The Olympics may be airing on NBC, but it’s a Fox comedy that’s proving to be one of the biggest hits among the athletes.
Red Gerard, the 17-year-old American who earned gold in snowboard slopestyle, admitted that he woke up late the morning of his final because he’d fallen asleep the night before watching an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Before she left for South Korea, figure skater Mirai Nagasu, who became the first American woman to land a triple axel at an Olympics during the team event in PyeongChang, told Yahoo Lifestyle that streaming episodes of the Andy Samberg series on Hulu was her preferred form of stress relief. “During these times of pressure and stress, I find that comedy really helps get me through it, and that is a funny show, so I’d definitely recommend it,” she said.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator and showrunner Dan Goor is thrilled with the endorsement. “I’m so incredibly flattered and excited to hear that Red Gerard and Mirai Nagasu watch the show! First of all, we’re all huge fans of both of them (and any other Olympian who watches the show, irrespective of sport or national team, but mostly we are fans of them because they are amazing),” he tells Yahoo Entertainment via email. “Secondly, I would love to do an episode where Jake Peralta and Mirai Nagasu chase an archvillain across a frozen-over parking lot, and just when he thinks he’s gotten away, Red Gerard and Charles Boyle snowboard out of nowhere and take him down.”
Since Gerard still has the Big Air competition ahead of him, and Nagasu the ladies’ event, any potential cameos will have to wait. In the meantime, we asked Goor to recommend the episodes that they — and any other athletes looking to unwind — might enjoy binge-watching between training sessions in PyeongChang. Here are his picks for “the most Olympics-appropriate and/or inspirational episodes,” with our own descriptions. (Though, Goor notes, “That said, people should watch every episode, so they can decide for themselves!”)
“The Jimmy Jab Games” (Season 2, Episode 3): After being told their motorcade duty is delayed by three hours — and that Andre Braugher’s Capt. Raymond Holt and Terry Crews’s Sgt. Terry Jeffords will be out of the office — the squad knows exactly how to pass the time. Events in these “Games” include the Mouthathon (an eating contest with month-old Chinese food from the precinct’s fridge); Bulky Bulky Run Run (a footrace in bomb suits); Keep Your Cover (talk to as many fellow cops as possible before being recognized); and an obstacle course (i.e., print out a picture of Chelsea Peretti’s Gina Linetti using a laptop from 1982). This could be particularly inspiring for athletes dealing with weather delays in South Korea.
Any Halloween Heist episode: Now, these will definitely bring out the competitor in you. A fan-favorite episode every year, the tradition started with Season 1, Episode 6 (“Halloween”), when Jakebet Capt. Holt that he could steal Holt’s Medal of Valor from this office. The stakes are high: If Jake wins, Holt has to do Jake’s paperwork and announce that Jake is “an amazing detective/genius”; if Holt wins, Jake has to work weekends without overtime. In “Halloween II” (Season 2, Episode 4), the wager is similar, with Jake having to steal the watch off Holt’s wrist. “Halloween III” (Season 3, Episode 5) has Jake and Holt picking teams, and a crown as the coveted object (bonus for figure skaters: there’s an Elvis Stojko punch line). In “Halloween IV” (Season 4, Episode 5), a plaque inscribed “The Ultimate Detective/Genius” is locked in a Caboodle (or, as Holt pronounces it, Caboodale) — whoever possesses it at sunup wins. “HalloVeen” (Season 5, Episode 4) may be the most cutthroat (and our favorite) because Holt’s corgi, Cheddar, is used as a pawn in the fight for a championship belt (or cummerbund, as Holt insists) emblazoned with “Amazing Human/Genius.”
“The Chopper” (Season 2, Episode 22): Yes, it starts with the squad competing to see who can get Gina to look up from her phone, and you can argue the moral is “work hard for your dreams, and they just might come true” — Jake gets the green light to work his dream case, and to use a helicopter. But this episode is really for competitors who like to play mind games with their opponents. We won’t spoil it, but Capt. Holt and his nemesis, Deputy Chief Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick), go at it.
“99” (Season 5, Episode 9): This episode, the show’s 99th, reminds you what teamwork is all about (and how to overcome self-doubt). In Los Angeles to attend a former superior’s funeral, the squad has to work together to get Holt back to New York in time for his interview to become the next police commissioner. Why not just fly? Because they miss their flight after Jake insists on stopping at “the most important monument in all of America, the building from Die Hard” and doing an extended photo shoot. It’s one of the all-time great montages.
Good luck, Olympians. And happy bingeing.
There are 101 episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine are currently streaming on Hulu. New episodes resume this spring as Season 5 continues on Fox.