Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the most popular comedies currently on television. Though it came close to cancellation not too long ago, the show was saved by NBC and now has been picked up for a seventh season. Over the years, as more people discover the police comedy, it becomes even more beloved.
One show that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is often compared is The Office. There are certainly similarities between the two, both being work-place comedies filled with colorful characters. But while The Office had an amazing nine-season run and is still quoted today, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is starting to build its own strong legacy and even bests The Office in some respects. Here are some things Brooklyn Nine-Nine does better than The Office.
10 More Interesting Setting
If you’re looking for a compelling setting for a television show, a police precinct will always be more appealing than a paper supply office. To be fair, the mundane setting of The Office is sort of the point, and they did manage to make it a pretty exciting environment most of the time. But there’s no denying the energy of the police setting.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is able to feature more action, excitement and interesting storylines simply because it’s also a police show. It might not be completely accurate, but the set-up is already interesting for viewers.
9 Filming Style
The popularity of The Office helped to spawn the craze of mockumentary-style sitcoms. Shows like Modern Family and Parks and Recreation adapted this filmmaking style which allows for fourth-wall breaking and exposition “interview” pieces. While The Office used the technique better than anyone else, it did feel a little unnecessary by the end.
Thankfully, Brooklyn Nine-Nine opted to avoid the trend and go for a more standard type of filmmaking. Not tied down by having to justify a camera crew constantly being present, the show has more freedom in their storytelling and visuals.
8 Outrageous Humor
There’s no doubt both shows are hilarious, and in some ways the humor can be very similar. However, where Brooklyn Nine-Nine excels is with its more outrageous humor. Perhaps because of the documentary aspect of The Office, the show feels more grounded in reality. Yes, Michael Scott is an unusual character, but most of the people interacting with him are normal.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine seems to operate in a more heightened reality. The world the show exists in has room to be a little more ridiculous and that has often led to the show’s funniest moments.
7 Topical Storylines
While Brooklyn Nine-Nine is certainly happy to embrace the ridiculous, it’s also willing to explore some much deeper storylines. The show takes risks in exploring topical issues, such as police racism, sexual identity, and harassment in ways The Office never has.
Given the police setting, some of these storylines would have been hard to ignore. Though always sticking to its comedy roots, the show isn’t afraid to put aside the laughs to talk about something serious. No doubt this annoys some fans, but it also likely makes a lot of other fans feel included.
6 Tighter Ensemble
The Office was filled with so many memorable characters. There were even too many Dunder-Mifflin employees to name. And while they were each entertaining in their own way, not everyone got their due. With such a large cast, most of the time was spent with Michael, Dwight or Jim while others got pushed to the background.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is much more of an ensemble show. The smaller cast means the stories can often include the entire cast in some meaningful way. It helps the audience get to know the characters better and care more about them.
5 Better Subplots
Another problem with The Office’s larger cast is that not every storyline was as enjoyable. The show could often detour into subplots involving the supporting cast that just didn’t click. You found yourself wishing they would get back to Michael and Dwight.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s tighter ensemble meant the audience could be invested in any storyline. Subplots would often be just as interesting as the main storyline because they always involved characters that the audience cares about. This always makes the episodes feel more satisfying as you’re engaged the whole way through.
4 Higher Stakes
Here again is an example of the advantages of a compelling setting. The Office, as fun as it was, was always a fairly low-stakes show. They needed to recycle the storyline about the office closing several times just to add some drama to the comedy.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has always excelled at giving the show some very high stakes for its characters. The squad is often put in very dangerous situations and there are plenty of cliff-hangers that keep audiences guessing. It’s unusual for a comedy, but it does keep things entertaining.
3 Central Relationship
The relationship between Jim and Pam was a very charming part of The Office. But, without starting a riot, we declare Jake and Amy from Brooklyn Nine-Nine the better couple. This is not to say that Jim and Pam aren’t a great couple, but Jake and Amy are just a lot more interesting.
Jake and Amy are equals at work. The show presents them both as excellent cops while allowing them both to make fools of themselves. It’s a sweet relationship that has been through a lot and remains as charming as ever.
2 No Star
Though The Office had several great seasons, most people can agree the show fell apart in the last few seasons without star Steve Carrell. Even with the large ensemble, the show could not survive losing its central character. Having such a stand-out performer as Carrell ultimately weakened the show.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has no Steve Carrell and that’s a good thing. You could argue that some stars are more central than others, but the show does not hinge of one character. The spotlight is shared evenly which means the show can remain balanced at all times.
1 Endearing Characters
One of the most appealing things about Brooklyn Nine-Nine is how likable its characters are. The Office had plenty of endearing characters as well, but there were also several unlikable characters. Dwight and Angela were flat-out mean, Ryan was selfish, and Michael could definitely be very insulting.
While the characters on Brooklyn Nine-Nine have flaws, they are all pretty nice and loving people. It’s nice seeing characters who seem to genuinely care about each other and go out of their way to help each other.