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October 17, 2016

New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine Crossover
by Katie Conway - 0

On Tuesday night, worlds collided when the California-Cool cast of New Girl mashed with the hot cops of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. For anyone who's a fan of the two the comedies, Fox’s one-hour special should have been a dream come true. Watching the ever immature and hilarious Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) banter with quirky girl Jessica Day (Zoe Deschanel) over beat up cars and spilled soup was such a refreshing and charming interaction, you would think the two stars already have a third comedy show just waiting for us to binge-watch on the side. Unfortunately, the episode didn’t deliver, as the creators chose to play it safe, rather than push the boundaries of creativity and primetime television.  

This was New Girl’s 4th episode of their 6th season, called “Homecoming.” We start off with the LA gang traveling to NYC for Schmidt’s (Max Greenfield) high school homecoming reunion. While Nick (Jake Johnson) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) split from the group to be “men of means” in search of the perfect New York lunch, Jess and Cece (Hannah Simone) go with Schmidt and his mother back to their Long Island home. 

While each of the New Girl characters are faced with strong storylines, this episode seemed more “cameo” than “crossover” on Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s part. The Jess and Jake car interaction was by all means fun for the audience, but it fell a little short on time. Sure, Jess had equally funny moments with the other Brooklyn cast members when she visited the 99th Precinct Office, but it would have been so much more satisfying for the entirety of both casts to be interacting on a much larger scale, with an even deeper-woven plot. 

Other than Jess meeting most of the Brooklyn cast, the only other characters to crossover with one another were Nick and Winston with Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) at a New York Subway Station. While our two guys from New Girl sadly attempt to give the passersby a “show” in order to earn enough money for two tickets home, Boyle stands to the side cheering them on and pumping up the crowd. This B-story line was utterly absurd and brilliant, the highlight being Nick’s “flight” over a pile of trash and other miscellaneous items, but it stilled failed in combining the two comedies together. The characters don’t even learn each other’s names, never mind the writer’s actually crafting a story that successfully interweaves the two worlds together. As an LA cop, why couldn’t Winston have combined forces with his NYPD brothers in blue? What about Nick meeting the lovely Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero)? Or Schmidt and Cece engaging in a scary scuffle with Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz)? For whatever reason, these once-in-a-show’s-lifetime opportunities were missed, and the best cameo of the night came from Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) during the after credits scene.

The most redeemable moment was probably when Jess finally meets Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher). It’s from this scene we are transported back to the very first episode of New Girl, when Jess remembers why she hates NYC so much. She had decided to head home early from her last visit to surprise her then-boyfriend Spencer. As you may remember from the Pilot episode when Jess discovers Spencer cheating on her with another women. It’s this sequence of events that causes Jess to leave her boyfriend, and move in with her now best friends - Nick, Schmidt, Coach, and eventually Winston! It’s this sweet interaction between Jess and the Captain that stays true to the hopeful and big-hearted qualities the two comedies posses.

Overall, it was a decent episode that checked off enough marks to be considered a passable crossover. Hopefully the series creators will learn from their mistakes, and we can look forward to better New Girl / Brooklyn Nine-Nine combos in the future. Note to writers: You can find inspiration from the best-ever crossover of all time, Disney Channel’s 2006 classic That’s So Sweet Life of Hannah Montana. Keep up with more New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Tuesdays at 8:00/7:00c and 8:30/7:30c on Fox

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