Amy Santiago, played by Melissa Fumero, had fulminated many a pop-culture misconceptions about sharp-witted, driven women being haughty, humourless and lonely. She was introduced as a thorough competitor who’s attention to detail and sharp mind made her an exceptional leader. When I watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine and saw Amy’s character, I thought I knew what their dynamic would be: that she was a rule follower who would try to put “Jake, the rebel cop” in line and being a rule repellent he would outshine her anyway. But this was not where the sitcom took us. Once when Jake goofed off at the scene of a robbery, Amy admonished him. But when, Jake revealed that he had hitherto solved the case and cracked a new joke, Amy reacted with a smile. With that smile, an amazing thing happened: Amy became adorable too, subtly disregarding the idea that there’s something innately vexatious about an ambitious, brainy-woman. In all the seven seasons till now, the Latina has thrived on the show, used her wits to solve numerous cases, went on a clandestine mission in a prison to become the first of her peers to be promoted to the Sergeant position. For almost a year of following the show, I have realised I’m most similar to Ames(one of her nicknames)- a kind of a nerd who is just as much an organisational freak and is perhaps a bit of a teacher’s ducky but she knows it and owns it. She has seven brothers, which might be the reason that fostered a craving to validate herself. She has taught us umpteen valuable life lessons in the show of which I’ll mention a few that had fundamentally stood out to me.
• First up, never be afraid of hard work. Amy is completely devoted to learning and to improving herself and the community. Correspondingly, she’s not afraid to put in the work needed to ratify change. Whenever she’s handed a responsibility, one can trust that she’ll carry it out with perfection without a single flaw. We should learn from her a great zeal of punctuality and seriousness for her job.
• Secondly, Brooklyn Nine-Nine manages to exhibit Amy’s nerdiness without implicitly castigating part of her personality. In Season 2, Holt told Amy, “No offence, but you are something of a teacher’s pet,” to which Amy responded without skipping a beat, “None taken. People love their pets.” This defined Amy by attributes not often seen together in women onscreen, she loved rules but isn’t afraid to break them if they’re unfair, she wooed perfection but cannot give up on cigarettes, she is obsessed with crossword puzzles but prospers in a perilous, tangibly demanding profession.
• Thirdly, when Amy and Jake eventually got together, two of my favourite details of their relationship are don’t be afraid to love someone who is different from you and also how both Jake and Amy defied ‘Gender Stereotypes’. In Season 4, when Amy was afraid to take the Sergeant’s exam, even though becoming a Sergeant would take her a step closer to her lifelong dream, she was scared that it might strain the relationship between Jake and herself. But then Jake convinced her to take the exam. He said,“This is your dream, from before we were dating. And yeah, things might change a little, but for the better, right?” Jake’s masculinity doesn’t take a hit from the realisation that his girlfriend may become his boss or earn more money than him. Even it shows how considerate Amy was of Jake’s feelings. I think it is very essential for both partners to have such a respect and concern for one another in a relationship, to be able to work out through problems smoothly.
• Fourthly, in the finale of Season 7, when it was the last day of Amy’s before her maternity leave, the entire squad was on high alert when a massive blackout hit Brooklyn. Holt and Terry, the ones who could initiate blackout protocol were stuck inside an elevator. So, Amy had to take charge in their absence for the emergency and then, she sent everyone to different parts of the city to attend to the crisis while she faced labor but didn’t back down to save the city when it needed her. This shows the kind of leadership capabilities she possessed and her utmost dedication to serve the people of her city. As Amy had taken the oath to save people, by any means she will bring it to fruition. This incident teaches us to be determined towards our duties and to never back down when we have the power to help someone.
• Last but definitely not the least, it goes without saying that Ames is undoubtedly really good at her job but doesn’t seek any appraisal for it. Doing her job is just baseline for her, she rightly doesn’t expect a cookie or a pat at the back for doing only what’s called for. She only looked for acquiescence by going above and beyond for people, for always consistently trying to be a better version of herself, not out-perform her co-workers. This, in combination of her awkward nature, makes her a highly relatable and loving character just like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. We should understand that people don’t like the ones who boast about all their good deeds. If it’s a deed well done, then people will definitely appreciate it in the right time.
It really makes me feel gratified that I could definitely watch an almost relatable character thrive out there and teach me new ways of looking at problems, I’m really glad to have found Amy Santiago and also expecting a big role of the baby in Season eight’s shenanigans. Let’s keep it cool for now and till then learn a bunch of new dance moves(remember when Amy learnt to dance during the police convention thrown by the Buffalo PD but that department got arrested for corruption and of course, then Nine-Nine was left without a party to attend).