On the BROOKLYN NINE-NINE Season 2 Set with Andy Samberg
By Joseph McCabe on July 21, 2014
We recently took a trip through the mean streets of Brooklyn to the Ninety-Ninth precinct, or, perhaps more accurately, the palm-tree-lined boulevards of North Hollywood to the set of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Creators Dan Goor and Michael Schur were on hand to greet us along with the cast of their hit Universal sitcom, including Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller, and the recently Emmy-nominated Andre Braugher. The creators and Samberg gave us a few hints about what awaits the funniest cops on TV when they embark on their second season on September 28th. Check out what they had to say, as well as our photos from the show’s set, below.
On whether the show has changed after its first season like Schur’s Parks and Recreation…
Michael Schur: On Parks & Rec, the first season was only six episodes, and on this show, we had the benefit of doing a full twenty-two episode season. In large part due to the cast, this show found its footing very quickly. Dan and I, the burden was on us to do our own work to solve the issues of how to properly plot the show and properly write it and everything. But the cast was so strong, and the setting. One of the reasons we wanted to do a show set in a police precinct is because the way that you tell stories is extremely clear because these are good guys and they are chasing bad guys. That helped us a lot in the early going of how to break stories. And, again, we had the benefit of doing a full season. So we had more chances to get it right in Year 1.
On what might happen in the season’s early episodes…
Dan Goor: As you know, we set up a little bit of a cliffhanger at the end of last season, where Jake goes undercover after having professed his feelings towards Amy. And we had Charles and Gina end up in bed together. I will say that those facts play in the early part of the season, but I hesitate to give up anything that would be a cliffhanger. There is a time jump… Into the year 2345, a terrible era. Everyone has gills.
On continuing the romance between Jake and Amy without letting it dominate the show…
MS: Every time there’s any kind of romance on TV nowadays, people ask you what playbook you are running. Our attitude about it was simply “Let’s see where this takes us,” instead of, “Let’s run the Jim-Pam playbook.” It’s a natural, given their personality types and the fact that their desks face each other, that there might be some kind of romantic intrigue at some point. We operate from that place instead of this big master plan. We wouldn’t have done the cliffhanger that we did at the end of Season 1 if we had no intention of following that story into Season 2 and perhaps beyond. But it’s not going to be the main focus of the show. It’s going to be one of the elements of the show that we are following as the year goes on.
On whether Jake is growing up too fast…
Andy Samberg: [On] all my favorite shows, comedy or otherwise, you do watch your characters grow. Part of the joy of performing it last season was that Jake does mature slightly and does grow up a little due to circumstance. But, at the core, he’s just a silly person and has that sort of zest for the job and for his life and sort of screwing around with the people that he’s near. So even if he does mature, I don’t see it as a direct conflict with the tone of what hopefully is making him funny.
On whether Jake’s undercover work will find the show taking a dark turn…
MS: We are going super dark.
DG: Jake will kill with his bare hands.
MS: It’s going to make Law & Order SVU look like a cartoon. It’s super bleak. We end every day by just getting together and hugging each other and crying, “What are we doing?”
AS: Yeah. It’s more funny in its premise than its execution.
DG: The second episode is just called “Tears.” That’s how we feel the audience will be afterwards.
On promoting Joel McKinnon Miller and Dirk Blocker to series regulars in Season 2…
DG: It’s less likely that they will die in a murder suicide.
AS: The funny kind?
DG: They are two incredibly funny actors, and they are some of the most fun people to write for ever on any show. Our writers’ room loves writing for them, and we want to put them in as many stories as possible and give them as many stories as possible. I recommend that everyone buy the DVDs of the season when it comes out and watch what they are doing in every scene that they have lines. There’s a whole opera that has been developed about Skully’s feet, and if you watch in the background over the course of several episodes, he is darning his socks. His feet have been injured. Just put it on mute – that’s the best way to watch the show – and just watch them.