The cast assembles for Brooklyn Nine Nine season six

This Quebec Remake of Brooklyn Nine-Nine Is Like Looking Into Another Reality

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We know that we’re currently stuck in one of the worst realities. I’m sure there’s some Mad Max version of America out there in the multiverse that’s scarier, but honestly, this plane of existence is just pretty darn exhausting … so why don’t we take a peek into another reality, where Brooklyn Nine-Nine is in French and Charles Boyle is inexplicably bald … but everyone else looks like bad photocopies of the original cast?

What you just watched is actually not some glimpse into another universe, it’s the trailer for Escouade 99, the remake of Brooklyn Nine-Nine from Quebec. The series, (Squad 99 in English) follows, like it’s American counterpart, “a group of endearing and out of the ordinary detectives who fight crime at Escouade 99,” only this version is set in, wait for it, Quebec City and not Brooklyn.

This is completely authorized as well, don’t worry. Quebecor Content (a Quebecois broadcast company) bought the rights to create their own version of the popular comedy last year. The new version stars Mickaël Gouin, Guy Jodoin, Widemir Normil, Bianca Gervais, Mylène Mackay, Léane Labrèche-Dor and Louis Champagne. Some of those names may be popular in Quebec, but I honestly just like looking at them.

This remake doesn’t seem like they are just taking the idea though, but that they are exactly replicating the shots and jokes of the original series, right down to the costumes and hair for some of the characters. At that point, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just dub it but maybe they want to make it slightly more applicable to Quebecois humor … which I’m sure is a thing.

One issue that has been raised in reaction to this trailer, however, is that Amy and Rosa, two Latina characters on the original, are white here. Even actress Melissa Fumero was wondering about the potential whitewashing. joined by her co-star Stephanie Beatriz.

Quebec has a Latinx population of 1.5%. New York City, which has more people living there than in the entire province of Quebec, is 27.5% Latinx comparatively. But there are indeed plenty of Latinas in Quebec, and the whitewashing here is upsetting and should be scrutinized. Quebec is only 3.2% Black and they still cast two Black men for the show, as well they should have. The decisions made in casting the characters of Amy and Rosa leave much to be desired.

Fumero added to her commentary, expressing her disappointment.

And while Brooklyn 99 itself has promised to use its platform going forward to address the protest movements against police brutality and systemic racism in this country, it’s unlikely the Canadian version has the same plans.

There have been other remakes and foreign versions of shows, but it’s still quite bizarre seeing this one and how much of a copy it is in so many ways and also noting the ways things have changed. Some of the jokes are so familiar that you don’t even need to speak French to get them.

Season one of Escouade 99 will debut in Quebec on the channel Club illico on September 17th. I hope there are more clips so we can keep up with this very weird other world going on up North.

(via Den of Geek, image: NBC)

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Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.