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Brooklyn Nine-Nine / New Girl - The Night Shift / Homecoming - Roundtable Review + POLL

Last season Sleepy Hollow and Bones had a crossover and tonight, FOX was at it again. This time the network took two of its comedies and smushed them together for a special crossover. In this roundtable review, fellow SpoilerTV team members Pablo, Marko, Laura and Nirat join me to share our thoughts about tonight’s episodes.

What was your initial reaction when the crossover was announced and how did it live up to your expectations?

Pablo: When the crossover was announced I was surprised, I didn’t think FOX would go for something like this and I was a bit skeptical if it could work or not. And overall, I wasn’t impressed with Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s half, but I was surprised by New Girl’s ability to capitalize on the crossover. Overall, it was better than I expected, but I think it could’ve been ever better, especially on the Brooklyn Nine-Nine half.

Mark: I was pretty “whatever” when it was first announced. I love both shows individually but it just felt so arbitrary and unnecessary. Now that I have actually seen it, it turned out better than I expected but that’s usually the case with low expectations. I wish they would have gone with a 1-hour long episode. I think it would have allowed for more character interactions from the different shows.

Marko: As I don’t watch B99 religiously my reaction wasn’t really big, but I was a bit sceptical how they fit the two shows to work together but keep the uniqueness of each. After watching the crossover I was pleasantly surprised how well Jessica felt in the B99 world.

Laura: I didn’t really know what to expect. As I don’t watch New Girl I at the very least thought this could be an incentive for me to put the show higher up on my watchlist. And it did that, somewhat. I liked what I saw.

Nirat: I was actually quite happy, it’s a far more sensible idea for a crossover than the Sleepy Hollow and Bones one. Plus, both comedies have great characters and my imagination went wild with the possibility of what their interactions could bring. Sadly, the interactions weren’t as crossover-y as I’d hoped for, it was more of certain characters guest starring in each other's respective comedy. Overall, both had enjoyable episodes.

Looking at “The Night Shift” as a regular Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode, what did you (dis)like about it?

Pablo: Well, I liked to see Jake and Captain Holt coming back to the 9-9, and how the night shift was altering everyone’s lives, I think they managed to explore both funny and poignant territory during the episode, with Rosa being the MVP of the night. The little crossover bit with New Girl was far too short and it felt more like a cameo appearance for Zoey than an actual crossover, but I did think it was very funny the way Jess and Jake interacted, so that was a win. However, I did think the episode moved to slowly and it wasn’t reliably hitting comedy beats as it usually does.

Mark: Rosa and Amy were the definite standout for me in this one. Amy’s confusion about what to do when Rosa started crying was hilarious and their storyline came to a sweet end. Holt’s attempts to raise work moral were great as well while Jake and Charles’ story was surprisingly emotional. For a show as zany as this one, it’s great to see it can still tug a little on our heartstrings when it wants to. Overall, it was a solid episode of B99.

Marko: I loved the scene shared by the female characters Rosa and Amy, the chemistry between them was great, the story really well handled and made me laugh quite hard. Jake getting back into his groove was a bit slow but eventually paid off with that final scene. As for Jess’ appearance, I thought it was good but could’ve been exploited much more as it was shown in the NG part of the crossover.

Laura: The cold open was very funny, and I am just really happy to have Jake and Holt back at the 99. Seeing Jake using a cane certainly did not make me think about a former character from another Fox show. And when Jake referred to killings as “ticklings” I definitely didn’t think about a recently axed show that I still love and think about all the time. Anyway, solely as an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it was great. The squad shenanigans coupled with Jake and Boyle back as team was thrilling. But if you think about it as a true crossover, it didn’t really succeed. We didn’t even get to see one of the characters from New Girl until almost 18 minutes into the episode. So it’s up to each individual viewer for how they want to grade that episode. If it was marketed as just another episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I still would’ve loved it all the same.

Nirat: I loved Jake and Boyle’s adventures during their night shift. I especially liked their interactions with various. Honorable mention to Jake bringing Nikolaj a dumpster truck, that scene was especially adorable. Loved Holt’s attempts at trying to keep the 99’s spirits up, seeing them awkwardly smile and talk through their teeth was hilarious. Geena’s Australian accent was the cherry on top! I enjoyed Jess’ short entrance in the 99, however, I can’t say that I didn’t wonder why she didn’t show up earlier as I would’ve liked more, and with the premise of a crossover, I expected a bit more crossover.

Looking at “Homecoming” as a regular New Girl episode, what did you (dis)like about it?

Pablo: I think Homecoming was great for the most part, though it felt very derivative: the whole mom vs daughter in law thing has been explored and done better before. Jess vs New York reminded me of The Simpsons and I think this is the plot that the episode actually managed to deliver the most laughs. As a New Girl standalone, it was fine, it isn’t the best episode of the show, but it certainly was pretty enjoyable and it managed to capitalize well on Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s stellar cast.

Mark: My two favorite moments in this episode are Jesse demanding her soup and CeCe defending Schmidt. I love how Jesse completely hulked out. Also liked her interactions with Gina and Holt., especially with Gina. I was excited for Winston/Charles but was kinda let down by it as it didn’t really amount to anything. It was still funny but I wish Charles had more to do.

Marko: Another stellar episode in a very solid year so far. The show did what it does best again by exploiting the characters weirdness in different settings. Schmidt’s mom calling Cece daughter was really a beautiful moment. Jess road of self discovery very well handled and gave the trip to New York some real purpose. Nick and Winston at the metro station were an entertaining side story and provided the necessary easiness. Also loved seeing Coach again.

Laura: As I said before, this is my first taste of New Girl. And I gotta ask right away, is that the theme song for every episode? Because I was really expecting something...more. And I probably would’ve enjoyed the jokes a lot more if I had seen anything from this show before. It seems like it was an enjoyable episode, though. And I didn’t dislike it at all. I thought it was clever how they tied in the 99 stuff. And they made better use of the actual concept of a crossover. Gina, Boyle, and Holt were all integrated nicely here.

Nirat: I absolutely loved Cece and Schmidt's mother's antics, it was quite funny. I was so happy at the end to see Cece being accepted as her daughter. Hannah Simone crushed it on stage at Schmidt’s reunion, who wouldn’t want a wife like her. I thought Jess embodying a certain brash, New Yorker persona was fun. I did wonder during the beginning if I was watching the wrong episode until Jake showed up and everything sort of clicked. Jess’ interactions with Gina and Holt were short but great, I would’ve loved to see Rosa interact with Cece or even Schmidt have a scene with Jake. Nice to see Coach again. Overall, a really good episode, though I wish it was longer.

Which of the two made better use of the crossover?

Pablo: New Girl, no doubt. It used more cast and capitalized on the best comedy beats of each character. Having Jess with Gina and Holt is simply a match made in heaven for comedy, especially with Holt, and Nick and Winston meeting Boyle was perfectly staged. While Jess and Jake on the Brooklyn Nine-Nine half was very funny, it was far too brief to truly capitalize on the crossover synergy, while New Girl actually gave itself more time to fully utilize the other show’s cast.

Mark: I agree with Pablo. Brooklyn Nine-Nine only had Jess showing up at the end but other than that, it pretty much felt like any other episode. New Girl still had mainly Jess interacting with B99’s cast and Gina and Holt dealing with her at the police station was comedy gold. The same cannot be said about Winston/Nick/Charles though. It was still entertaining, but I feel like it could have been a lot better than that.

Marko: As already said by Mark and Pablo New Girl, by miles. Not meaning B99 delivered a bad episode just didn’t tap into a source that would’ve provided many laughs. B99 could’ve at least used Schmidt’s mom for a scene or two. But hey if this goes right, there will always be next time.

Laura: I’ll just go ahead and echo what everyone else said.

Nirat: New Girl, as everyone else has mentioned, I shall echo that echo. Brooklyn Nine-Nine felt more self-contained with Jess being only a guest star/cameo.

Which characters would you have liked to see interact with each other?

Pablo: Definitely Winston and Jake: I would have loved for New Girl to have Winston compare notes with the NYPD on the 9-9, and there were certainly many encounters there that could have been hilarious. Also, Nick and Amy because I think Nick could have easily drove Amy crazy and lead to some hilarious situations.

Mark: I would have loved to have Schmidt at the police station and point out how messy something is, for Amy to agree and that she’s being saying it for months and then having them geek over organizing stuff or something like that.

Marko: Rosa and Nick for sure. Nick really doesn’t handle authority well and Rosa make him run for his money.

Nirat: I sort of answered this above, but really any pairings, the actors on both shows are all very talented so any pairings would’ve been quite fun. I would’ve love to see Gina or Rosa share a scene with Cece. Nick and Holt would’ve been really interesting but Nick and Amy could've been really funny because of their wildly different personalities. So many possibilities.

Anything else you would like to add?

Pablo: In the grand schemes of crossovers, this isn’t the best or the worst. It’s a fun enjoyable hour of 2 shows that are pretty great and go well together. However, I don’t think either half hour will stand out as the best of either show, just a memorable encounter that had potential for better, but was pretty darn entertaining by itself and that manages to be both self contained on both parts while connecting both universes.
Also, having Damon Wayans Jr at the end of New Girl blew my mind: he played a different character in each show! And now their universes are connected! Talk about a bombshell!

Mark: Damon Wayans Jr.’s surprise cameo at the end totally threw me through a loop. That came out of nowhere. But I think they should’ve made use of Damon previously starring in both shows by having Coach and Stevie bump into each other and end the crossover with them awkwardly staring at each other without any dialogue whatsoever.

Marko: The crossover showed a lot of potential and I think if the writers get more space they could’ve done a much better job in including the two stories. Maybe some members of the B99 could take a vacation in LA during May Sweep?

Laura: I wouldn’t be opposed if another one of these crossovers happens again down the line. However, I would hope that both shows make equal, consistent use of their entire ensembles.

Nirat: I would really this to happen again, maybe make it an annual thing, expand on Cece bonding with Schmidt’s mother as a way for both the 99 and New Girl to interact once more. If not that, maybe something for Christmas crossover episode, that’d be fun. Hope to see another crossover in the future.

Thank you for reading! Tell us in the comments below what you thought about the crossover.

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