In the season three premiere of Brooklyn Nine Nine, the show asked us to jump — along with Captain Holt — through a few more hoops before Kyra Sedgwick’s Wuntch eventually gives him his job back. With Holt kicked upstairs to pencil push and give inspirational speeches to second graders, we do get to watch (hopefully) a series of new Captains fill his stead, starting with a Bill Hader character who came in and then left with perfect comedic timing, making way for Dean Winters’ Vulture, who is the equivalent of sitcom blood doping. It’s just not fair to other sitcoms to bring in Dean Winters in the first week of the season — how can you possibly compete with that?
The big movement in last night’s season premiere, however, was in the relationship between Jake and Amy. The will they/won’t they end-point has finally arrived at its logical conclusion: Jake and Amy followed up their kiss in the mail room at the end of last season with an actual visit to Bone Town.
Here’s the thing about that: Despite the initial “let’s go back to being professional colleagues” fake-out, the two are together for good now, and it’s gonna stick. More importantly, it’s gonna work.
Why? Because while every other sitcom is Ross-and-Racheling, or more recently, Jess-and-Nick’ing, Mike Schur has figured out how to make couples work while they’re together.
(And I’m not holding that last season character assassinating business on The Office against Mike Schur. That was all Greg Daniels, who returned to the series as showrunner and thought he’d shake things up by RUINING the most loving couple on television).
Mike Schur’s superhero power is the ability to get the best out of two characters when they’re together. He doesn’t need to break them up and put them back together over and over again to manufacture drama. There’s drama in the most stable of relationships, and Schur has been able to mine another three or four more seasons out of the “Happily Ever After …” ellipsis.
There are some obvious plot points with which to take advantage: Moving in together, meeting each other’s parents, the proposal, the wedding planning, the wedding, etc. But what I love about Mike Schur couples is that they’re allowed to exist as individual people with their own thoughts, opinions and storylines, and as an entity that does make decisions together, that supports each other, and that brings out the best in one another. That’s how coupledom works, and that’s what Mike Schur understands so well.
In fact, Schur often skips through the steps in a relationship and jumps straight to the happily ever after. Andy and April got married on a whim, and Ron Swanson got married during a cold open. The thing about both Andy and April and, to an extent Ben and Leslie, is that they were never better than when they were together. Moreover, the love story between Jim and Pam didn’t stop after he proposed to her in the rain. At a rest stop. Midway between New York and Connecticut.
There are still decisions to be made, disagreements to be had, and fights to engage in, but not every fight has to carry with it the weight of an entire relationship and the threat of a break-up. The fights themselves are a part of every love story, and I trust in Mike Schur to present that. With him, we don’t have to worry about the Moonlight effect. We don’t have to worry that that magic will disappear, because there’s plenty of magic in seeing two people in love with one another.
Just ask Coach and Tami Taylor.
Don’t worry about Jake and Amy, y’all. This won’t be another Nick and Jess. We’ve finally gotten through the preliminaries on Brooklyne Nine Nine, and now we can settle in and watch the magic unfold. As long as Mike Schur is around, we don’t have to worry that one relationship will torpedo an entire series.