New Girl premieres on shaky ground, but entertaining

Fall television has arrived, and the new season of New Girl has finally graced our screens with its presence. Delivering on its purpose, the show heralded much laughter from my end, but looking forward, the show’s overall quality has come into question.

Picking up directly where season two leaves off, season three of New Girl begins with the conclusion to the finale’s wedding from the last episode. Nick, played by the always lovable Jake Johnson, and Jess, played by the whimsical Zooey Deschanel, have finally decided that their relationship is going to be official. Viewers have been teased by an on-again-off-again, budding romance, and the writers are now giving everyone what they wished for: an actual attempt at making it work. “I’m all in,” said by both of them.

A relationship proves to be much more difficult than either of them had expected. After mere minutes of becoming a couple, Nick and Jess arrive to their home (they were roommates before becoming significant others), and they are hit with their first dilemma. Their other two roommates, Winston and Schmidt, pose to be too much to handle if their relationship is to operate smoothly. Realizing this, the couple decides to get away from the absurdity that is their roommates and go to a less hectic place where peace and tranquility can be had: Mexico.

To be frank, Nick and Jess become quite the bums in Mexico. They tailor their clothes to look ripped and rigid which ends up looking more Flintstones than Cast Away, all while their faces look perfectly pristine. Now living out of the trunk of their car, Nick and Jess share some intimate moments like threatening to kill a little boy and getting arrested. With Nick detained, Jess has to go back to her home to recruit her roommates for help.

Meanwhile, Winston and Schmidt have their bevy of issues. Schmidt, the poor guy, has the painful dilemma of having to choose between two really wonderful girls. Without Nick, his best friend, for support, Schmidt looks to Winston to confide in, resulting in the inevitable “best friends” label bestowed upon each other. In his self centeredness, Schmidt decides to forgo anything Winston says and feels that juggling the two women at the same time is the best decision to make.

Alone and clearly struggling with solitude, Winston delves into the world of puzzles. He has quite the experience making the puzzle. He resembles Gollum from The Lord Rings fame as he sings to himself, gives creepy looks to nobody in particular, and even strips down to just his underwear. Why the puzzle brings these traits out in him, nobody knows, but he definitely makes a drastic change from what was previously thought of Winston.

When Jess finally arrives to the home, she rounds up the troops, and they all make it back down to Mexico. Discovering that Nick is simply being comfortably held in a hotel room by security, retrieving him does not prove to be a problem. The real problem ends up being convincing Nick to return. Scared of messing things up with Jess because of their living situation, Nick would rather turn his head away from reality and the fear of losing her.

Eventually, Jess lets Nick know that they are not the couple they are without the presence of their roommates. Following a stereotypical, sitcom group hug, the show concludes with their return to their home.

This episode is entertaining, but its content should not be an omnipresent component of the season. Everything amazing about New Girl comes from the characters, and the treatment they appear to be receiving is unfair. Upon a second viewing of the episode, it has become very apparent that Zooey Deschanel is competing with Lamorne Morris, the man who plays Winston, for the third spot on the bill behind Nick and Schmidt.

While Jess is clearly a weaker character than Nick or Schmidt, it is her calm demeanor that acts as the centerpiece for the absurdity of the other characters to latch on to. Now that the majority of viewers are getting what they wanted in more Nick and Schmidt, the suppression of Jess is hindering the others.

This obstacle is in the form of an over-exposure to the three roommates. With more screen time for them, it seems that there is pressure to give in to the perceptions of the characters and emphasize those perceptions even more. The perfect example of this idea is represented by Winston. Winston has always been the least compelling character of the bunch.

He never had a trademark quality besides being able to disappear behind the others. Everyone knows this, so it seems as if the writers want to make him more interesting. The change made just did not feel right.

Everything Winston does in the episode feels out of character and forced. The same goes for Schmidt. Schmidt is so incredibly up and down with his emotions in this attitude that the audience never gets to rest when he is on screen.

Being highly emotional and basically shouting every line throughout the whole show or becoming a weird, horrific character can be tolerable for one episode. Those types of attitudes deliver some great lines and joyful laughs for twenty minutes.

If extended beyond one episode, an entire season long-story arc can become weighed down by unnecessary and overwhelming characters. Hopefully, New Girl does not go down this dreadful path. For what it is, though, the start to season 3 definitely proved to be entertaining, and while this may not be how they envisioned it, the writers have now hooked viewers to see just how this season will exactly shape up.

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