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‘New Girl’ is eccentric emotional rollercoaster

TV Review | 3 out of 5 stars

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 01:10

 

The hour-long season premiere of Fox’s “New Girl” reunites viewers with the notoriously adorkable foursome. The two-episode premiere has everything — emotional highs, emotional lows, genital reincarnation and salacious alter-egos. What more could we ask for?

Last season, “New Girl” brought a mix of awkward and cute humor to television screens everywhere. Audiences were introdcued to Jess, a quirky middle school teacher (Zooey Deschanel), amicable bartender Nick (Jake Johnson), unemployed ex-basketball star Winston (Lamorne Morris) and the lavish Schmidt (Max Greenfield). The group’s hilarious interactions made the first season of “New Girl” great.

Season one ended with Schmidt and Cece (Hannah Simone) breaking up despite becoming an endearing couple. We also saw the glimmer of a possible relationship between Jess and Nick, something we’ve all been waiting for since the show began.

This season’s premiere centers around an unexpectedly serious event: Jess gets fired from her job as a teacher. Luckily, this sad incident is balanced by a few sillier bits, including the rebirth of Schmidt’s manhood. The show stays true to its nature by slipping humor into less-than-humorous moments and building up the tension — a trick that keeps audiences on their toes.

The thing that makes “New Girl” so much more entertaining than most sitcoms is its unconventional sense of humor. The show gets the audience to laugh even during the most solumn situations. This is unlike most other popular sitcoms like “Friends” (1994-2004) or “How I Met Your Mother” that usually lose the comedy when dealing with more serious issues. In this way, the show’s creator, Elizabeth Meriwether, takes some serious risks. She isn’t afraid to get a laugh out of unhappy situations like a character’s break up or new unemployment. On a more philosophical level, by having the characters on the show make fun of their difficulties, “New Girl” suggests that viewers follow suit and also laugh at themselves and their misfortunes.

This episode both tickles the funny bone and tackles more sensitive issues. Meriwether spends a significant amount of time in both episodes building up the sexual tension between Nick and Jess as well as between Schmidt and Cece, though in very different ways. Jess’s promiscuous alter-ego finds a new man, while Nick watches from the sidelines and we, the horrified audience, are incredulous that she is persuing this random guy and not Nick. Schmidt tries his absolute hardest — and literally juggles fire at one point — while attempting to get Cece back after he totally blew it last season by “white-fanging” her. Fortunately, none of the relationships are finalized or tied up — there are several ropes hanging loose, leaving the audience itching for more drama and resolution in coming episodes.

However, this double-premiere does sometimes feel like it overloads the audience with too many new plot lines, characters and questions, while leaving many other questions unanswered. These mistakes make the premiere a lot less satisfying than it could have been. Nevertheless, “New Girl” is definitely a show to watch this year. It’s short and sweet, and context is definitely optional when you first start to watch this show. You can choose literally any episode to watch and you will feel the same emotions as a person who is already obsessed with the show. Still, a little context never hurts, so starting with the first season is probably a good idea. With its endearing characters, hilarious incidents and an intriguing plot, “New Girl” will play with all of your emotions at once and leave you wanting much, much more.

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