We all want Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" to be funny.
We all want Andy Samberg to hit one out of the park with his first post-"Saturday Night Live" TV project. We all want Fox to count another comedic success after "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project." We all want to hear that feisty credits tune every Tuesday night and feel like we're in for a few good laughs.
But that's not what's happening.
I don't care that the show won the Golden Globe for best comedy; I don't care that Samberg won for best comedy actor. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" just isn't that funny.
For Samberg, the show is a total lobotomy compared to the ingenuity of his Lonely Island work. Its uninspired gross-out gags and half-cooked punchlines make "Hot Rod" look like a Robert Altman movie.
Sure, there are bright spots. Samberg is just innately likable, and Andre Braugher's Capt. Ray Holt is one of the best new sitcom characters in years, a fantastic bundle of traits that almost always yields a funny surprise.
The rest of the "Nine-Nine" lineup comes up a bit short. Joe Lo Truglio's Detective Charles Boyle just wants to be everyone's buddy, which plays against the actor's talent for portraying awesome slimeballs ("Reno 911," "Drunk History"). Terry Crews' lines are clearly written by people who can't get over the irony of a musclebound guy having a sensitive side. And female detectives Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) play good cop/bad cop with a safe amount of subversion, but for the most part they toe their stereotypes tighter than a sober field test.
I guess the enthusiasm for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" could be explained as people wanting to get in on the ground floor of a comedy that becomes good in its second or third season. After all, these days we're too busy gushing about "Parks and Recreation" and fellow Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler to remember that show's dull first episodes.
The same definitely could happen with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." But let's stop pretending it has already.