I don’t do too many TV reviews, but I watched the premiere of New Girl last night and although I usually find Zooey Deschanel to be cute and entertaining, I didn’t find too much to like in this show. Frankly, I expected better, which is pretty sad because I didn’t expect much, having only found out about the series yesterday.
Zooey is talented, but they didn’t really give her a whole lot to do beyond freak out about her boyfriend dumping her, and let’s face it…that’s not really Zooey’s wheelhouse. Quirky, yes. Stressed and freaking, no.
She moves out and finds an apartment with three guy roommates. The three roommates are Personality Types: the Tough (but not too tough) Coach (whose name is “Coach”), the Tool Bodybuilder (who has to put money in “the Douchebag Jar” whenever he says something stupid), and the Nice One Who’s Been Hurt and is on the Road to Learning a Life Lesson about How to Relate to Women.
In 20 minutes, the roommates go from not wanting her around (with the exception of the Tool, who allows her to stay because she offhandedly mentions “all of my friends are models”), to trying to help her even though she spends a week being a wigged out whiny pain-in-the-ass who never leaves the couch, to doing something really sweet because a guy with whom she lined up a date is a far bigger tool than the Tool. In short, the characters aren’t characters at all, but mouthpieces who say or do whatever the script needs them to do in order to reach a given plot point.
There were a few laughs and I’ll probably watch it again to see if it gets any better. Zooey is still adorable, after all. But they should dump the Coach and the Tool and hook Zooey’s character up with the Nice One as soon as possible, because that’s obviously where the show will go if it doesn’t get canceled mid-way through the first season. Throw in a few quirky background characters as friends (not “models”), give it a Dharma and Greg wax and new coat of paint, and they might have something. But the way things stand right now I’d say November is a good target for the cancellation pool.
I’m posting this here mostly because I want credit for having nailed it when it happens.