New Girl Review: It's Jess!

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New Girl is based around a simple premise: Zooey Deschanel is adorable. Sorry, adorkable, as the six million Fox ads that hyped this new sitcom have told us for weeks.

It's a basic concept, and it's one that will likely leave viewers split into two camps after watching the series premiere: those that truly do find Deschanel adorkable, and those who wish to bash a guitar over her head every time she sings.

Me? I am proudly on Team Zooey is Awesome, making New Girl my favorite new comedy of the fall.

Zooey Deschanel as Jess

Come on, Deschanel's Jess has her own theme song, unabashedly references Lord of the Rings and is open about her desire for rebound sex. What's not to love?

Granted, it's impossible not to compare this frumpy, nerdy, dating-challenged character to Liz Lemon, but is it really a bad thing when my biggest criticism is that Jess reminds me of one of TV's funniest women?

It always takes a few episodes - or even a full season, as was the case with Parks and Recreation - to get into a sitcom. Unlike a drama that can hook you with a major mystery or cliffhanger, most laughs for a show of this nature stem from established characters and their quirks or personalities. And there are definitely a few things I'd change about New Girl, most notably the number of times Schmidt acts like a douchebag.

Yes, the series at least acknowledges this change of personality when it occurs, stopping short of making the self-aware roommate an actual douchebag, but still. Lose the jar and tone it down a bit or else I'll start to wonder why Coach (Damon Wayans Jr., who will be replaced with Lamorne Morris going forward) and Nick are actually friends with Schmidt.

Still, that's a small complaint after just one episode. Deschanel is cute and hilarious, whether she's simulating cartoon bug eyes upon spotting a hot guy or trying to come up with a stripper name. Below, I've listed a few of the best New Girl quotes from a strong opener:

Jess: I was going for like a hot farmer's daughter kind of thing, like, oh, I'm gonna go milk my cows. | permalink
Jess: Who's that girl? It's Jess.
Nick: Did you just make up a theme song for yourself? | permalink
Jess: Well, I guess I can't hide my crazy.
Nick: I don't you're trying that hard. | permalink
Jess: Pink wine makes me slutty. | permalink
Schmidt: I'll take you through the whole thing. I'll be like your guide.
Jess: Like Gandolf through Middle Earth?
Schmidt: Probably not like... Okay, first of all, let's take the Lord of the Rings references and put them in a deep, dark cave, where no one's gonna find them. Ever.
Jess: Except Smeagle. He lives in a cave. | permalink
Cece: What's your stripper name?
Jess: Uh, Rebecca Johnson.
Cece: Your stripper name is Rebecca Johnson?
Jess: Boobies Johnson. Two Boobs Johnson. | permalink
Jess: I'm doing sexy things with the pillow. | permalink

Pilot Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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New Girl Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Cece: What's your stripper name?
Jess: Uh, Rebecca Johnson.
Cece: Your stripper name is Rebecca Johnson?
Jess: Boobies Johnson. Two Boobs Johnson.

I could pretend to be more like you, Jess, and live on a sparkly rainbow and drive a unicorn around and just sing all the time.