Friday , February 26 2021

The Long Farewell – Rolling Stone

A review of this week's Brooklyn Nine-Nine, "Four Movements" – who said goodbye to Chelsea Peretti as a regular cast member – coming in so I say the party is for malnourished monkeys …

In a show that has been so consistent for so long, GinaHe's always been an outlier character. It's not just that she was the only regular civilian in a police program. It is that it has a much greater variation than any other person in the set. You never know exactly what kind of Jake or Holt or rose story that you will get in a particular week, but you will come up with a good idea that it will be funny and funny in a familiar way. (Even stories in which someone acts out of character, such as Holt's depressed "Honeymoon", work because we understand the default setting.) Ginny, however, was much harder to define, both in personality and in quality. your story. A few weeks, she might be a vaguely benign sociopath; others, an inscrutable genius, but in the end well-meaning. She could win by far the loudest laughs in one episode and then seem like a drag on another. She was the proverbial box of chocolates: you never knew which Ginny you could get. Nine nine there is much less The officeDNA than Parks and Rec But Gina was a kind of Michael Scott character in the sense that different episodes (and possibly different members of the writing team) had extremely divergent opinions about who she was and what made her funny.

How appropriate, then, that the marvelous "Four Movements" were so reminiscent of The office"Goodbye Michael" – not in plot or tone, but in the sense that every person other than this unpredictable character managed to appear in the same episode. Seeing her say goodbye to her co-workers, we could see the many different interactions of Gina Linetti, as well as the many different modes, even a show that this silly girl can fundamentally support.

After the teaser, which recalls Gina's love for dancing and the attention of others, we got our first move, with a final chess game between her and Holt. There are lots of jokes (Holt is learning how to talk bullshit, Ginny renamed the pieces after Rihanna, Beyoncé and Kevin), but the whole thing is much more submissive and sincere than Nine nine usually is, particularly where Ginny is involved. Although Jake was her oldest friend, Gina tended to be closer to the captain-a byproduct of the nature of her work and the way her personalities were such a contrast. And Holt is also the most mature and considerate character in the series, so of course he would be the one to challenge her more in the wisdom of giving up, even if he respected his decision to do so. Moreover, the choice to end the game with her victory in an illegal move felt more funny and more honest than if she had somehow defeated him. Ginny is better than other people in many things, but chess requires more patience than she has ever shown.

Similarly, the second move provides a sweet but not too saccharine reward, over five seasons of jokes about Gina mercilessly mocking and trying to distance herself Amy. Amy fulfills Gina's request (from Season 3's Halloween episode) to turn Gina's tweets into a book, which Ginny turns into a lesson to make Amy defend herself rather than seek approval from someone who has never been so cool with her. It's Ginny being good without getting schmaltzy, although the presence of Hitchcock on the burn barrel helps with that.

The third move, unsurprisingly, takes most of the time, since it involves the guy who has known him the longest and is our main character. The quest to get Mario Lopez being the celebrity guest at Gina's farewell party satisfies both Jake's love and the role-playing secret series, with the two dressing as spoiled One-Percenters, and Jake hilariously saying "Daddy" several times. Lopez goes to the party (and calls Jake "Preppy", the derogatory nickname Slater has always used in Zack in Saved by the gong), but once again Gina zigzags when a zag is expected, and the real prize is managing to bar the old H8r host of the dance.

Things get genuinely sweet a little when she gives Charles the principle of mass of Boyle's mother – and a very la Boyle style. "I love you and I'm going to miss you." But the show sensibly weakens the feeling, first with TerryIt's the frustration of not having her own moment, then with Ginny taking days, because the statue took longer to arrive than planned. He concludes in a beat while gentle and goofy as Terry decides he got the best of everyone because Gina hired him for an International Yogurt Club of the Month. (You may have heard that Terry loves yogurt.)

Peretti said she does not want to leave forever, and the way Gina leaves makes it easy for the show to write back to her here and there if a story asks for it. But as we saw last season, while Peretti was on maternity leave, the show breathed a little better with a smaller cast. If Ginny comes back, I'm sure I'll laugh. But if not, that was a splendid farewell to a character who did not always fit into this overcrowded and overcrowded comedy.

What did everyone else think?

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