Lackluster ‘New Girl’ disappoints


Today’s television lineup is largely composed of dramatic medical shows, suspenseful police shows, and the occasional pairing of two opposite personalities. I had high hopes for “New Girl,” Fox Network’s new sitcom starring indie darling Zooey Deschanel. Ideally, this new show would be a breath of fresh air. I hoped for a knock-out, cleverly written series with an ensemble cast that would hopefully evolve into something as memorable as “Friends,” “How I Met Your Mother,” or “The Big Bang Theory.” With a talented cast including Max Greenfield, who had a recurring role on the award-winning “Veronica Mars” series and colorful wardrobe pieces that reminded me of the short-lived yet appealing series “Pushing Daisies,” I expected a lot from “New Girl.” However, upon watching the first episode, I could feel my hopes being shot down. Deschanel plays a caricature of herself as Jess, a friendly yet naïve twenty-something that moves in with three men after her boyfriend cheats on her. Though the premise sounded promising, I felt disappointed as the show progressed. It’s clear that Jess was created to be an awkward, indie, alternative girl who is humbly unaware of her good looks and charming innocence. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the same role that Deschanel has been stuck in ever since “(500) Days of Summer.” Ignoring the fact that Deschanel was typecast again, I pressed onward into the show, hoping to find redeeming qualities. The dialogue is occasionally clever, if not predictable. A reference to “The Lord of the Rings” popped up briefly, something I appreciated greatly even if it was sandwiched between over-the-top lines. The supporting actors often steal the scene with their charismatic delivery, especially Jake Johnson. I was very aware of how one-dimensional Jess seemed as some of her roommates began to evolve as the episodes progressed. It’s definitely never a good thing when I wish the main character was on screen less and wish to see more of the unimportant characters. I wish I could say that the show improved as time moved on and that the first episode is the only shaky episode, but I can’t. “New Girl” tries too hard to be something special in the evening lineup of new sitcoms and promising dramas. Maybe it could be more remarkable, if changes were made as new episodes are produced . The show has the potential to turn into something great, but it also definitely has to overcome more than a few flaws.