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By Meredith Alloway · August 24, 2011
I like New Girl. I’ll just say it right out. It’s simply just too hard to resist. Zooey Deschanel is in her element as the character Jessica and somehow, in only one episode, manages to reinvent geek/chic. In a time where TV shows are trodden with plastic housewives, too-tan Jersey alcoholics and women who look way too good in 1950s office wear, Deschanel is a breath of fresh air. And although she is the most noticeable name in the cast, her co-stars have their own intriguing story lines and personalities.
Jessica gets dumped. And not only does she find her boyfriend with another woman, she happens to be in the middle of a seductive dance involving some plant humping and a big bow as her only source of clothing. Ouch. Things begin to look up for Jessica though when three dudes, Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Coach (Damon Wayans), accept her as a roommate. The boys immediately regret their decision after a week of her dirty dancing obsession, continuous wailing, pillow hitting, and couch hogging.
But the story really begins when we start to see that all four roommates have serious problems with their love life. Nick: dumped by his ex and still calls her (drunk with a fake Scottish accent). Sad. Schmidt: He has to put money in a “dueschebag jar” when he talks like one and constantly finds ways to take off his shirt. He’s a sweet guy, just going about it all wrong. Coach: A personal trainer and therefore only knows how to communicate with women through yelling and sweat-inducing rants. Jessica: She’s not only trying to recover from the break-up but also learning how to date again, and being sexy while doing it. When the boys take her out, she orders a drink and remarks,”Pink wine makes me….slutty.” She’s adorable and charming and needs serious dating advice. Oh, and she sings whenever she pleases, whether it be self-mottos or laments.
As witty, clever and truly hilarious lines whiz by throughout the episode, you begin to wonder if it’s the writing or the actors that bring the show to life. When Schmidt tries to convince Jessica to go out one night, he says, “What if you came out with us tonight? We’ll get you a rebound…I’ll be your guide.” She inquires back, “Like Gandolf through Middle Earth?” In her glasses and tussled hair, you can’t help but submit a half amused, half confused smile. The boys also create lovable characters as well. We learn about all of their problems, take in the fact that they accepted Jessica as a roommate mainly because she has “model friends” and all honestly just want to get laid.
The characters become dimensional though after Jessica’s date bails one night. The boys leave a party (full of potential one-night stands) and show up at the restaurant to rescue Jessica. “You guys missed your party to come here and see me? That’s so nice,” She says crying into her napkin. They boys them commence singing “I had the time of my life,” knowing how much she loves the movie… and singing. It may be a little cheesy, but who wouldn’t want three goofballs to make fools of themselves in front of an entire restaurant, and just for you?
Because of the vulnerable, silly and charmingly hopeless characters in New Girl, moments like this become genuine. By the end of the episode we see that all these people are going about love in all the wrong ways. Lucky for them, we’re on their side, and we’re left with the hope that maybe all these misfits can help each other find love. The reason why New Girl possesses real potential this season, lies in the fact that it has actors willing to develop fresh, original characters, personalities we’ve never seen on the small screen before.