TV Review: New Girl (Pilot Episode)

7 Jan

Image: Channel 4

I’d heard good things about New Girl, which has finally arrived in the UK after huge success across the pond. Maybe it’s just the popularity of leading lady Zooey Deschanel, who plays quirky schoolteacher Jess Day (otherwise known as her signature role), but the sitcom has been eagerly anticipated by everyone who hadn’t already watched it illegally online (not me, I hasten to add, I watched it perfect legally on 4oD). Personally, I didn’t feel that the pilot episode quite lived up to the hype, but I’ll hold fire until I’ve seen a little more of the first season.

The episode begins with Jess getting dumped by her boyfriend in the most embarrassing of circumstances, meaning that she has to move in with three guys. There’s Nick (Jake Johnson), who might be able to deal with his own break up if only he could accept that it actually happened; Schmidt (Max Greenfield), who spends most of his time shirtless (and putting pennies in the Douchebag jar for his crimes); and Coach (Damon Wayans Jr), a personal trainer with anger issues, who will unfortunately not be making it past the pilot as his character had to be recast. It’s predictably plotless and fluffy, as Jess wallows on the couch watching Dirty Dancing and makes up theme tunes for herself in her perkier moments. Deschanel has been described as “adorkable” by reviewers, and she lives up to the label, aided by Liz Meriwether’s dialogue (Jess responds to a compliment about her glasses with a squeal of “They help me to see!” and a slightly manic laugh), although the singing does grate a little, at least for me.

For now, I am living up to my blog’s name and viewing New Girl with mixed feelings. Heart-warming and amusing it may have been, but there was nothing in particular inspiring me to keep watching. Still, I’ve watched enough series pilots to know that they rarely give the best impression of a show, so I’ll persevere with it for a while, in the hope that I’ll become as addicted as the reviews suggest I should be (as if I need another series to be addicted to!).

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