Detective in underpants9/11/2013
Andy Samberg is winningly weird in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Many of us were concerned when Andy Samberg retired from “Saturday Night Live” last spring. Would the comic genius get trapped in more forgettable movies like “Hot Rod,” then disappear?
We needn’t have worried. Samberg stars in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a single-camera sitcom that perfectly showcases his talent (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., Fox). He plays hotshot detective Jake Peralta, who jokes his way through investigations and clashes with his by-the-book captain (Andre Braugher). You won’t be surprised to see that Samberg finds just the right level of deadpan weirdness. You might be surprised to see him slip so effortlessly into a lead role. Jake is not only silly but also confident in a sexy way.
“Humility over!” Jake announces after a brief attempt at self-effacement. “I’m amazing!”
Friday, 9 p.m. (Syfy)
“Haven” is based on Stephen King’s tale of a Maine town plagued by “Troubles,” deadly phenomena — tornadoes, lightning, etc. — caused by residents with unwanted paranormal powers. At the end of last season, heroine Audrey (Emily Rose) seemingly sacrificed herself to end the Troubles. But season four opens with Audrey creepily transformed and local cop Nathan (Lucas Bryant) now determined to end the Troubles by sacrificing himself.
Fortunately, “Haven” has a knack for keeping things tense while not taking itself too seriously. The town’s residents are easy to like, though I can’t get behind their obsession with ending the Troubles. Then there’d be no season five.
Monday, 8 p.m. (Fox)
This new dramatic series takes the fish-out-of-water gimmick to unintentionally funny extremes. Revolutionary War soldier Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, playing a version of the Washington Irving character) wakes up in the 21st century after a battle with the Headless Horseman. Ichabod tries to convince a feisty modern-day detective (Nicole Beharie) to join him in preventing the Horseman from unleashing hell on Earth. For some reason, this involves keeping him from finding his head.
When the authorities get wind of Ichabod’s story, they throw him in the loony bin. A similar fate may await the Fox executives who green-lighted “Sleepy Hollow.”
Tuesday, 7 p.m. (Fox)
In this new sitcom from Seth MacFarlane, Warner (Giovanni Ribisi) and Eli (Seth Green) must put up with their insufferable fathers (Martin Mull, Peter Riegert). Warner resorts to knocking back a Scotch to survive a night with his dad, who makes offensive comments about gays, Asians and Puerto Ricans. The laugh track goes wildly over that line, making you wonder if it’s a laugh track left over from the 1950s.
The problem with “Dads” is that, like Warner and Eli, viewers have to put up with these insufferable fathers. Anybody have a bottle of Scotch? CV
Dean Robbins is a syndicated TV columnist from Madison, Wis. See more of his work at www.thedailypage.com.