When the leaves turn brown and the air becomes crisp, people shake out their blankets, wrap up in scarves and order anything pumpkin-flavored. Along with these fall activities, people turn on their televisions to tune into new seasons of old favorites. One of these new fan-favorites is Zooey Deschanel’s “New Girl.”
Last season, viewers saw Deschanel’s character, Jess, come from a one-note “adorkable” character to a fully-formed, interesting character who didn’t just sing everything. The first season also ended with Jess and Nick (Jake Johnson) not getting together — despite undeniable chemistry — Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone) breaking up and Winston (Lamorne Morris) not really having any storyline to carry over into season two.
Season two has hit the ground running with three episodes (“Re-Launch,” “Katie,” “Fluffer”) under its belt, and it has many viewers slightly surprised — Jess was laid off — and slightly nodding their heads with the predictable moments.
First, it is obvious the writers want to keep tugging the audience’s heartstrings by teasing the Nick-and-Jess romance. “Fluffer” touched on this the strongest, during which both characters actually admitted they had thought about being in a relationship before. While this elated viewers, the storyline also begs the question: what will happen if they do get together? Where would the story go? The great thing about Jess and Nick’s relationship is their crazy dynamic of being together while not being together.
Remember how great “The Office” was before Jim and Pam got together? Notice how dull it is now that they are settled? I truly hope the writers of “New Girl” continue to tease, but never please the viewers.
Having two main characters fall into a relationship is the easy, quick way to go, but eventually they either have to break up or become boring.
Schmidt, on the other hand, is obviously struggling to find himself. His character has been inconsistent so far. He is struggling because of his obvious lingering feelings for Cece, which makes the viewers wonder why they broke up anyway. Because he was jealous, didn’t trust her or because she has bad judgment in guys? It was never really clear. One moment they were smiling at each other in an old folks’ home, and the next they were over. I predict they will get back together, but it will be slower and more emotional than it was in season one.
Did I forget Winston? It’s OK, because so did the writers of “New Girl.” His storylines have consisted of a love of fruity drinks and imagining other women than his girlfriend. “Fluffer” offered the chance for Winston to have an actual storyline with his girlfriend about their cooling relationship, but it went nowhere. His family was even in an episode, and, somehow, Schmidt became the main focus. If the writers don’t do something with Winston, he may go the way of Coach. Remember him? Thought so.
Despite the inconsistences, the writers are amazing at one-liners, quick wit, zany scenarios and friendship dynamics – but I don’t believe they have figured out how to write about something that can stick other than friendship. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe this season’s overall theme will be about how all things change, except friendship, but that seems too cheesy for these witty writers.
The second season has started off strong —Jess’s character in particular has done almost a complete 180 —and I hope it will end even stronger. No longer can we call “New Girl” “adorkable;” it has evolved past that. “New Girl” is now an established TV show with established characters. All the writers have to do is establish a clear storyline, add that quick humor we all love, and don’t disappoint.
This originally ran in Sidelines' print edition and can also be viewed on its website here.