New Girl Review

New Girl is a 2011 comedy drama sitcom series developed by Elizabeth Meriwether, starring Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greeenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone, and Daman Wayans Jr.  The series revolves around a teacher, Jessica Day, after she moves into a Los Angeles loft with three men, Nick, Schmidt, and Winston.


Positives:

  • Great characters
  • Good cast and performances
  • Intelligent writing
  • Great humor

Negatives:

  • Repetitive writing
  • Cheesy humor

Plot: The premise of the show follows Jessica “Jess” Day who’s living with three guys and all the wacky adventures that ensue.  In terms of originality it isn’t the first but it’s handled nicely.  The show doesn’t have any overarching main story but it’s the character interactions and misadventures that come together in each episode. The Schmidt/Cece romance storyline is actually done pretty well with both harboring feelings for the other.  The Nick/Jess romance is wasted.  Yeah, the two take a season to have a relationship but unlike the Schmidt/Cece storyline, doesn’t evolve while keeping the characters true to themselves. The subplots are nice and do help to flesh out the characters and their lives.  (3 out of 5)

Characters: The characters are likable, well-written and rich with personality.  Some of the character quirks are a little unrealistic but that’s much of the appeal to them.  Jess is cute and bubbly, and despite being ditz she’s pretty insightful. Nick Miller is a bartender who’s lazy, laid back guy with little ambition but he’s fun. Schmidt is the ladies man of the group but his strict personality and frustrations at his friend’s disorganization.  Winston Bishop used to be a pro baller and is trying to find his way since his fifteen minutes of fame.  Cece is Jess’ best friend since childhood and initially is skeptical of the group.  Then, there is Coach, who comes back into the group and the guy has a cocky attitude. Love the chemistry between the characters.  Even though Jess and Cece are totally different, they have a great sisterly relationship. There are a whole host of great characters to like with much depth and great relationships with the main characters. (5 out of 5)

Cast: Thumbs up to the casting and performances which are where the show’s brilliance shines. The main cast consist of Zooey Deschanel (Jess), Jake Johnson (Nick), Max Greenfield (Schmidt), Damon Wayans Jr (Coach)., Lamorne Morris (Winston), and Hannah Simone (Cece).  There are other great performances including Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Dermot Mulroney, Carla Gugino, Jamie Lee Curtis, Peter Gallagher, Bob Reiner, Olivia Munn, Curtis Armstrong, Angela Kinsey, Meaghan Rath, even Jessica Biel to name a few. (4 out of 5)

Visuals:  The series features a very high production value.  Everything is shot well with a good eye for the characters.  The editing is done well especially with the witty banter. (3 out of 5)

Score: The music is done pretty well thanks to Ludwig Goransson.  It can be pretty lighthearted at times but can be deep.  The “Hey Girl” opening theme is pretty innocent and goofy by Zooey Deschanel. (3 out of 5)

Writing: The writing is just clever and the dialogue can be incredibly witty.  Despite the humor, the writing can be surprisingly deep.  People who love shows like Friends or The Big Bang Theory will appreciate the writing and theme.  The series does a great job of focusing on relationships and career choices for other people.  A lot of the jokes are funny but there are some lines that feel really cheesy. There are some running gags that do get old particularly when it comes to the characters of Nick. (4 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, New Girl is a surprisingly good show.  The cast and performances are pretty topnotch and the writing is great but it’s the characters that carry the show.  The writing is deep but humorous even though sometimes the humor can miss the mark.  However, the series is guaranteed to be enjoyable for those who appreciate good humor.  New Girl gets 4 out of 5.

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