‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ power couple Jake and Amy are a perfect example of the slow burn trope

Photo via twitter.com/Brooklyn99FOX

Note: Spoilers for pretty much most of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Has it really been a week since Brooklyn Nine-Nine got cancelled? In the days since, it’s been mourned and given touching send-offs by the cast, crew, and millions of (outraged) fans. A bunch of super famous, super vocal Nine-Niners also banded together and started a group chat to discuss the show — among them Lin-Manuel Miranda, Guillermo del Toro, Mark Hamill, and Sean Astin.

Oh, and to everyone’s relief, the show was actually renewed, picked up by another network for a sixth season within 31 hours.

If Nine-Nine did end with its fifth season, it would’ve finished with Jake (Andy Samberg) finally tying the knot with Amy (Melissa Fumero) — not such a bad finale, and this time there’s no cliffhanger with somebody going undercover or on the run or in jail. Now, though, it’s more meaningful, standing as a celebration for a much-needed second chance.

It’s also the culmination of five seasons’ worth of tension and development between the two best detectives on the 99th precinct’s squad, which has been palpable since the first-ever cold open (a.k.a. the first two minutes) in the pilot, with Jake simultaneously trying to make Amy laugh and to annoy her (and flirt with her, obviously) using a teddy bear nanny cam as a prop.

 

 

The first season was pitch-perfect in setting up the dynamic between these bickering partners. They’re polar opposites, both good at their jobs for different reasons: Amy’s the uptight perfectionist who needs to prove her worth and wants to do her part, and Jake’s the immature maverick who loves to catch bad guys and solve puzzles. This is best illustrated in their bet on who can make the most felony arrests in one year, which is full of close calls and is a great venue for their shared over-competitive nature, not to mention lots and lots of banter.

When Jake wins the bet, Amy has to spend a night going on the world’s worst date with him. He tries his best to embarrass her and show her a comically bad time, but even when they’re forced to abandon the date to go on a stakeout and share “snacky” peanuts on a rooftop, it ultimately becomes, as Jake says to Amy, “the night that you flirted with me for 20 seconds and I became obsessed with you forever.”

 

The slow burn is, in essence, a very drawn-out love story in which the main characters take forever to acknowledge or even realize their feelings, and there’s another eternity before they act on them.

 

It takes them a little while longer to let their guards down and just kiss already, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine never fails to deliver some truly great moments to help them along. It’s basically a laundry list of all of your favorite fan fiction tropes, except they’re all canon, from fake-dating each other as part of an undercover assignment that necessitates not one, but two cover-up kisses (“We are police colleagues! This is a work event!”) to attempting to keep their relationship a secret from their tight-knit friend group at work (especially Charles). There’s also mutual pining, slight enemies to friends to lovers, and the all-time classic, the slow burn. Obviously.

The slow burn is, in essence, a very drawn-out love story in which the main characters take forever to acknowledge or even realize their feelings, and there’s another eternity before they act on them. The result is high-tension, “Will they or won’t they?” galore: tiny conversations, touches, looks that eventually build up to the most kilig conclusion. The changes in how they see and interact with each other are subtle, but they add up, and they matter. And the Jake-and-Amy relationship (I like to call it Jamy, but Peraltiago is the internet-preferred term) definitely counts.

 

 

The thing is, these knuckleheads have been an official couple for three seasons now. In sitcom years, they should’ve had at least two brief breakups already (ugh, I’m so glad Ross and Rachel are gone for good). Something like this is supposed to lose steam, get less exciting over time — but it doesn’t.

The show, as it does in most aspects, keeps things interesting without relying on clichés or shock value. Jake and Amy work so well because they complement each other and are good for one another. They support each other, challenge each other (the competitions never end with these two), grow with each other and become better together and apart. They’re best friends, partners, and equals.

 

Jake and Amy work so well because they complement each other and are good for one another. They support each other, challenge each other (the competitions never end with these two), grow with each other and become better together and apart.

 

Amy is the kind of girlfriend who loves Jake for who he is and brings out the best in him regardless, makes him want to try a little harder. (That proposal! We are all still not over it!) Jake is the kind of boyfriend who isn’t fazed at all when Amy reveals she wants to become a sergeant and is worried it’ll ruin their relationship. “Look, you can’t be afraid to be successful,” he tells her. “You’re too good for that.”

She gives him stickers to cheer him up when he’s seriously down, and he realizes he wants to spend the rest of his life with her in the most ordinary of moments, when she finds a mistake in her nightly crossword. It’s uncomplicated, it works, and it doesn’t lose its spark. It’s something to believe in.

After their first kiss, when they were freaking out about what comes next, Jake said, “Let’s just keep it light and breezy, see where it goes.”

“Totally,” Amy agreed. “Yeah. So how do we keep it light and breezy? I know! A comprehensive set of rules.”

“How am I attracted to you?” Jake muttered, and without missing a beat, continued, “Doesn’t matter. I am. Go.”

And it all leads up to here. Cue the wedding bells.

Tags:
#love #tv

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