20 things I love about. . . is a series where I talk about a big film or TV love of mine. This is a place void of criticism. A space to share my unabashed love for something wonderful. Let’s get on with the one, the only, Brooklyn Nine-Nine!!
This is an important one for my ilk. The kind of people who literally watch each episode tens of times. Nine-Nine isn’t my first rodeo; before, there were Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and Parks and Recreation. It’s like comfort food. I’ve seen it enough to memorise most episodes, which means I can put an episode on and fall asleep to the comforting sounds of good comedy.
My dissertation’s thesis is that nonviolence is an overemphasised narrative in civil rights’ movements. About 8 weeks into my phenomenal American history module (the first I’d ever studied the U.S.!) in autumn last year, I emailed my professor to say ‘I always imagined people just became more aware of human rights and basic decency and that was why civil rights movements worked, but obviously that was not enough.’ (Reading back on my questions to lecturers is a mix of hilarious and deeply embarrassing, but I guess I’m here to learn.) And nonviolence is such an elegant fill-the-gap between segregation and the post-racial era — I just don’t think it’s enough. By attributing the victories to Dr King we do a disservice to the staggering courage and drive of the grassroots activists — and more dangerously, we think we do live in a post-racial world (or America), because the Civil Rights Movement finishes neatly in 1968, with King’s assassination and the second Civil Rights Act.