Tuesday, 24 January 2012

First Impressions: New Girl

The cast of Fox's New Girl

Sitcom's come and go all the time, from the brilliant Friends and hilarious Seinfeld to the not so brilliant and not so hilarious others *cough* $h*! My Dad Says *cough*. Problem is, there are so many flooding our screens every year, it can be easy to lose some brilliant gems hidden beneath the weight of the rest. For example, sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory take they're time to establish themselves whilst the original British The Office passed relatively un-noticed before achieving cult status later on.

Latest out of the blocks and vying for our attention is Fox's New Girl starring quirky and cute indie film star Zooey Deschanel. Premiering on American screens back in September last year, New Girl garnered a lot of attention with a pilot episode that drew an audience of over 10 million viewers.
Last Sunday was Australia's first chance to catch the show (which has recently been picked up for an entire 24 episode first season in the States.)

Much like many sitcom's that have preceded it,  New Girl sets up the premise from the off. Deschanel plays Jess, a teacher who moves into a new apartment with three guys after a sudden and messy break-up with her boyfriend. The three guys are split down into Nick (the fairly ordinary, kind-hearted one), Schmidt (the cocky, ladies man) and Coach (a character replaced by the second episode by another token-black character named Winston...confusing, I know).

Anyway, so there's the sit. So was there the com? Again, following in the vein of other successful shows New Girl gets the jokes flying early on with Deschanel slotting quickly into the kooky and awkward 'adorkable' role she's played before in films such as Elf and Yes Man. Randomly bursting into song and busting a terrible dance move, Deschanel is instantly likeable as Jess and gives the audience something to smile about straight away. The supporting cast is also given chance to establish itself with the standout character being ladies man Schmidt (Max Greenfield). What was also a nice surprise was that the episode came to a close with a relatively warm and fuzzy conclusion, even if it might have been a little cheesy.

What came as a surprise to me is that New Girl does not follow in the footsteps of other hit American sitcoms such as Friends, Two and A Half Men and How I Met Your Mother by not being filmed in front of a live studio audience. The lack of a laughter track is refreshing and I thought, rather in keeping with the tone of the show, so a good call.

Whilst it can never be easy to predict a show's success and longevity on solely it's pilot episode, it's easy to see why viewers will be won over by New Girl's charms. Deschanel brings the star power and the heart whilst it's supporting cast brings the laughs. Only time will tell whether it can survive against the plethora of other sitcoms bombarding our screens and stand-out amongst the crowd. So what did you think of (the) New Girl?

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