Brooklyn Nine Nine is an American Police television sitcom that premiered in September 2013, but has recently taken the world by storm and become a cult classic among its fans, which became evident when the show was cancelled―but due to intense social media campaigning―later renewed, all in a span of 31 hours. Brooklyn Nine Nine has become a worldwide pop culture trend, is now airing its sixth season, has a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Therefore, as someone who is a die-hard fan of both B-99 and K-Dramas, I embarked on this little project of searching for the perfect cast that would do justice to this sitcom if there were to be a Korean remake of it. The actors selected for the cast were chosen first and foremost on the basis of their acting capability, (more specifically comedic timing) and similarity in age to their American counterparts. The visual similarity was also considered as a criteria albeit with less emphasis.
So without further ado, let's just jump into it!
Nam Goong Min as Detective Jacob "Jake" Peralta
"I swear, these perps are so stupid. I'd make a better criminal than any of 'em."
— Jake Peralta
Detective Jake Peralta, the main protagonist of the show, is a laid-back, cocky, arrogant, and immature, but charmingly talented NYPD detective stationed in Brooklyn's 99th precinct. He has never had to work too hard or follow the rules too closely. With the best arrest track record in the precinct, he often resorts to unconventional and often downright ludicrous ways of maintaining it, resulting in him butting heads with authority.
Having abandonment issues - given that his father left him at an extremely young age - Jake has trouble expressing his emotions, preferring to crack jokes instead. He is extremely intelligent and calculating, but his intelligence is more focused on humour than his work.
With all these spectacular traits, it was clear to me that I could not find a more perfect Jake Peralta than Nam Goong Min, who is an amazing actor IMHO, with an expressive face and great - correction - amazing comedic timing. His award-winning performance as Kim Sung Ryong in Chief Kim was what sealed the deal for me. The way he conveys emotions - and lack of them - adds nuance to every scene he's in. He's also not afraid to let loose and go crazy when the script demands it.
Jung So Min as Sergeant Amy Santiago
"This one says Die Pig. And worst of all, they didn't put the comma between die and pig."
Amy Santiago is a sergeant and a former detective at the 99th precinct of the NYPD. Always eager to impress, Amy wants to achieve her dream of being the youngest person to be promoted to Captain. She is incredibly competitive. Amy is intelligent and resourceful, striving to be the best, with an arrest track record rivalling that of Jake Peralta. She is insanely ambitious about making Captain Holt her mentor - or "rabbi" - to the extent that she will become a complete teacher's pet in order to get his admiration. She is a very organized person, to the point where it gets irritating for others and hence she ultimately is the butt of many jokes.
I pondered for quite a while on who would be the perfect Amy. It needed to be someone who could easily be strong, caring, smart and hilarious, all at the same time. Jung So Min checks all these boxes. With roles like Yoon Ji Ho in Because This is My First Life and Byun Mi Yeong in My Father is Strange, So Min showed her capability to act well in a comedic setting. She has a great energy that is evident across all her roles and can perform well in intense situations while holding her ground as evident in her role as Dr. Jung Dol Mi in D-Day.
Kim So Yeon as Detective Rosa Diaz
"What kind of a woman doesn’t have an axe?"
Detective "Rosa Diaz" (may or may not be her real name) is considered "the tough guy" and the "bad-ass" in the precinct. She is scary, smart, secretive, and difficult to read. Most of the members of the precinct are frightened and a little disturbed by her. Rosa takes pride in the fact that no one knows much about her. Jake only knows three facts about her, one of which is that she won't let people crash at her place, despite the fact that she refers to him as her "closest friend".
Having recently watched her portray the role of Tanya, a barista/assassin in Gabi and then having my YouTube recommendations flooded with clips from Iris, (T.O.P. from Big Bang being the reason) I was convinced that I would never find a better Rosa than Kim So Yeon. She has a talent for portraying conflicted, enigmatic characters really well, is great in action sequences and IMHO actually fits the bill for "strong, bad-ass female characters". More importantly, she can actually pull off Rosa's signature I-can-kill-you-with-my-stare look really well.
Jo Jung Suk as Detective Charles Boyle
Detective Charles Boyle is the precinct's workhorse. He is shown as someone who is not gifted in intelligence and athleticism, however, he tries harder than anyone else. Charles is mild-mannered, eccentric, and optimistic. He is an intensely critical foodie but is also needlessly critical of almost everything around him. He has an extremely close, almost brotherly relationship with Jake- who acts primarily as Charles's guide.
In spite of his eccentricities, Charles has frequently shown himself to be extremely brave when he needs to be and is one of the most loyal and lovable characters on the show.
I first watched Jo Jung Suk as Kim Byung Gun in the musical drama What's Up, and later as the lovable friend Nabb-ddeuk in Architecture 101. Despite these roles being almost 10 years old, and Jung Suk having evolved to first male lead status, I would love for him to showcase his comedic chops once again as a lovable and goofy character, because he is incredibly talented in that regard. Eccentricities are his forte and he is incredible at expressing his emotions to the point where you start crying a river - *cough cough* My Annoying Brother - and want to give him a hug.
So Ji Sub as Sergeant Terrance "Terry" Jeffords
Sergeant Terry Jeffords is a linebacker (American football term for a defensive player) of a man who's lost his nerve, not because he's a coward, but because a year prior to the series, his wife had twin baby girls, and he can't imagine not seeing them grow up. Terry is a good cop and a serious person, but he is also extremely smooth and everyone in the precinct really likes him.
Terry is caring, protective over the squad and hardworking. He has a habit of referring to himself in the third person. When his daughters were born, he freaked out and ended up afraid of getting himself hurt, but soon enough he showed himself to be a tough, heroic, fearsome man who would do anything to protect his squad. He is capable of having a ferocious temper, almost as ferocious as Rosa's (which is really saying something).
Choosing the perfect Terry was difficult, as it needed to be someone who could be stoic and funny at the same time, have a great physique and exude a level of confidence and manliness that could be seconded by no one. Therefore, it was plain as day that So Ji Sub was the only man who could pull this off. He has the necessary skill set required to portray a police sergeant very well, has experience acting in a comedic setting as evident by his role as Joo Joong Won in The Master's Sun, and is great with kids, as seen in his role as secret agent/baby sitter Kim Bon in Terius Behind Me.
Kim Yoo Mi as Regina "Gina" Linetti
"Hi, Gina Linetti. The human form of the 100 emoji. My mother cried on the day I was born because she knew she would never be better than me."
Gina Linetti is the 99th precinct's sardonic civilian administrator. She has displayed a penchant for kleptomania and extreme narcissism but is generally regarded as harmless by the rest of the staff. She does very little other than play on her phone, taunt Charles Boyle, flirt with Terry, and constantly compliment, praise and exalt herself. Her unconventional and snarky character is loved by all and is a fan favourite.
For me, there is no one who can do justice to this awesome character other than Kim Yoo Mi. She is a skilled actress and a professional scene-stealer, as she proved with her amazing performance as Madam Lee Jin Sook in Cruel City. Her character was the right amount of snarky, sarcastic, funny and charming, very much like Gina's. For a memorable performance, Kim Yoo Mi is the MVP.
Park Sung Woong as Captain Raymond "Ray" Holt
"Do not trust any child that chews bubble gum-flavoured bubble gum.
Do not trust any adult that chews gum at all."
Captain Ray Holt is the current Captain of The 99th precinct. Outwardly he is strict, hardworking, stoic, staunchly professional and a stickler for the rules. Inwardly, he is a warm, empathetic, devoted and kind-hearted man who cares deeply about the officers and employees under his command and frequently participates in office antics, competitions and pranks. Though he is often lampooned by his colleagues for his lack of displaying emotion or facial expressions, he is held in the highest regard by them and has developed close relationships with most of them.
Park Sung Woong is one of my favourite Ahjusshi actors both in character and in person. I first witnessed his spectacular acting in The Smile Has Left Your Eyes and Hidden Identity, both dramas focusing on a heavy, solemn and intense story-line. However, seeing him make appearances in various variety shows and his performance as Yeo Woon Gwang in Man to Man and in Eulachacha Waikiki (Guest Appearance as himself) made me realize the extent of his quick wit and humour. Therefore, I concluded that Park Sung Woong would be the best choice for Captain Holt, a well-rounded actor for a well-rounded character.
Kim Sang Ho as Detective Michael Hitchcock
"Wait a minute. If you get killed, what happens to all your debt? Loophole!"
Detective Michael Hitchcock is one-half of an older male detective duo infamous for their laziness at the 99th precinct. His best friend and partner is Norm Scully, with whom he has worked for almost thirty years. He is an ageing, lazy detective who by his own admission does "nothing all day." Between the two of them, they only made 14 arrests in one year compared to Jake's solo 78 in the same period.
Kim Sang Ho is a senior actor with quite a repertoire. I first saw him in D-Day, but he has played supporting roles in various hit dramas like Lee Yoon Sung's lovable uncle in City Hunter, Yang Jung Han in Doctor Stranger as well the highly-rated Netflix drama Kingdom, showcasing his versatility as an actor and his prominent screen presence despite the minimal screen time he receives. His acting deserves way more recognition as he blends in perfectly with any genre and is a welcome face in dramas and movies alike.
Kang Ho Dong as Detective Norm Scully
"Some things are just delicious enough to suffer the consequences.
I'm diabetic but I still eat sugar out of the bag."
Detective Norm Scully, like his partner and best friend Hitchcock, is an older male detective at the 99th precinct. According to them, the two are a package deal and cannot be separated come what may. Scully is multilingual, can sing opera and communicate in Morse Code. Nobody at the precinct knows if Kelly is his dog or his wife due to the way he describes her, and neither is it revealed to the audience. With these random and ludicrous traits, the Hitchcock and Scully duo creates chaos for the rest of the team with their incompetence, ensuing in hilarity for the audience.
Kang Ho Dong is a variety show personality who can be most notably seen in Knowing Bros. I have yet to see him in a K-Drama or film, (he guest starred in an episode of My Wife's Having An Affair This Week) but with the ample amount of comedy skits he has starred in, it is safe to conclude that the man is hilarious and can act. When his jokes fall flat, his slapstick comedy and facial expressions more than makeup for them. Which is why I feel that there could not be a better Scully than Kang Ho Dong.
And with that, this article comes to its end!
Did you like the prospective cast for the Korean version of Brooklyn Nine Nine? Or did you hate it? What would your perfect cast be like?
I would like to thank MDL user Aya97, whose articles on Korean remakes of The Breakfast Club and Shameless inspired me to try writing one for Brooklyn Nine Nine.
Hello there, dear reader! If you've made it this far, I thank you with all my heart for giving this little article of mine a chance and for staying till the end. In case it is not already apparent, this was my first ever article for the MDL community and I'm overjoyed to be able to have made this contribution, although I'm sure my nervousness and hesitation must have been evident throughout. English may not be my first language, but I have a deep love for it and am consistently on the lookout for improving my writing skills.
Please leave your honest opinions regarding the article, its length, overall quality and whether it was engaging enough. Your opinions will really help. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.