We understand that New Girl is not going to be everyone's cup of twee. There are legions of people out there who hate Zooey Deschanel's quirky style and personality. Those people should not watch this show -- there's absolutely no way that they will ever be able to look beyond Zooey's dorky-girl-next-door character to see that this sitcom is actually fast-paced, clever and entertaining. Since we weren't predisposed to despise her, we found ourselves utterly drawn under her spell. That said, this show isn't all about her -- there are plenty of other oddball elements that make this series our favorite comedy of the fall (we'd say the season, but ABC's upcoming Apartment 23 might win that battle). Here's what we adored about the pilot:
Best Stripper Name Ever
Rebecca Johnson. Well, Tiger Boobs runs a close second, but honestly, we like the uninspired nature of Rebecca Johnson better. And the fact that Jess felt like she needed to have her stripper persona have a heart of gold and college aspirations.
Yes, it would get annoying if Jess was an actual person that we'd have to spend any amount of time with in real life, but since she's not, her singing is a bizarrely wonderful character trait. "Doing sexy stuff with the plant" is just one choice lyric, but "Who's that girl? It's Jess!" really should be the name of the show. We'd love more flashbacks of her singing such tunes as "One of Us" at inappropriate venues.
He's desperate, the most frequent contributor to the douchebag jar and just so eager to fit in that he'll do anything to score women. Including taking his top off as frequently as possible. Plus, we've loved Max Greenfield since he was Deputy Leo on Veronica Mars, so we're always happy to see him gainfully employed... and randomly taking his shirt off.
Maybe it was just pandering to us nerds, but when Jess started mumbling about Gandalf and Smeagol, we knew we might be in serious love with her.
Damon Wayans Jr. is only around for the pilot, but his character was so filled with rage that we were happy we got him at all (he is completely underserved by Happy Endings). We feel the same way about jeggings, Coach.
Excessive Dirty Dancing Viewing
Every rom-com in the world has girls weeping, eating ice cream and watching sappy movies, but this one took it to a new level with the recently dumped Jess watching this '80s classic on a loop six or seven times a day. The repetition really made this gag stand out, and seeing her male roommates react to the film and then coming to her rescue to sing "Time of My Life" was both sweet and pretty inspired.
Jess' Cotton Candy World
She lives in a bubble where she thinks dressing in overalls is perfectly fine and where motor boating or tea-bagging don't exist. It's not the real world at all, but sometimes we just want to watch a show where a girl turns slutty after some pink wine and thinks that everything is all sparkly and filled with rainbows. It's a nice respite from the gritty dramas like Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy that dominate so much of our TV diet.
These roommates might give her flack, but they pick her up when she really needs help after being stood up. They are even willing to pretend to be reverse Mormons in order to lift her spirits. Not to mention happily telling a random waitress that one man just isn't enough for her. That could actually take the show in a whole bizarre new direction...
Jess is clearly a trainwreck when it comes to men, which may be hard to believe since she's more than a little attractive -- though then again, she does sing to herself. But we like the way her new roommates are teaching her to be sex kitten: "You want to forget about Spencer, you are going to have to do some very bad things to that man over there." "How bad?" "Real bad." We imagine that she thinks that real bad connotes having sex with the lights on (after hearing her stripper name, we wouldn't be surprised), but we found it amusing that she was willing to try.
So yes, Jess is possibly unbelievable dorky. Yes, she would be annoying if she actually existed in reality and we'd want to smack her in the face. Yes, she's in her own little world. However, we enjoy her pals, her pop culture references and Deschanel's committed performance. Plus, there were just enough moments of reality in there (hell, who hasn't overshared and been completely awkward around potential hookups, or struggled to wear high heels, or had a mother worried that strangers on Craigslist were going to kill them?) to keep it from being a complete cartoon. So while we may get skewered for liking this show and its star, we don't care. We hope this New Girl sticks around long enough to make the title sound outdated.
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