If you’ve been following this recurring column, you’ve probably noticed we have a soft spot for oddball comedies with female leads. While I continue to pray that Don’t Trust The B*** in Apartment 23 will be revived by Netflix or Yahoo Screen or even Den of Geek, I found another love in the Zooey Deschanel-led sitcom, New Girl.
Yes, the title makes sense at first but New Girl isn’t another canceled-too-soon show. It has thrived, and is now entering its fourth season this fall. The new roommate is old news these days but I’ve found that the title could deter guys from taking a shot on the show. I know it did for me. All is good, though. Eventually I found New Girl, as I’ll explain later on. Now I’m ready to share the gift with you, confused Netflix binger.
Breaking up is hard to do. It’s even harder when you live with the person who just cheated on you. That’s where we find the now apartmentless—though not for long—Jess (Zooey Deschanel), a middle school teacher, who takes a flier on living with three guys in a spacious Los Angeles loft.
The adjustment period for the old guys and the new girl carries the plot of most of season one before the unlikely foursome become good friends. Rounding out the cast is the eccentric fat kid turned wanna-be ladies man, Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Winston (Lamorne Morris), a former professional basketball player who has to adjust to life after the pros and Nick (Jake Johnson), a law school dropout and recently dumped slacker-type.
Two seasons are available on Netflix. The fourth season starts this fall on FOX.
Why you should watch it:
I have a bias toward Jake Johnson because he’s my new favorite actor. It started with scrolling through Netflix and finding the low-budget indie flick Safety Not Guaranteed, which led to another low-budget indie flick, Drinking Buddies.
And then before I knew it I was a full-blown Jake Johnson addict and Netflix suggested I partake in New Girl. Netlfix is a total enabler. If the suggestions page keep this up, this column will turn into the “Jake Johnson Show of the Week.”
Regardless, he’s the glue that holds New Girl together. When Jess is struggling to adjust to her new living situation, Nick bridges the gap between the new girl and Schmidt and Winston (and Coach, who disappears after the pilot). When we get tired of Schmidt’s antics, it’s Nick that centers the plot every time he comes on screen. But enough gushing about Jake Johnson.
The entire supporting cast is the reason to pick up this screwball comedy. Max Greenfield’s facial expressions make the Schmidt character, a poor man’s Barney Stinson, so much fun to watch even if you’re cringing at half of his lines. Playing along well with Schmidt is CeCe, (Hannah Simone) a model who is Jess’s best friend and has a love/mostly hate relationship with all the roommates. Winston is the wildcard in the production. The character is a little stiff from the get-go, but as he’s developed he brings the potential to become a fan favorite.
Of course, we can’t forget about the titular character, Jess. Deschanel’s performance evolves as the character comes out of her shell. Jess’s childish, corky behavior can get on your nerves early in season one, but eventually I grew to love Deschanel’s cute, at times oblivious banter with her roommates and almost deadpan delivery.
Though Jess becomes a more likable character as season one goes on—and in subsequent seasons— early in my binge I was questioning whether I’d be able to get through the show. Then I had a realization. Here’s the thing about Zooey Deschanel: Her eyes have the ability to pierce your soul. See below example.
Wow! Those things are like two little crystal balls, look long enough and you’ll be able to see your own demise. I’m not sure if I’m either now possessed or I’m so overwhelmed by the beauty that I’ll never be able to love again. Anyway, moving on…
This series is for you if:
In a television fantasy you envision Friends as a zany, but wholesomely attractive woman and Scrubs is the shy, down on his luck guy occupying the end of the bar. They bump into each other, strike up a conversation and spend the evening talking about how awkward they are. Eventually they have intense, at times uncomfortable, but nonetheless passionate sex and nine months later New Girl is born.
Highly binge-able. Come for the Deschanel, stay for the Jake Johnson.