New Girl: A New Comedy

November 2011 Edmund Smethwyck

Put yourself in this situation: you’ve just gone through a bad break-up. Okay, some of us can relate to that, I’m sure. Now add an unhealthy obsession with Dirty Dancing, three new roommates, none of which you know, and a habit of breaking into little ditties whenever something exciting or nerve-wracking happens. Sound a little crazy, but entertaining? Well, this is the formula for the new show New Girl on Fox, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some light-hearted fun in their TV schedules.

The actual show starts out as many comedy shows do: a catchy theme song. What may be surprising to many is that the theme song of the pilot episode contains 8 words, and last a mere 6 seconds. This quirky (and surprisingly catchy) little ditty is the start to a great quirky show in which the first line is “So you know in horror movies when the girl is like “’Oh my god, there’s something in the basement. Let me just run down there in my underwear and see what’s going on in the dark!’ and you’re like ‘What’s your problem? Call the police!’ and she’s like ‘Okay!’ but it’s too late because she’s already getting murdered. Well, uh, my story’s kind of like that.”

The main character of the show is Jess Day, and she’s living the situation above. After finding out that her boyfriend was cheating on her, Jess decides to move out…into an apartment with 3 young men. Originally two of the three don’t want her in the apartment, but Schmidt, the womanizer of the three, finds out that Jess’s best friend is a model, and convinces his buddies Nick and Coach (later Winston) to let her live with them. Nick is a bartender who used to be incredibly motivated, but lost his drive, and Coach is a former athlete working as a personal trainer.

Jess’s start in the apartment is a little rough, with a great deal of crying, and watching Dirty Dancing, as aforementioned. However, Schmidt, having gotten everyone into the situation, decides to be Jess’s life coach and get her up and going again into the dating scene. This process involves a great deal of awkwardness, including burning hair, hungry badger smiles, stare downs with Coach, and banter like “I like your glasses.” “They help me see.”

At the same time as Jess is trying to overcome her social anxiety, Nick is attempting to get over his former girlfriend, Caroline. He constantly says that he’s over her, but as is to be expected, he’s really not, and is prone to calling her and vying for her attention when no one’s looking. Whenever Caroline is involved, the situation is sure to become quite awkward for Nick, including seeing Caroline at a bar, a wedding, and any other time when the situation could possibly become hilarious or ridiculous in any way. However, Nick is often the one with the best advice of anyone in the apartment, and serves as the mediator for the roommates.

The second of our three gentlemen is Schmidt, who attempts to make his life as full of short relationships as possible. What he doesn’t understand however, is that his methods are taken as quite rude, and he doesn’t really know how to communicate with women…at all. He also comes off as quite effeminate in many ways which certainly doesn’t help him in his pursuits. However, he does have a good heart, and is the person who calms Jess down in many situations.

Finally, we have Winston, a former pro basketball player…in Latvia. He is constantly trying to undermine Schmidt’s self imposed position as head honcho in the apartment, and succeeds in getting the largest room of the apartment back from Schmidt. He also feels a great deal of stress over his lack of job, and when he is asked to be an usher for a wedding, he takes it seriously. Real seriously. He may be out of a job, but he’s not out of personality, and is always able to find something fun to focus on, like bubbles!

Jess and her three roommates are the 4 main characters of the show, but Jess’s best friend Cece often shows up. Cece is a model, and a cynical one at that. She understands Jess like no other, but is always there to kick Jess’s butt into gear when something needs to get done, like retrieving her things from her ex-boyfriend’s house. However, Cece has one problem in life – Schmidt. He is constantly trying to get her attention, but she finds him stupider than Christmas celebration at my house without an abundance of pastries. She is the rock in Jess’s life, and provides a very dry humor that fits nicely with the often ridiculous antics of the other 4.

New Girl may only have been going for a few episodes, but the light-heartedness of the show is quite refreshing. The comedy is tasteful for the most part, and it rarely feels forced. You’ll laugh, you probably won’t cry, and you may or may not identify with the characters (after all, their situations are rather farcical), but you’ll definitely enjoy the show! Happy viewing!