George Floyd’s death following an altercation with Minneapolis police changed Hollywood like it did the culture at large.
Suddenly, depicting heroic cops in any capacity became “problematic” to the woke elites – from Hollywood denizens to the reporters covering the industry. Long-running shows like “Live PD” and “Cops” got their pinks slips within a matter of weeks.
Even “Paw Patrol” got ensnared in the latest culture war.
The woke wave forced the cop comedy “Brooklyn Nine Nine” to scrap scripts for its eight and final season. The show’s creative team feared anything deemed pro-police could be cause for cultural cancellation.
The NBC sitcom, which returned Aug. 12, follows an eccentric band of police officers, none of whom spend their days systemically abusing people of color. No matter, the show had to change its tone, and fast, given the Left’s stranglehold on pop culture.
Now, we’re seeing the fruits of that pressure.
The new tease for the final episodes avoids any woke renovations. It’s all nostalgia and yuks, letting audiences savor the show’s cast heading into its final hurrah.
Woke storytelling typically gets shoved under the rug by the marketing team.
Still, early reviews for Season Eight suggest the show’s writing team swallowed the Black Lives Matter mantra whole regarding police enforcement. Here’s the far-Left Rolling Stone both praising its woke makeover and suggesting nothing can save a show in which we’re asked to root for law enforcement.
The premiere involves Jake and Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) looking into a situation where a black woman was beat up by NYPD officers, who appear to have stopped her without any probable cause. As they investigate her case, they find not only systemic rot within the department, but a surrounding community of civilians who look on guys like Jake with suspicion and contempt.
The show refuses to throw its iconic characters under the bus, like Andy Samberg’s kind-hearted cop.
There’s a running gag in that first episode about how Jake keeps insisting he’s “one of the good ones,” then acknowledging how false that sounds, yet Nine-Nine still treats him and the other regulars (well, maybe not Hitchcock and Scully) that way.
The final season introduces a bad cop named O’Sullivan (John C. McGinley) yet even that isn’t enough for Rolling Stone.
… leaning so heavily on O’Sullivan allows the show to largely sidestep the question of whether there is something fundamental to the nature of police work that keeps attracting so many Derek Chauvin types.
One wonders what kind of cop comedy this critic would cheer, and would there be a single laugh line left between the lectures?
Here’s guessing we won’t see one ripped from the headlines cop theme this season. The rise of Defund the Police directly led to more crime across the nation. Those victims won’t be watching “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” nor will any critic connect the dots between extreme anti-cop rhetoric and the realities on the ground.
That’s hardly fodder for humor, of course, but neither is demonizing cops or the characters audiences have grown to love over seven seasons.
The far-Left Vanity Fair still dreams of a Defund the Police-style finale.
It was fun to imagine season eight kicking off with the entire squad resigning in protest or shame, becoming social workers instead.
Yes, that would be a riot, as would the massive spike in crime that would leave the fictional citizens of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” helpless.
Vanity Fair cheers one blast of woke propaganda, given life by veteran comedy actor Joe Lo Truglio. His character, Boyle, “goes over the top in his anti-racist self-education and showy allyship.” That sound you hear is thousands of former “Nine-Nine” fans seeing what else is on at the moment.
The magazine still is troubled by the show’s existence, no matter how much the woke lobby bullied it this year.
The premiere recognizes that it’s hollow to gesture toward the idea of any cop being one of the “good ones,” when a given cop can only be as “good” as an intrinsically racist institution will permit. Yet that’s exactly how we’re supposed to think of Brooklyn’s characters, even in a post–George Floyd world.
It’s easy to snark about NBC bowing to the BLM narrative. What choice did the network have? Corporations crumble to woke demands across the board. An eighth season that carried on as if Floyd were still alive would be pounded by journalists, progressive activists and Big Tech alike.
None of the cast members would stand up for their own art.
What the show’s devolution reveals, though, is another opportunity for free-thinking artists to tell cop stories in more vibrant ways. Imagine a series or film capturing the complexities of police life without pre-packaged narratives that must be followed.
Good luck getting that show on NBC, or any other mainstream platform, though.