Last week started out with a bang, with what amounted to about a dozen new shows plus the start of the Fall season for all our favorites.
One of the shows that really caught my eye was a comedy starring the adorkable (I stole that from my roommate who was quoting a writer) Zooey Deschanel called New Girl. Now, for those who have seen Zooey act in movies like (500) Days of Summer, it’s hard not to fall in love with her. She has this natural quirky style, yet exudes a suppressed cuteness, She’s All That style.
The new show is about a girl named Jess who moves in with three (or is it four?) guys, living in what can best be described as a bachelor pad. Jess is the quintessential dorky, nerdy, awkward girl. And therein lies the problem.
Rather than having Zooey Deschanel act like the way she is normally which is an adorable and dorky girl, they had her “act” like how they thought a stereotypical, over-the-top geek would act. Imagine they cast you, the reader, as a rocket scientist. You are likely not one so what you end up doing is a lot of snorting and pushing up on the bridge of your horn-rimmed glasses. I mean, after all, that’s what people expect a rocket scientist to be like, right?
I want Zooey to act like Zooey. She’s dorky enough in real life to pull it off. Instead, you get this character, Jess, that tries too hard to be awkward. Instead of being endearing, it’s extremely uncomfortable and unsexy.
The other problem with the show is that it’s clear after just two episodes that it’s going to be highly formulaic. Just like how House follows a clear pattern, so does New Girl. Each episode is about how Jess has some lame problem to deal with and turns it into a disaster. Then the guys, who have lives of their own, give up their day (or date), to rescue her and give her support. It’s an effective storyline because a guy who has better things to do yet giving up his time to help his hopeless female roommate is more dramatic than a regular nice guy doing the same.
I am just waiting for the episode where they remake her into a sexy girl in a tight-fitting red dress. We know it’s coming.