There is something mesmerizing about Zooey Deschanel. Is it those big eyes, the womanly husky voice, or maybe just the fact that she can be a total girly girl, yet be one of the guys? I'm not sure, but what I do know is that she is the force behind the new TV comedy series New Girl and she also is responsible for me watching the show.
The set-up is quite simple. Three guys (Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, and Lamorne Morris) living together and add into that the New Girl which is the one factor that will bring about change in their lives and supposedly comedy in ours. Having watched close to 10 episodes, of the 13(?), unfortunately New Girl has a long way to go before it reaches the same comic timing of say Friends or How I Me Your Mother. What the New Girl has is heart and it seems to be in the right place.
Most comedies, as was the case with Community, take a while before they really lift off. The same holds true for New Girl which somewhat starts to get interesting around the 4th episode, once all the characters have been introduced and their mannerisms are somewhat known to the audience. The series works because even though Zooey's character Jess is the titled New Girl, the episodes give equal weight to the remaining three housemates. New Girl also entertains because although they have the now obligatory Indian character, but instead of a nerdy accented guy, they have the sexy CeCe (Hannah Simone) who is a model and pretty feisty and smart. In addition, with guest appearances from known faces like Justin Long and Rachel Harris, they seem to be on the right track and knowing the friendship Zooey Deschanel shares with Joseph Gordon-Levitt it's only a matter of time before we see him on the show, I Hope.
On the negative side, the most important issue I have with the show is the content. It is so far only moderately funny with a few laugh-out-loud moments. With the emphasis on sex related jokes, the show at times seems to be desperately trying to tap into the college audience rather than the slightly older 25+ one. Lastly, some of the plot lines seem to be old and rather Americanized and done to death. Case in point being the one where Jess's boyfriend says "I Love You" and she only says "Thank You" in return. I'm sorry, but this is such an old and now boring topic that it's no longer funny or sad or romantic.
The other thing that seems to be bothering me a little is that New Girl has certain similarities to Friends. Zooey’s Jess is an amalgamation of Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica. Jake’s Nick is somewhat on the lines of Ross. Schmidt played by Max Greenfield is Joey from another dimension, and lastly Lamorne’s Winston gives out a slight hint of Chandler. I’m taking into account a very broad generalization, but it is there for sure.
Am I sticking with the series? Yes! The character development seems to be going in the right direction and Zooey Deschanel is charming as ever. I just hope that the comedy is less college humor and upped a notch.
Note: I have since writing the above viewed the remainder of the three episodes and I still stand by the statement that the plot line seems to be going in a clichéd and hence the wrong direction. At the present rate, I would give the series a maximum of three seasons, but I do hope we see something fresh soon and it can go one for a lot longer.