“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” ended its first season with Jake Peralta being sent on an undercover assignment, just like his NYPD heroes — although the timing was kind of inconvenient, since he also finally admitted he has feelings for fellow detective Amy Santiago.
The opening of Season 2 will continue both of those stories, co-creator Dan Goor says. He and fellow creator Mike Schur are continuing a tradition from their previous show, “Parks and Recreation” (and for Schur, “The Office” as well) of upsetting the status quo at the end of a season.
“[‘Office’ and ‘Parks and Rec’ EP] Greg Daniels always had a philosophy that you should write into the best, most complicated and difficult cliffhanger that you can, because it will be the most appealing,” Goor tells Zap2it on a visit to the “Nine-Nine” set. “Then you have a whole offseason to figure out how to get yourself out of it. So definitely when we finished, I was like, ‘What the hell are we gonna do now?’ Hopefully we figured out something — I think it’s great, and I hope people will like it.”
Season 2 will move forward a little in time, so Jake (Andy Samberg) is in the midst of his undercover work, while Amy (Melissa Fumero) and the rest of the Nine-Nine squad are working as usual. Schur jokes the show is going “super-dark” with Jake’s undercover scenes: “We’re going to make ‘Law & Order: SVU’ look like a cartoon,” he says.
More seriously, Schur says that because the characters on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are cops and dealing with sometimes serious crimes, the writers often talk about how to keep the comedy front and center.
“You’re never going to see a giant puddle of blood, unless it’s so comedically huge that it comes all the way around and becomes funny again,” he says. “I would say the same is true with the undercover assignment — we were discussing how much of it to see, how little to see … and it was like, this has to be funny. This is a half-hour comedy show. We’re literally on between two cartoons [‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy,’ starting in the fall]. We’re not going to suddenly present people with something that’s horrifying and dark and bleak. That’s the guiding principle of the show every episode.”
Jake will eventually make his way back to his regular job — “We’re cognizant of the fact that the show is Jake and the squad,” Goor says — and his budding romance with Amy will also be addressed early in the season. Goor and Schur don’t, however, see the relationship overwhelming the rest of the show.
“I think our attitude about it is simply, ‘Let’s see where this takes us’ instead of ‘Let’s run the Jim/Pam playbook,’ or let’s run whatever playbook. We wanted it to be …”
“Sam and Diane!” Sandberg interjects. “Sorry — that was very late.”
“It’s natural given their personality types and the fact their desks face each other that there might be some kind of romantic intrigue at some point,” Schur continues. “We operate from that place instead of like, we have this big master plan. As stories suggest themselves, we follow those stories. We wouldn’t have done the cliffhanger 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 we follow.”
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” premieres its second season at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT Sunday, Sept. 28 on FOX.