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I mostly wanted to start watching Reno 911 for Wendi Mclendon-Covey, I’m a big fan of her and I had seen a few clips from the show so I decided to give it a watch.
My first impression was that it reminded me of the show The Upright Citizens Brigade, of course both are made by Comedy Central so the unique story jumping and characters made sense. Personally I love this type of comedy, but I know it’s not for everybody. I enjoy not knowing what is coming next, with these types of shows you never know what will happen or how crazy it is. The show has a lot of repeat offenders, and characters they arrest often. My favorite was “Terry” played by Nick Swardson, a roller skating man who liked to turn tricks at whatever location he was at, was a reoccurring character throughout the seasons. Some repeat offenders were played by the cast themselves, which is ALWAYS hilarious and entertaining.
In the beginning of the show there were seven cops, four men and three women. I feel like in the first few seasons they mainly focused on the "Cops" part, seemingly a spoof of cop shows of course it is about Reno Sheriffs department, but they do show some parts of the personal lives of the seven characters. I think they talked more about Deputy S. Jones (Cedric Yarbrough) and Deputy Clementine Johnson (Wendi Mclendon-Clovey) in the beginning seasons, and sort of faded off on their character personalities. Whereas Deputy Travis Junior (Robert Ben Garant), Deputy Raineesha Williams (Niecy Nash), Deputy James Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui) were sort of washed over, they rarely showed scenes from their personal lives. Anything learned about them was said verbally, or said by their fellow cops. Lieutenant Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon) and Deputy Trudy Weigel (Kerri Kenney-Silver) were shown the most throughout the show. Lieutenant Dangle was shown less in personal scenes and more of his character revealed in some random scenes other officers were called to, he would casually walk up usually in odd clothing and say a simple "Hey" or sometimes just a head nod, Revealing a secret side to his character. Deputy Weigel is shown in the beginning as someone who isn't fully stable, shown more as goofy and oblivious than anything. I think they really took her character and ran with it, there is a lot surrounding this specific character. They show the most into her personal life and she has the most character empathize. Each character from Reno 911 is unique, they have specific character traits that create a "Cops" show with more than just the work of law enforcement.
Lieutenant Jim Dangle
The leader of the gang, often the joke of many situations and lives a wild, secret life outside the sheriffs office. After tip-toeing around some obvious feelings towards other deputies (male and female) and signs very exploratory sexual lifestyle it's later revealed that he is gay. A surprising reveal to me, I didn't expect it at all... I should have I mean look at those shorts. They did show some signs of his character getting to that, but his reveal was not expected and they did reveal it in kind of a random way, also confusing his fellow officers.
Deputy Trudy Weigel
Definitely the "wild card" here, Trudy is the most complex character in the show. A character that is a little hard to sum up due to her personality being all over the place, she is the butt of many jokes and often ignored or ridiculed by the other officers. Trudy had very obvious feelings towards Lieutenant Dangle, and mainly just enjoyed the attention of strong men. Later she meets a man who turns out to be a serial killer, but keeps their relationship going even while he is behind bars and on death row. Trudy is definitely the strongest character out of the bunch, I think they could have still shown more from other characters while still keeping her character's quirks front and center.
Deputy James Garcia
Mostly shown as a racist, despite being of Mexican descent. His character started off really strong, Garcia was the grumpy racist cop, the beginning seasons did well as portraying him as that. The other officers didn't want to work with him, but later on he seemed to become less racist and more of just your regular cop. Still making racist comments every now and then, but way toned down than before.
Deputy Clementine Johnson
The "Slut," I think they could've done more with her character. Maybe it's just because I wanted to see more of Wendi in the show, but I do believe she could've had more for her character. Wendi is a naturally funny person, they made Clementine just a slutty cop who likes to drink a lot. A character of that type is funny to a show of this style, but towards the ending seasons they began to show her less, season six, which I have yet to watch.. doesn't have her at all. I think she could've been made into a much stronger role, and had so much potential to be a stronger role, they could've done more than make her just a slut with failed marriages or just added more content with her character.
Deputy S. Jones
“The Hot Black Guy," in the beginning of the show they reveal that Jones has slept with many women, Raineesha and Clementine included. Often flirted with from Dangle and Trudy, as well as Raineesha and Clementine. Jones is loved by the masses, and is often the level headed one out of the group. Jones was hot, level headed, and a bit of a slut, often receiving comments about him being the only black guy on the force.
Deputy Raineesha Williams
Stereotypical black girl, another female character I think could've been made into a stronger role. I get that the joke was being a stereotypical black women with a couple kids, all different fathers and so on. But they could've shown her as more than just a fabulous black women, I think Raineesha was a funny character and could've been shown more as well.
Deputy Travis Junior
The "Hick," Junior was not too big in the beginning for a moment I didn't even realize he was one of the officers! But his character definitely grew as the show went on, they really nailed the "Hick" part as well. The truck driving, beer drinking, gun shooting, mustache, and sunglasses type of hick. Later revealed to have feelings for Deputy Kimball.
Deputy Cherish Kimball
The "Closeted Lesbian", Deputy Kimball didn't come in until later seasons. Having the "Stereotypical" look of a butch lesbian who doesn't want to be seen as a lesbian, she had the tough demeanor and hair always back. Often asked about her sexuality she always refused to admit to being a lesbian, but sometimes made comments about leaning that way. Later revealed to prove that she is not a lesbian to Deputy Junior, develops feelings for him even after finding out they are cousins.
I do understand the type of people, and the jokes that come from each of these characters and that's why they are written that way, they could definitely be offensive to some people who aren’t open to the jokes of the comedy world. Comedy is after all, big on the controversial topics such as race, sexuality, and personality traits of specific types of people. I did enjoy how these actors portrayed these type of characters, but would’ve liked to see more from all of the cast not just a select few. All in all, I think the show is fairly successful. They definitely nailed the "Cops" part and showed the type of ridiculousness that cops have to deal with daily. I personally recommend this show if you enjoy the type of improv like and random comedy that Comedy Central brings to television.