Throughout the Fall TV season I will be giving my first impressions on many of the new pilots as they air. Keep in mind that these are not full-fledged reviews. One, writing about TV is not my full-time job (yet), so I simply do not have the time to invest in complete reviews for each and every show that airs this fall. Two, it is very difficult to completely make a ruling about a show based solely on the very first episode, especially when it comes to comedy. Showrunners will make changes, premises will be altered, and time must be allotted to find what works with the characters, flesh them out properly and match them with a proper tone. Bearing this in mind, I bring you my first impression of New Girl.
New Girl - FOX (Tuesdays, 9:00pm EST)
Fox has been using the word “adorkable” to promote this new comedy starring Zooey Deschanel. And to be honest, the description isn’t too far off. Jess, Deschanel’s character, is indeed adorable. And she is indeed a dork, right down to the Smeagol reference. New Girl is one of the most anticipated comedy of the new fall season, and while there is a lot of promise, there are also some elements that need some work. Jess is cute and nerdy and everything promised, I’m just worried creator Liz Meriwether will be tempted to pour this on a little thick. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Jess needs to get a little more grounded and we need to see exactly how she got so quirky lest the show develops into the let’s-see-Zooey-make-some-more-cute-faces show. The supporting cast - the three guys with whom Jess lives, could also use some work. The sad-sack, the douche, and the jock, as it were, all seem to have a decent rapport with each other - they have inside jokes and I believe they have lived together for a while - but they need work individually. Coach, played by Damon Wayons Jr., will be sadly missed as he returns to Happy Endings after the pilot and I’m interested to see how his replacement will do. That all being said, I really did enjoy this pilot. These hurdles New Girl needs to maneuver aren’t too daunting - in fact, these are issues faced by almost every comedy pilot in the history of comedy pilots. It’s hard to really get into a rhythm while muscling through the exposition that is necessary in a pilot. I’m glad the show is single-camera, and the use of the flash-sideways has been pretty decent so far. The one thing that CANNOT happen too soon is the will-they-won’t-they between Jess and one of the roommates. It is eventually inevitable, sure, but it will be much more satisfying if they can wait a few years to really build the characters and relationships before trotting it out. The verdict: B. I’m in for the long haul on this one.