I'll admit itI think I was a bit skeptical when New Girl first premiered. Sure, it starred that quirky girl from (500) Days of Summer (which I love), and reminded me of some of my more off-beat friends (which may or may not have been a good thing), and featured Damon Wayans Jr. (who's hysterical), but critics kept using the word "adorkable" to describe it, and I wasn't sure if quirky girl from (500) Days of Summer, Zooey Deschanel, had the potential to make hipster-y Jess a palatable enough title character, and then Wayans Jr. up and disappeared after the pilot, and, well, I was just all sorts of sad and confused.
Of course, I've moved past all that by this pointwith the exception of "adorkable" (let's just pretend it doesn't exist because, technically, it doesn't); Deschanel definitely brings an amusing, if strange, charm to the show, and her chemistry with the other members of the cast is pretty great to watch, and Lamorne Morris, Wayans Jr.'s "replacement," has more than proved himself worthy (besides, I can't, nor want to, imagine Happy Endings without Brad), but I think the real reason this show's managed to keep me hanging around for as long as it has is because of what's at its core, and that's friendship. Well, friendship and Max Greenfield, but mostly friendship"pure, unadulterated friendship," to be exact (the show likes to get meta every now and then). Now is that the lamest, most eye-roll-worthy sentence I've ever written ever? Yes. It is. But allow me to explain.
Last night's two-episode season premiere revolved, for the most part, around Jess's recent unemploymentafter being laid off from her job as a middle school teacher, a sparkly mini hat her only consolation, Jess finds it difficult (and shocking) to take advantage of her newly open schedule and just mosey on "off the grid" despite her roommates' advice, leading her to adopt a couple of new personas throughout the hour. The first is as an incompetent and confused cigarette/shot girl opposite Parker Posey's "26-year-old," totally skilled shot girl at Schmidt's (Greenfield) "rebranding" party (aka an opportunity to celebrate the fact that, after an entire summer, his penis is once again fully-functioning). The second is as "Katie" (it's because she looks like Katy Perry, rightthat's the joke?), the supposed dancer David Walton's Sam met on a dating website. There are a few extra plot lines sprinkled throughout, of course (mostly involving Greenfield as if to prove his Emmy nod wasn't a flukewe know it's not), including some weirdness between Schmidt and CeCe (Hannah Simone), Nick (Jake Johnson) screwing up big time when he mistakenly gives the strange (and wonderfully creepy) Bearclaw (Josh Gad) Jess's number while at the same time believing he's met his future self, and a brief introduction to Winston's (Morris) family, but mostly the show does a good job of keeping us up to speed with our favorite new girl.
And what's interesting is that she still isnew, that is. Maybe not to Nick, Schmidt, Winston, CeCe or even us, per se, but in a way, we find her sort of restarting. When we met Jess at the beginning of the first season, she was ending a long-term relationship, and at the beginning of this one, she's coming off of a pretty well-established career, which is something she hasn't yet dealt with (heck, it'd make anyone reevaluate); basically, she's forced to start over, start fresh she's new. And in a way maybe she always will be; in these two episodes already she's already new shot girl, new Sam's girl, and who knows, maybe in the future we'll see her as new teacher, or new sales associate at Urban Outfitters, or even new Nick's girl! (The "will they/won't they" bit established last season is already oozing in these first two episodes, and it's infuriating, and I love it.)
To read the rest (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/new-girl-2-12-2- re-launchkatie/
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