Dubai Diaries: The pain of losing a sitcom

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the latest to go


David Light

Published: Sun 19 Sep 2021, 12:37 AM

Last updated: Mon 20 Sep 2021, 2:08 PM

And just like that it’s over. No not summer. For once a British resident of the UAE shall not be taking this prime opportunity to discuss the weather. Of course, I’m talking about Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s finale, which aired on OSN Streaming in the UAE over the weekend. After surviving poor initial ratings, experiencing a flurry of interest with a couple of Emmy wins, cancellation on Fox, revival on NBC and avoiding the pandemic shutdown axe which did its business on a number of sitcom contemporaries, after eight years the Andy Samberg fan favourite cop show has enjoyed its last curtain call. Some may comment the release could not have come soon enough, which in some ways is an understandable critique, though not the purpose of this musing.

Regardless of your views concerning B-99’s trajectory, the feelings I wish to address are those of unavoidable loss when you come to the realisation new episodes of a television staple will no longer be at your beck and call. Are those sensations silly? Probably. But are they real? I know you’ve experienced them. More so than any other form of media, situation comedies have the strongest ability to envelop your life and become one of the family. Unlike movies or dramas, you invite them in to your home every week with the sole purpose of completing probably the most difficult challenge: eliciting laughter. With more dramatic works you want to race through to the end to solve the mystery. Movies are fleeting. Books take their time to embed and the emotional response to their finishing is close to what I am alluding, however the years invested in multiple series of half-hour gag fests, in my opinion, dictate the sensation is the most intense in entertainment.

You may remember your own ‘goodbye moments.’ I can’t go into the pan left and close-up on the framed spyhole in Friends again for fear of breaking down, but Frasier’s farewell address to his fictional radio listeners surrounded by the cast before landing in Chicago to start a new life, the Parks and Recreation gang taking a group photo in a playground they have just repaired and (for the teenagers) MASH’s Hawkeye flying off into the sunset leaving behind his evacuated Korean army base are just a few examples of the often tear-jerking scenarios of which I speak. The culmination of seemingly endless hours of joy is signed off with a few lines and then that’s it, adios. Never again will you be able to return to a previous season’s cliffhanger or hear a fresh rendition of that catchphrase that has become part of your lexicon. Thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom. After a mourning period, the networks will churn out another programme to which you can hitch your wagon. But I just wanted to acknowledge the passing of a great can get you right there. Nine-Nine!

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