Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
7

US TV Blog

'New Girl': Why Channel 4's newest US import is worth a watch

By
Fox show 'New Girl'

© Fox

Channel 4 has been doing rather well of late in scooping up the best and brightest new TV shows that America has to offer. Kat Dennings sitcom 2 Broke Girls - already a hit in the US - will debut on the channel in the near future, as will superb psychological drama Homeland and the animated spinoff from cult film comedy Napoleon Dynamite...

And this week sees the UK debut of another gem from across the pond - Zooey Deschanel comedy vehicle New Girl. Pulling in as many as 10.3m viewers for Fox in the US, the show is another bona fide smash and has already been picked up for a full 24-episode season.

The pilot episode is already available to view on 4oD and will reach our TV screens proper on Friday at 8.30pm - here's a few reasons why Tube Talk recommends you give it a try!

Who's That Girl?
Alright, so we'll admit that, while she may be exploring new territory with her first regular television role, Zooey Deschanel is on relatively safe ground with New Girl - if you're familiar with Miss Deschanel's film history, then you probably won't be too surprised to hear that her character Jess Day is every bit as kooky, quirky and adorable (or "adorkable" if you must) as you might expect.

But that's not meant as a criticism - there's a reason that so many fans have fallen for the 31-year-old actress and popstrel's 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' persona. Simply put, Deschanel is a warm, engaging and utterly charming screen presence. If you've enjoyed her work in the likes of 500 Days of Summer, Yes Man and even Elf, then New Girl is a weekly dose of the same tonic.



She and Him, and Him, and Him
The set-up of New Girl involves Deschanel's Jess moving in with three complete strangers after her no-good boyfriend is caught cheating. The first two roommates are grouchy bartender Nick (Jake Johnson) and loveable douchebag Schmidt (Max Greenfield), while the fourth room in Jess's new apartment is filled first by temperamental personal trainer Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) and later - on a more permanent basis - by former basketball star Winston (Lamorne Morris).

The new men in Jess's life are another important part of what makes New Girl click. This writer's personal favourite is Nick - the character's dry, deadpan style is the perfect counterbalance to the excitable, bubbly Jess. Schmidt is also great fun - his painful attempts to charm the opposite sex, in particular Jess's model pal Cece (Hannah Simone) will definitely raise a smile.

New Girl
Zooey Deschanel


It's just a shame that New Girl lost original roommate Coach after the pilot episode - Damon Wayans Jr. is fantastic in the role, but his commitment to a second season of the sitcom Happy Endings (now airing on E4 in the UK) meant that something had to give. New cast addition Lamorne Morris does his best from episode two onwards, but the show's writers take a little while to get a real grip on his character Winston...

Heartwarming, Not Schmaltzy
New Girl is a fine example of a comedy that wears its heart on its sleeve. The show can be sentimental, but it's never schmaltzy - the awkward non-romance between Jess and Nick, for example, is deftly handled. And you'd have to be an ogre with a heart of stone not to feel a little uplifted by the conclusion of the show's first episode, as Nick, Schmidt and Coach rescue Jess from a disastrous dinner date with an awkward rendition of the Dirty Dancing pop classic '(I've Had) The Time of My Life'.

Welcome Guests
In addition to its strong regular cast, New Girl also attracts a wealth of terrific guest stars. Another actress beloved of the indie community - the lovely Lizzy Caplan - will appear in a future episode as a love interest for Nick, while Ryan Kwanten - True Blood's Jason Stackhouse - has also signed up for a guest role.

It's also been suggested that New Girl might explore the family lives of its central characters, and Max Greenfield was quick to nominate Ray Romano as a potential Schmidt Senior. There's plenty of fun to be had in imagining who might play Jess's mother or Nick's father...

The Bottom Line
In short, New Girl is a hit Stateside for a reason - like its central character, the show is a whole lot of fun and easy to like. UK viewers should stay tuned - we're fairly certain that Channel 4 have got a hit on their hands...



New Girl begins on Friday, January 6 at 8.30pm on Channel 4.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...