Pilot – New Girl

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New GirlNetwork: Fox
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 9 EST/8 CST
Premiere Date: 9/20

Main Cast:

Zooey Deschanel – Jessica Day
Jake M. Johnson – Nick
Max Greenfield – Schmidt
Damon Wayans Jr. – Coach
Hannah Simon – Cece Meyers

You will probably notice that the official premiere date is in the future.  No, I’m not important enough that networks send me DVD screeners.  If only.  Actually, Fox made the pilot for New Girl available about a week ago on iTunes (for FREE), and should be on Hulu soon.  I actually watched it for the first time on Friday and then watched it for the second time tonight.  I think a lot of times it takes another viewing because there is always more to see.

The show for me was good, and has the bones to be very good.  I love Zooey Deschanel, mostly because she’s quirky.  Best known for Elf and 500 Days of Summer, Deschanel shines here as an oddball who has just found out her live-in boyfriend was cheating on her.  She looks for a roommate on Craigslist (scary) and finds Nick, Schmidt, and Coach.  One of the best points was when she explains she thought they were girls because of their word choice.  Schmidt must have written the ad, because the two look at him and he responds by proving his masculinity by way of taking off his shirt.  Classic male overcompensation.

I liked all of the characters.  None of them felt completely fleshed out, but as it is only the first episode of what hopes to be a long-running show, we can forgive that.  I actually liked Coach’s inability to converse normally with women.  Sadly, Damon Wayans, Jr. will only be in the pilot.  He’s actually a series regular on the ABC comedy Happy Endings.  That show was a midseason replacement, and because most actors like to cover their bases in case of cancellation, he did the pilot.  When something like this happens, a lot of networks choose to reshoot the pilot, but for reasons unknown, Fox chose instead to replace Coach in episode 2.  We’ll have to see how that plays out, because honestly, I think it messes up the chemistry of the show far too early.

The second time I watched this, I couldn’t help but compare it to The Big Bang Theory.  Except, in New Girl, the lone girl is weird and socially awkward instead of the guys.  I mean, Coach is awkward around women, a la Raj Koothrapali, but at least he can talk to them without liquor.  Even if he does yell.  Schmidt is simply a nice guy trapped in trying to be a “bro”, which the guys call him out for.  Nick is heartbroken from a six-month old break up, and Jessica’s best friend Cece is a model who is as sharp as she is pretty.  It was nice to see that, actually.  So while they all have their own issues, I just couldn’t help but see this as a concept where Penny moved in with the guys and suddenly they had some more social skills.

I will be watching in a couple of weeks and see how the series handles Coach’s departure (which is sad, because I think I like his character the best), and how they move forward.  I do hope that they don’t just have the foursome settle into some easy rhythm with the guys helping Jess in her dating life.  There needs to be a bit of tension.  All in all, a good pilot and a good premise, but let’s hope they don’t ruin the potential that they have.

Rating: 7.5/10



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