In his positive review of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Matt Zoller Seitz wrote, “The biggest apparent influence is The Office, which the loose camerawork and improv-flavored dialogue sometimes recall.” And though we agree, we couldn’t help thinking about the other sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s creators (Dan Goor and Michael Schur) worked on: Parks and Recreation. Specifically, it feels like when creating B99’s characters, the writers started with those of Parks and worked from there. Race, gender, and age might be moved around, but there are some hard to ignore parallels. It’s not a knock on B99; there are only so many comedy archetypes. If anything, it will hopefully make audiences get more comfortable with these new people more quickly. Either way, here’s a rundown.
Captain Ray Holt = Ron
These two might be the most similar. They are both intimidating bosses who want things to be as they think they should be. Ron is too laissez faire to enforce a strict dress code, but he would probably appreciate an office where people looked like adults. Comedically, though Holt doesn’t have the whole pillar-of-masculinity thing, they both are really funny at dryly responding to their high-energy foils.
Detective Jake Peralta = Leslie
Jake and Leslie end up having a good number of similarities just because they’re the protagonists. In the case of both, the show’s action revolves around them being very good at their jobs. Jake might have a little bit more in common with first season Leslie, when those around her were more antagonistic. Leslie is more manic and Jake more goofy, but they both generate a lot of humor in actually being very capable.
Detective Charles Boyle = Andy
Dumb guys! Can’t you imagine that muffin-dropping bit happening to Andy? He also has the lovelorn quality that Andy had when Anne broke up with him.
Detective Rosa Diaz = April
They are dark, intense, angry women of few words. It’s easy to imagine April would also hate Citizen Kane. Like April, Rosa kind of like-likes the show’s Andy character, Charles.
Sergeant Terry Jeffords = Chris
Both are in the best shape in the world, yet have a constant fear of dying.
Administrator Gina Linetti = Donna
Gina seems to fill the role Donna has more recently on Parks. She’s very confident to a point that she basically talks down to everyone. The way Gina condescendingly speaks to Charles feels not unlike how Donna interacts with Ben.
Detective’s Skully/Hitchock/Daniels = Jerry
They even have a Jerry! Every office needs one and apparently the 99 has three. As Terry describes them, “They’re pretty much worthless, but they make good coffee.”
Detective Amy Santiago = Anne?
This one’s a bit unfortunate. Amy and Anne have nothing in common other than they’re more boring than everyone else on the show. Throughout the pilot, she seemingly existed just for Jake to have someone to bounce off of. So far, like Anne, she feels like the character the audience will be okay with but constantly ask the writers to give more to.