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New Girl

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TV Series Review

Zooey Deschanel isn't exactly a "new" girl. Not anymore. After being an indie-comedy "it" girl for a few years ( Our Idiot Brother, Your Highness, (500) Days of Summer), she bounced over to the broader world of situation comedy to serve as the doe-eyed cornerstone of Fox's sex-drenched laugher.

Deschanel plays Jess, a buoyant free spirit who, after breaking up with her boyfriend, begins rooming with a trio of self-absorbed dudes. (There's sad sack Nick; Schmidt, a slimy womanizer; and Winston Bishop, a semipro basketball player who just returned from a stint in Latvia.) It's a premise that seems to owe a lot to long-gone Three's Company—a show that, in its day, was considered fairly racy. But it wasn't even in New Girl's zip code.

Guys and gals sharing close space soon turns into Nick and Jess sharing a bed. And Schmidt—with his Charlie Harper-level libido in tow—has moved to his own flat in an effort to bring his wanton lovemaking to a new sordid level. Indeed, everybody fixates on sex here, with about the same sort of fervor that quilters obsess over stitches.

It's a shame, really. Because if you could somehow expunge all the sexual situations, jokes and discussions, New Girl feels—like its star—charming and goofy. There's a certain disarming innocence here—not sexual innocence, obviously, but rather a sense that it's OK to make up your own goofy "funky chicken" dance at a wedding or enjoy, without irony, old Saturday morning cartoons. It suggests that while friendship might not make bad days better, reliable relationships can at least make them survivable. It tells us that the best things in life—companionship, humor, love—really are free.

That makes me wish I could welcome this New Girl, and makes its braid of childlike innocence, juvenile humor and immature hedonism all the more frustrating.

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NewGirl: 2-4-2014
NewGirl: 1042011



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Zooey Deschanel as Jess; Max Greenfield as Schmidt; Hannah Simone as Cece; Jake M. Johnson as Nick; Lamorne Morris as Winston; Damon Wayans Jr. as Coach






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Paul Asay

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