Feminism in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Can we just talk about how fantastically feminist Brooklyn Nine-Nine is? I can’t believe how consistent they are with it. I didn’t even realize how great they were with it until the start of season 2. The moment that stood out to me was in Chocolate Milk when the suspect mentions how he was watching women doing hot yoga from the window. I just kind of prepared myself for inevitable creepy jokes amongst the group of three men, the kind of jokes that are always present on sitcoms and that I have come to accept as the norm, even from my favorite shows. But instead, I was wonderfully surprised to see Jake obviously creeped out by the guy’s comment and likening it to as bad as the crime they were questioning the suspect about. For a comedy to be this great when it comes to feminist representation is really amazing. After re-watching the show a lot more I don’t know why I was so surprised. All the characters, Jake especially, do a great job of being feminists throughout. Whether it be the positive female friendships, Charles’ apology for continually asking Rosa out when she wasn’t interested, Jake letting Amy be with who she wants even though he likes her, or any of the other dozens of examples. Sorry this was so long, I just really love this show’s positivity. The cast and crew are so great at changing up comedy and proving a show can be funny/successful without resorting to cheap and offensive stereotypes. Thanks to the great actors and the wonderful minds behind the show, Mike Schur & Dan Goor (the same geniuses who brought us the positivity of Parks and Rec and the female, feminist idol that is Leslie Knope).


Ronan: Do you want to know how I actually hurt my wrist?
Henry: Yes.
Ronan: I was hula hooping. I attend a class for fitness and for fun.
Henry: Oh, my God.
Ronan: I’ve mastered all the moves.
The pizza toss, the tornado, the scorpion, the oopsie-doodle.
Henry: Why are you telling me this?
Ronan: Because no one will ever believe you.
Henry: You sick son of a bitch.

tv shows that I 11/10 recommend (that aren’t as big as they should be);

By aren’t as big as they should be I mean no one I know watches them

- SKAM (Norwegian show about high school - season 3 is bae af)

- Lucifer (show about the devil on vacay in LA- about my smol devil child who’s an all-deserving bean - bonus- mentions how Trump is going to hell and other quirks like so)

- How To Get Away With Murder (a show that rips your fucking hearts out don’t even bother with it)

- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (show about just some babies getting together acting like police no joke they’re precious)

- Yuuri!!! On Ice (a show about my precious child meeting his idol coughandhasasupercreepyobsessionnahjustkiddingseriouslythohegotthesamedogcough and being super in love together while ice-skating)

- The Magicians (super underrated but about dramatic people who all have sex with each other at some point and there’s some other-worldy magical world blah blah blah)


-The Get Down (PLeasee just watch this awe-inspiring show based in the Bronx 1977 about diversity and so full of goodness and pureness and music and drama and love where you learn the only way to impress the love of your life your crush is by showing them your pigeons) no seriously please just fucking watch this magnificent thing

-Eyewitness (I mean if you don’t want to be killed on a weekly basis don’t watch this but otherwise yh great show definitely recommend)

I know people always say this, but wow. Brooklyn Nine Nine is such a good show.

Because Gina is allowed to be not just a bizarre, funny character, but also a financially and otherwise competent, forward-thinking woman. Because she is genuinely unconventional and genuinely smart at the same time–media doesn’t often let women be either, and certainly not both. Because she’s responsible without being traditional or generic or “uninteresting.” Because she grew up in the same circumstances as Jake and worked through some shit and she’s grown to be much better at the adult thing than Jake. Which is, actually, really awesome.

Gina is, again, not the kind of character one might associate with being responsible–she’s no Amy. And that’s good. It means the female characters on B99 are different from one another, but that they aren’t stuck inside shallow stereotypes.

Jake gets upset because Gina turned out to be better at being a responsible adult than him. There’s nothing wrong with that, though, because it makes perfect sense. Jake never expected Gina to “beat” him at life skills. He underestimated her, and it caught him off guard. That in itself is really wonderful to see for female characters: experiencing the realistic sort of everyday sexism that is pervasive in our culture. It’s also a realistic reaction for Jake, because when your childhood friends end up doing better than you, it’s a horrible feeling.

And you know what? Gina’s still right. She knows it and the audience knows it and Jake knows it–he apologizes to her. She’s allowed to have feelings despite being strange and over-the-top and generally a pretty comedic character. The narrative treats her, her feelings, and her relationship with Jake with respect and it’s all glorious and funny and it makes me super emotional.

Multi-dimensional female characters in a 24 minute comedy are rare–and Brooklyn Nine Nine has created three extremely likable women with diverse and equally interesting personalities in under one season.

It’s best summarized in Gina’s own words: “Yeah, so what? I’m ecclectic.” And yeah, she is, but so what? Does that mean she can’t be smart with her savings or have complex relationships or be a deep character? No, of course not, but many shows seem to think the opposite. B99 doesn’t fall into that category, though. This isn’t the first hint of Gina being a better developed character than she at first seems to be. Holt realizes her potential almost immediately; she’s shown to be incredibly perceptive; she’s clever and competent at her job when she cares enough to do it. Brooklyn Nine Nine’s doing female characters right–not just Gina, but Rosa and Amy as well. If you’re not watching, you should be.