted their displeasure with the decision, from Lin-Manuel Miranda (“RENEW BROOKLYN NINE NINE”) to Mark Hamill (“NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!”).
A mere 24 hours later, after producers were reportedly bombarded with calls from networks who saw the fan uprising, NBC executives made the announcement: They would pick up the show for a sixth season. (This also made financial sense, because the show is produced by Universal Television, which shares a parent company with NBC.) Twitter rejoiced, as one of the nicest shows on television had been saved.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” while critically beloved, didn’t get very high ratings on Fox; its creators say it’s one of the most-watched shows on Hulu. So as we wait to see if the move to NBC — and the drama surrounding its near-demise — causes a spike in live TV viewers, we can confirm: The show, which returned Thursday night, is essentially the same. However, there are a few small (but key) differences since the network jump:
1) The characters can swear now (sort of).
Turns out that Fox is very strict about certain TV standards, but NBC is basically a free-for-all! Terry Crews, who plays Sergeant Terry Jeffords, said that Fox had “more restrictions.”
“We could not do any bleeping out, we could not do any fuzzy nudity. . . but NOW there’s lots of bleeping, lots of fuzzy nudity,” Crews told Buzzfeed’s “AM to DM,” and joked, “It’s like ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ after dark. If you ever had a hardcore movie version of ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ that’s what you’re going to see on NBC right now.”
That seems like a slight exaggeration, though the premiere did have one memorable bleeped-out line. (We can’t repeat it here, but let’s just say it had to do with a misunderstanding about what an abbreviation really meant.) However, it doesn’t sound like the new rules are going to drastically alter the show.
“It is edgy and jokes that are definitely not G-rated, but I am conscious of the fact that we have a strong family fan base,” executive producer Dan Goor said to Variety. “So we wouldn’t gratuitously change the characters.”
2) We get a glimpse of depressed Captain Holt.
Holt (Andre Braugher) has been through tough times, but when he found out he didn’t get the New York police commissioner job, he went off the deep end in a way viewers have never seen. Specifically, he flew to a resort in Mexico to drown his sorrows in margaritas and wear colorful T-shirts with slogans such as “What’s Up, Beaches?” and “DTF: Down to Fiesta.”
Unfortunately, it was the same resort that Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) were going on their honeymoon, because they all used the same discount code offered by Gina (Chelsea Peretti.) Holt swore he wouldn’t be a buzzkill, but he was so sad, he couldn’t help himself. “What is it about me that screams, ‘Loser’?" he wondered as he interrupted Jake and Amy’s couples massage. When he wound up by them in the pool on a raft, he said sadly, “I can’t even float right. Just push me away. Everyone else does.”
Jake and Amy gamely tried to include him in their activities, such as a class called “Sensual Food Tasting: The Art of Feeding Your Lover” and a trip to the spa, though they had different takes on the mud masks. Amy: “I love the way the mud revitalizes your skin.” Holt: “And I love how it masks my shame.”
Eventually, Holt realized that there was more to life than the NYPD, and decided to quit — until Jake and Amy brought him back from the edge, using some fairly creative methods.
3) Charles and Gina are no longer going to be brother and sister.
Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) loves reminding people that even though he and Gina once had a brief fling, they’re also brother and sister, because his dad later married her mom. It appears that special time has come to an end — Charles’s dad and Gina’s mom are getting a divorce. At first, Gina tried to tell Charles it wasn’t that big of a deal (“The average American marriage lasts fewer than two days”), yet Charles was still devastated. Turns out her mom was cheating on his dad, which should lead to some awkward story lines in the future.