If you’re going to start watching New Girl, chances are it’s because Zooey Deschanel plays the leading role in it. By now she’s made a name for herself in the industry as America’s indie sweetheart, sending a “girl next door” vibe with a bit of an edge. She may, however, be too kooky for some, and your tolerance for her eccentricity will ultimately determine whether or not you’ll appreciate the show.

New Girl follows a recent stream of sitcoms that focus on and celebrate being different (other shows like Glee and The Big Bang Theory come to mind). It tells the story of a bubbly school teacher named Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel), also known as Jess, whose quirky behaviours become ordinary for the viewer after each episode.

In the pilot, Jess moves out of her boyfriend’s apartment after she finds out he’s cheated on her. She ends up having to find somewhere new to live and finds a place to stay on Craigslist, where she comes across a loft that comes with three male roommates: Nick (Jake Johnson), Winston (Lamorne Morris) – who replaces the character of Coach from the second episode – and Schmidt (Max Greenfield).

…the odd one out amid all these freaks…

It should be pointed out that within the whole group, which includes a grumpy bartender (Nick), a metrosexual modern day dandy (Schmidt) and a former mildly successful basketball player who just came back from Lithuania (Winston), Cece (Hannah Simone), a model and Jess’ best friend, turns out to be the odd one out amid all these freaks.

Starring as Jess, Deschanel has started what in America they call the “adorkable” trend, whereby her suddenly bursting into song or using a “feeling stick” to talk about her emotions is endearing rather than just plain weird. As the show progresses, Jess’ character becomes all the more likeable because of her strange habits.

 

 

…the effortlessly odd and hilarious Schmidt…

It also becomes more and more obvious that Deschanel’s real self has most probably inspired the character of Jess, which works as the show’s unique selling point, in that it is her that will first attract viewers. But it has to be said that there’s much more to New Girl than a pretty face with deep blue eyes. The cast has obvious chemistry and Max Greenfield in particular shines as the effortlessly odd and hilarious Schmidt.

The show’s premise in itself has no “wow” factor, nor will it be considered revolutionary. In fact, you could say that it follows a well-known recipe for an American sitcom, similar to shows like Friends or How I Met Your Mother where a group of friends and their daily adventures are the core part of the story.

…the jokes are a bit too predictable…

When watching the first few episodes, you wonder if the show has what it takes to stand on its own. Though the concept is not hard to get into, the jokes are a bit too predictable at first, just about managing to get a constrained giggle out of you. But if you keep watching, you’ll find that it’s worth giving it a second chance, as each episode is better than the last.

3.5 Stars

 

 

About The Author

Inês Azevedo is a Portuguese student journalist with a passion for film and video, reporting on culture, television shows and everything quirky. Inês, who in 2010 moved from Luxembourg to London to study at just 17, is currently finishing her Journalism degree at City University London.

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