Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been cancelled, and fans are inconsolable
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, one of the most representative, LGBT-friendly, not to mention hilarious shows on TV, has been cancelled.
The show, which has brought us bad-ass bisexual officer Rosa Diaz and gay black police captain Ray Holt, was killed off before its time on Thursday, as Fox pulled the plug after just five seasons.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Hamill, Seth Meyers and the Backstreet Boys – yes, you read that right – all paid homage and joined countless fans in wailing their despair about the decision.
— backstreetboys (@backstreetboys) May 10, 2018
As perhaps the most inclusive show on TV, Brooklyn Nine-Nine took on biphobia, homophobia, toxic masculinity, transphobia, racism and taboos surrounding friendships of all kinds.
In December last year, Rosa came out as bi, feeding a desperate need for more bi representation on TV and meaning that in a nearly unprecedented move, a bisexual Latina woman was playing a bisexual Latina woman.
Stephanie Beatriz’s character may have waited until season five to come out, but it wasn’t a spontaneous decision – the plotline stayed completely true to Rosa’s guarded nature and was lauded by ecstatic LGBT fans.
The NYPD precinct was also graced by the presence of Captain Holt, whose historical struggles as a double minority showed him as both a hero and a victim at different times.
But, like every other character in the series, Holt was more than just his identities – he was a loyal, complex and endlessly stoic father figure to his team.
The happily married captain – who kept a rainbow flag on his desk throughout the series – was also hilarious, which is especially impressive considering that Andre Braugher had never previously played a comic character.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine also created healthy, respectful – and funny, always funny – couples like Jake and Amy and the Jeffords, as well as a host of strong platonic relationships.
Over and over again, these pairings took on issues and assumptions about gender which hinder real-life friendships.
Jake and Boyle showed that bros don’t have to be disgusting, testosterone-filled pools of toxic waste, while Amy and Rosa avoided all the tired, derogatory tropes associated with female friendships.
As with other programmes which have successfully pulled off an ensemble cast – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Friends come to mind – the characters became a family.
As Jake puts it in the very first season, he has a “super weird family with two black dads, and two Latina daughters, and two white sons, and… Gina. And I don’t know what you (Scully) are. Some strange giant baby? To the Nine-Nine!”
Thankfully, there may be a light at the end of the cold, dark tunnel we all find ourselves in today.
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While the prospect of an alternate network picking up a cancelled show used to mostly be a rumour created to give fans false hope, fan outrage has repeatedly succeeded in doing just that over recent years.
Community, Arrested Development and Veronica Mars have all benefited from fan-driven campaigns – and the outcry over Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s cancellation has reportedly sparked interest from TBS, Netflix, NBC and Hulu, which took on The Mindy Project after it was also killed off by Fox.
Even if these avenues of hope all turn out to be dead ends, it’s been a fantastic run.
We should count ourselves lucky to have lived through it, and keep pressing for more representation moving forwards.
All together now: Nine-Nine!