Brooklyn Nine-Nine is ending. Here are 7 times the show broke new ground in LGBT+ representation
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is ending after eight seasons, and fans are heartbroken.
Kicking off in 2013, Brooklyn Nine-Nine went on quite the journey. It was abruptly cancelled by Fox after its fifth season, leading to an extraordinary fan-led campaign for the show to be rescued from the scrapheap.
Thankfully, NBC swooped in and saved the day, giving Brooklyn Nine-Nine three additional seasons – and giving the characters the ending they deserve.
Fans won’t get to see that ending for some time. NBC has confirmed that season eight of Brooklyn Nine-Nine won’t air until 2022, and that its final outing will be reduced to 10 episodes.
Creator Dan Goor confirmed the news on Instagram on Thursday (11 February).
“I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with this amazing cast and crew for eight seasons. They are not only among the most talented people in the business, they are all good human beings who have become a family,” he wrote.
“But most of all, I feel lucky that we have had the best fans in the world. Fans who literally saved us from cancellation. Fans who fill us with joy. Ending the show was a difficult decision, but ultimately, we felt it was the best way to honour the characters, the story and our viewers.
“I know some people will be disappointed it’s ending so soon, but honesty, I’m grateful it lasted this long. Title of my sex tape.”
As Brooklyn Nine-Nine reaches its conclusion, we remember seven times the show broke new ground for LGBT+ representation.
1. Fan favourite Rosa Diaz embraced her bisexuality – and it was a moment for the ages.
Rosa Diaz, played by bisexual actress Stephanie Beatriz, came out as bisexual in the tenth episode of season five – and fans were overjoyed.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine won praise from LGBT+ viewers for naming and exploring Rosa’s bisexuality while other shows have tiptoed around it (yes, we’re talking about The Good Wife).
What made Rosa’s coming out even better is that Diaz is also bisexual in real life, and showrunner Dan Goor revealed that she was closely involved in discussions about how her character would open up.
Throughout the show’s run, Rosa has had male and female love interests – and she has brought some major bisexual energy to the role.
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine subverted expectations with its gay Black police chief.
Raymond Holt, captain of the 99th precinct, is an openly gay Black man who has a Pride flag in his office and has a husband called Kevin.
Played by Andre Braugher, Holt subverts stereotypes about gay people constantly throughout the show’s run – and it has been truly glorious to watch.
The best part, though, is that Brooklyn Nine-Nine never felt like it was making fun of Holt’s sexuality. Instead, it is just another part of who he is.
Several episodes of the show have also touched on the racist and homophobic discrimination Holt has faced as a cop, bringing some much-needed realism to the character’s arc.
3. The series goes beyond just allowing its queer characters to come out – it also gives them meaningful stories.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine also won praise for viewers when it gave Rosa a girlfriend, Jocelyn, showing that the show is genuinely committed to LGBT+ representation.
So often, LGBT+ representation begins and ends with the coming out process – a character tells others that they are queer, and writers think they’ve done their job.
But queer representation needs to be about so much more than just coming out – television shows also have a duty to show their characters living full lives.
LGBT+ fans of Brooklyn Nine-Nine were overjoyed when Jocelyn was introduced in season six, with the happy couple even sharing a kiss on screen – something that is still so often missing from depictions of queerness on screen.
4. Its casual portrayal of a married gay couple is a joy to behold.
Captain Holt and his husband Kevin (Marc Evan Jackson) live a life of marital bliss – and it is truly joyous to see.
Most LGBT+ characters on television still tend to be young, with many of them exploring their sexuality and different relationships. So the depiction of Captain Holt and Kevin, a married middle-aged couple, is something to behold.
Perhaps one of the best things about their relationship is that they just get to be a regular married couple who love each other and enjoy spending time together.
5. A flashback scene of Captain Holt’s wedding made an important point about marriage equality.
In season two, episode 17, fans were given a flashback scene of Captain Holt’s wedding to Kevin.
The couple didn’t have a big, romantic wedding – that wouldn’t be their style, anyway – but they did rush through proceedings in fear that marriage equality would be struck down again.
In the episode, Holt tells Terry: “When gay marriage was legalised, we weren’t sure if or when it was going to be struck down, so speed was of the essence.”
The scene is hilarious, but also touches on the personal stress queer people often face in winning rights like marriage equality. Progress inevitably comes with the fear that hard won rights could be rolled back at a later date.
Captain Holt’s wedding expertly deconstructs those fears.
6. Rosa’s coming out didn’t exactly go to plan – and sadly, her experience is true to real life.
Rosa’s colleagues at the 99th precinct all accept her unconditionally when she comes out as bisexual – but things don’t go so well with her parents.
At first, they insist that her bisexuality is just a “phase”. Her father quickly comes around, but her mother struggles to come to terms with her sexuality.
It is a heartbreaking moment for Rosa, and it would have been easy for Brooklyn Nine-Nine to give her a perfect, smooth coming out story.
But sadly, some people continue to face pushback from loved ones when they come out, and while the majority of stories are happy ones, those difficult reactions need to be represented too.
7. Jake Peralta adopts Captain Holt and Kevin as his ‘gay dads’, and it is adorable.
Many queer men have faced homophobia from straight men, so the fatherly relationship between Jake Peralta and Captain Holt is a breath of fresh air.
Throughout the show’s run, Jake comes to see Holt and his husband Kevin as father figures – a relationship that is made all the more heartwarming by his difficult relationship with his own father.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine broke new ground by allowing its gay characters to have heartfelt relationships with straight men, while also firmly rejecting homophobic undertones.