‘New Girl’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Are Crossing Over, Awkwardly

Ken Tucker

In a TV-time-honored attempt to goose the ratings of a couple of shows in need of a goosing, Fox has declared Tuesday night’s episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl a “crossover event.” The casts do indeed cross over, but the result barely qualifies as an event. In fact, I’m afraid it does not even carry the light weight of history that Steve Urkel’s invasion of Full House signaled so long ago.

The shows are time-period neighbors, so Brooklyn Nine-Nine is up first, with a main plot that involves the precinct’s coping with exhaustion and sagging morale at pulling the night shift. Also, Andy Samberg does a lot of slapstick work as his Jake copes with a limp and a cane.

A half-hour later, the cast of New Girl travels from Los Angeles to New York, where Schmidt (Max Greenfield) thinks he’s being honored by his old high school class. The scene the two shows share is one in which Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is driving a car to fetch some soup for Schmidt and Jake flags her down to commandeer the vehicle to pursue a criminal suspect. For the few moments they’re in the car together, Deschanel and Samberg exhibit an easy camaraderie-under-pressure — they’re pleasantly unlikely car-chase participants.

There’s a lot more crossing-over done in New Girl than there is in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Jess and Jake’s car-meet-cute is the extent of it in Brooklyn. In New Girl, Jess enters the Nine-Nine squad room and interacts briefly with most of the rest of the Brooklyn cast.

I wish I could say the results were funny. Alas, what occurs is two rather strained, mediocre episodes of a pair of shows that can still, at their best, be entertaining. As ratings-bait, this stunt compares poorly with that time when the Green Hornet and Kato crossed over to Batman.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl air Tuesday nights at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on Fox. Watch clips and full episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl for free on Yahoo View.