'New Girl' Promises to Lighten Up, But Is That Really a Good Thing?

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'New Girl' Promises to Lighten Up, But Is That Really a Good Thing?

By Vivian Kane | Trade News | April 8, 2014 | Comments ()


Can we take a minute to try to pinpoint the moment New Girl became a great show? For me, it was around the time Dermot Mulroney showed up.


And, of course, soon after that is when True American was introduced.


The last few episodes of season one were probably when the show broke through the sitcom mold and started to have really genuinely touching moments.


Whenever the turning point was for you, I think most fans of the show can agree on one thing:

New Girl started out as a pile of crap.

And I say that as a huge fan of the show. It’s my favorite sitcom on television. But it definitely took them a while to find their footing. The first half of season one was not funny. The characters were super contrived and generic. So when Elizabeth Meriwether says she wants to return to where the show started, it worries me. Meriwether said to Vulture,

I think this year we got a little heavy, we got a little into that emotional arc, and I think this show completely exists without all that heaviness… We’re having a chance to get back to basics and sort of reset the show, and kind of go back to the dynamics of the first season and the pilot, where it’s just this group of friends who are having fun … I think it might actually be good for the show to return to the kind of fun of it.

I understand the impulse to back off of the heaviness of the latest episode, and the show does do lighthearted goofiness well. But they also balance that frivolity with heartfelt honesty in a way that few shows do. If they lose that dynamic in an attempt to reboot, they risk destroying what makes the show special.

Let’s all put on our cautiously optimistic faces.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Manuel Granados

    Less Jess and Nick acting like 12 year olds and more Winston acting like a 12 year old.
    I still like the show (don't love it) but don't feel that "oh yay it's coming on now" that I used to. Just way too much time spent on a relationship that we know HAS to work out or the show will be awkward and too little time doing funny things.
    This season after episode 10 you could guess the dynamic: some totally random moment would get blown out of proportion and endanger Nick and Jess' relationship because one of the two didn't explain something simple and the other took it too bad, just for the episode to go thru with this for 15 minutes and then in the final 5 the thing was said, both notice how silly they are and voila, all amazing again.

  • I've wondered if they didn't break Jess and Nick up because he wants a way out of the show. His movie career is starting to pick up...

  • Devin McMusters

    I always watch with the mute on anyway. I'm just in it to stare at Ms.


  • InternetMagpie

    I stopped watching earlier this season because they were trying to do too much with little forethought and they assassinated Schmidt as a character. I'll finish the season someday, but honestly, maybe this return to basics wouldn't be a bad thing?

  • zeke_the_pig

    Well, whatever else happens, at least we'll always have season 2. That shit was gold.

  • Cree83

    I'll probably catch hell for this, but I won't mind if they return to lighter stories because I'm not sure any of the actors have the dramatic chops to convincingly play the heavier stuff. Well, maybe Winston does. Tough to say, when they don't give him much to work with. But seriously. Nick and Schmidt can SORT of do earnest, but are much better with comedy, and Jess just comes off as whiny when she's supposed to be serious.

  • I haven't been crazy about the last half of the season. It's too muddled and unfocused (haaaaated everything to do with Jess' sister) and they need to get their act together. Harrumph.

  • Ruthie O

    Exactly. The problem wasn't that it was too heavy-- it was that the show had no idea what it wanted to be and in what direction it wanted to go. The sister stuff made NO SENSE, not only because she was never mentioned nor because Jess is the quintessential only child, but because it felt forced. In fact, this whole half of the season feels forced and rushed. Harrumph indeed.

  • Guest

    The Cece and Schmidt story has always been the weak point for me.

    *Can they bring back Shane?


    Mostly because it's Odette (and depending on how the Astronaut Wives Club goes), but I'd love to see more of her, especially in a comedic role.

  • Rebecca Hachmyer

    I don't mind heaviness, I just don't think they've found their footing on Dan Carlson's serial/episodic continuum. Also they should stop shouting.

  • BarbadoSlim

    Oh, it has stopped being a pile of crap? When did that happen?

  • KC

    Yeah….I think it definitely got better towards the end of season one but calling it a pile of crap is going a bit far!

  • Andrew J

    As long as we take a break from Jess and nicks relationship problems I'm good.

  • aroorda

    Oh you mean you're tired of Jess constantly pouting and asking "is this going to work?" and Nick saying "no," before saying "I changed my mind, yes." is getting old to you??? Weirdo.

    But seriously. If they wanna make Jess and Nick the weird couple that does weird things together that's fine. But the whole Ross/Rachael thing was old by the end of season 1.

  • Andrew J

    Exactly. I thought the episodes where they were just a couple dealing with couple things were particularly strong but the whole will they wont they thing got so boring and took away from coach/Wilson time

  • Joanna Chojnacka


  • As long as they find more for Winston to do, I'll be on board.

  • What happened to Ferguson?!

  • Billybob

    That's Furguson, damn it.

  • Guest


  • NoPantsMcLane

    What?! The show is currently better than ever! Don't go back to the old ways you monster!

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