Granted, New Girl isn’t a horror movie. It’s not even a new movie but a new TV series on FOX that’s set to debut this fall. Newly single Jess Day ( Zooey Deschanel) moves in with three men and proves their awesome-brosome trinity needs a bubbly, DIRTY DANCING-obsessed, carefree woman is needed in their mix. The three friends include Coach (Damon Wayans, JR.), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Nick (Jake M. Johnson) as three lifelong friends who, without reasons explained, have the sudden need for a fourth roommate.
The cast is often the make it or break it factor is almost any show, especially a sitcom. NEW GIRL has perfectly cast its leads. Everyone is in top form. Deschanel proves that like her older sister Emily Deshanel (BONES), she can carry a heavy testosterone-casted TV series without irony nor self-indulgence. Her quirky charms make her a “love her” or “hate her” character, and fortunately she adds enough humility to her role to make her a “love her” character. The three roommates also set themselves apart from other similar “hip-urban” sitcoms in that they’re self-aware. Call this the DAWSON’S CREEK of modern sitcoms but all the characters seem to know what they represent at face-value but seem to have extra layers to them. Upon viewing of the pilot, we know where the series is going and I enjoyed seeing a show about the dynamics of a friendship changing without sap and sorrow.
Whether you like the show or not depends on whether or not you like Deschanel. The series is clearly designed as a star-vehicle for her (she even sings the opening theme) while allowing her to showcase her “singing talents.” While her bubbly, clueless demeanor may be charming for some it can also clearly be off-putting for those who aren’t immediately sold on her Comicon-quirkiness.
Also, this pilot is unfortunately a case of “if you’ve seen the previews, you’ve seen the show” syndrome. Fox has been heavily promoting the series all summer and upon viewing you come to the realization that if someone were to splice together all the previews for the show, they would have the pilot- minus one subplot.
The cast is the glue that holds this show together, so fingers crossed that the drop of Coach in episode 2 and the addition of new character of Winston (Lamorne Morris) continues the shows chemistry.
The show isn’t perfect but almost no pilot is perfect and when it is it’s usually cancelled before the initial 13-episode order has run its course. NEW GIRL is a funny new sitcom about the taboos of platonic male and female relationships and the need to start a new life. While the appeal of the show lies on Deshanel’s shoulders, I’d be more than willing to bet she’s someone worth taking a gamble on.
*** out of 4
A crisp romaine salad with halved grape tomatoes, succulent flank steak, red onions and tangy blue cheese. A nice glass of Shiraz would make the perfect balance.