So when I reviewed the pilot episode of New Girl, maybe some people thought I was being unfair because it was only the first show. Lots of other people seemed to like it, but because I didn’t like the first episode. However, I’ve decided to give New Girl another chance and see how it has progressed through time (through five weeks, I think).
In this episode, Nick (I learned his name!) is going on a date with his overly-ironic co-worker Amanda but Jess accidentally walks in on him naked when she goes to ask him to turn his music down, and laughs at him before running off. She feels a bit bad, but Nick feels worse and rightly points out that Jess is so immature that she can’t even name his privates without making some kind of funny face or noise like an idiot. Meanwhile, Winston (I learned his name too!) has had a disastrous interview because he doesn’t know any current events from the past two years, on account of him being away playing basketball (or something like that). So Schmidt puts him to the task of researching every event from the past two years.
I have to say, the quality of this episode is much higher than the pilot episode. Jess, while still quite immature, seems more likable and down-to-earth than before. She can admit that she’s done wrong and sets about finding a way to talk to Nick who doesn’t want to be approached. Okay, this means that she makes a feeling stick and tries to pass it round, but at least she’s trying to reach out to others instead of being alienating like she was in the pilot. Meanwhile, on the mens side of things, Nick is a bit grumpy in this one but that’s understandable and his eventual body confidence leads to a pretty funny situation (if only because of his dodgy little dance, which is nicely surreal).
Plus, there’s a nice little bit of satire on how sarcasm can go completely overboard. Aside from this, there seems to be more of a sitcom situation here – whilst the pilot seemed a bit ragged in narrative, this episode is more tightly controlled in that typical sitcom way. To explain, now there’s a set up, a dilemma, and an eventually neat and warm resolution that tries to include a few laughs so its not too fuzzy. Still, it’s still slightly unbelievable that three single men living in a flat with Jess can’t be even slightly attracted to her: I know this sounds a bit strange, since I like my comedies to break the mould a bit, but surely this storyline is coming up somewhere? If there’s ever a final series, surely there’ll be some kind of romance storyline. It really would be a game-changer if that didn’t happen (and I will actually love it for that – a show that actually says men and women can just be friends!)
So to conclude… yes, maybe I misjudged New Girl. Maybe I won’t watch it religiously every week but if it’s a lazy, boring Friday with nothing on then I’d be fine with sticking New Girl on to see what’s going on with these mis-matched flatmates. Sometimes it’s good to realise that you’re wrong.