New Girl

7.9 / 10
22 min
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" gives "New Girl - Season 2" a 8.5."
Written by on 9 December 2013.
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New Girl - Season 2

I have a feeling 'New Girl' is going to stick around for quite a while. After a successful first season, in which it proves to be a refreshing take on the well-known roommate-sitcom, the series is back for its second season. It’s still not afraid to shake up the conventions of its specific genre. But even though the series is starting to really find its way in the world of television, there are still some aspects that leave room for improvement.

Season one starts off with a sad Jess who has just had her heart broken, while season two starts with a sad Jess because she just got fired. In this season we see her character going from slightly absurd and over-the-top happy to a more grounded person, which makes her more believable for the audience. Zooey Deschanel is one of those people you either love or hate. I have always liked the actress, and really enjoyed the way she made Jess so incredibly awkward in the first season, but hey, it’s still a pretty damn funny character.

One of the stronger points of the second season was the way the writers handled the blossoming romance between Jess and Nick. Pairing them so early on in the series is a pretty bold choice. It has become an unspoken rule to have two characters that are attracted to each other and many sitcoms in this genre tend to exploit and drag out this fact for as long as they can (Ted and Robin, anyone?), but New Girl dives into it head first and in a very successful way. I would even go as far as saying that their first ‘real’ kiss makes for much better television than some quality drama series. The simplicity of the scene, the absence of (cliched) music, the loudness of their breathing and the frustration in Nick’s voice when he blurts out ‘I meant something like that’, makes it a very powerful scene. Hats off to this kind of cinematography.

Season two makes Nick a very well-defined character and gives him some interesting story lines. This is largely due to how well Jake Johnson plays this role. And I was laughing as well as almost crying when he told his roommates that his father had died, while they had just inhaled some helium. Moments like these make 'New Girl' such a refreshing sitcom, it gives a bizarre twist to some very old-fashioned themes.

And then there’s Winston. Lamorne Morris, who plays the role, has excellent timing and delivers the material he has to work with very well, but the problem is exactly that: the material he gets to work with is very inconsistent. The writers can’t seem to make up their mind about what they want this character to be. He does not have recognizable character traits yet that could give an actor more grip on playing the role.
Even his relationship to the other characters is unclear. In one of the episodes in this season we learn that Schmidt and Winston only hang out when Nick is around, and when he’s not it gets uncomfortable quickly. But Winston is the most amusing when paired with Schmidt, like in the episodes Cabin (where Schmidt tries to help Winston to be his true black self) and Quick Hardening Caulk (in which Winston helps Schmidt to find fish-Cece). But unfortunately Winston is still not a fully-fledged character on the show and seems to be doomed for now to play a supporting role in other people’s stories (even when his mom and sister come to visit him, it is mostly a story about Schmidt once again). The writers are doing a good job with Schmidt’s character though; they write him as a total douche bag, without turning him into a caricature. Hopefully they will be able to continue this way, cause other sitcoms have proven this to be very hard in the past.

Yet there is one aspect of this season that extremely annoyed me and of which I hope the writers won’t turn it into a recurring theme: the constant yelling. In the first season it was mainly Nick who suffered from uncontrollable rage issues, now he seems to have infected the whole cast of the show. When a situation made her feel uncomfortable in the past, Jess used to sing and dance and make it even more awkward, but now even she starts to yell. It makes the characters less believable and makes the actual words subordinate to the way they are being expressed. And that’s a shame for a show with such witty dialogue.

This season managed to keep the show as quirky as the first season did and makes for good television and lots of laughs. This show has a long future with such sympathetic characters and refreshing story lines.
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Engram Pattersky
Engram Pattersky
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