Starring Zooey Deschanel, Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield, Damon Wayans Jr.
Written by Elizabeth Meriwether
Air date: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9/8c
New Girl, the new sitcom from Fox, is the best new show of the TV season. Okay, that is a pretty bold statement. I have not seen any other show from the new Fall lineup, but if the preview that I saw of the pilot episode is an indicator of how the series will play out, then those other new shows will have to have to bring their A game to the table.
Right about now, I am sure you are wondering why this show is so great. Is the premise really that original? Well, no. The premise is pretty much a staple of in the landscape of TV sitcoms. A recently single girl, Jess (Zooey Deschanel), moves into an apartment with a group of guys she has nothing in common with.
There is Schmidt (Max Greenfield), the self-proclaimed ladies man. He is so pompous that the roommates have created a “Douchebag” jar for him. Then there is Nick (Jake M. Johnson), the sensitive roommate who recently experienced heartbreak himself. Rounding out her group of roomies is Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.), a trainer who has trouble talking to ladies at the correct decibel. The men are a bit put off by Jess in the beginning, but in true TV fashion, her charm wins them over.
Indeed, the premise is old and predictable, so then why am I singing its praises? Well, for a number of reasons. For one thing, I really enjoy a well done sitcom and this is a well done sitcom. The writing is sharp, there is no prerecorded laugh track to be found, and the characters are interesting. I can’t recall the last time I watched a sitcom where I laughed out loud (particularly the Dirty Dancing references in the pilot) during one episode.
The characters are pretty stereotypical, but each actor makes the most of what they have and expands the role. They feel like living, breathing individuals that you want to find out more about and get to know. The cast also has a lot of great chemistry together. Watching the way the actors interact with one another, you really get the impression that they are having a good time and can actually believe they are friends. The boys work well together and also play off of Deschanel’s Jess very well.
Just in case someone out there is not familiar with Deschanel, she usually plays the overly cute female character and in New Girl, it is no different. She is cuter than a convention hall full of bunnies. If you are a fan of hers, you will love this sitcom. If you loathe her and find her annoying, this might not be the show for you but I urge you to give it a shot. The sitcom has a lot potential and heart.
The only downside to this sitcom so far is the exclusion of Damon Wayans, Jr. He had to leave the show once his other sitcom, Happy Endings, was renewed. I will miss the Coach character but I am sure the show will create an equally enjoyable character to replace him.
Like I said earlier, I have not seen any of the other new shows, but I kind of like this New Girl. The cast is likeable and have great chemistry together, the writing is whip-smart, and Zooey Deschanel has never been more charming. If this show is given a chance to shine, I think it has a shot to be a pretty stellar sitcom much like Scrubs once was.