New Girl is a new show to the 2011-12 season that constantly toes the line between funny and too sweet to be funny, though it has yet to really fall on the wrong side of the line. And maybe it’s just me – maybe the things I find laugh-out-loud hilarious aren’t what other people find funny. Overall, though, this show is pretty much one of the best new comedies. Regardless of my personal thoughts, there’s a reason that this show is a hit, and I think it’s largely thanks to the three men of the apartment, Nick, Schmidt and Winston.
Disclaimer: I should start out by saying that I’m definitely a Zooey lover, in case that was ever in question.
While I don’t always buy Deschanel’s self-branded “adorkable” character, I buy into the friendship of these three men every single time. I don’t know if they’re friends off-set, but they have some of the best bro chemistry since Joey, Chandler and Ross. And not only do they have great screen chemistry, they’re real characters. They didn’t have a persona to ride in on, because the three of them are generally not well-known as actors. They were given plot and backstory, and with that added to their natural senses of humor, they bring the show together.
1. Schmidt (Max Greenfield)
Of course I’m starting with Schmidt. What else would you expect? I’d even go as far to say that Schmidt is the breakout character here. I was all set to just pokerface him right from the start, but he has quickly become one of my favorite tv characters overall. My only previous experience with Max Greenfield was his role on Greek a few years ago and a cameo on Happy Endings, so I was thrilled to see him show up as a regular cast member here.
At first, Schmidt seems like your stereotypical frat boy who can’t get out of college mode (see: douchebag jar). However, as with most television bros, Schmidt’s facade quickly falls apart and we realize what a well-meaning yet insecure person he is. And he doesn’t just fall – he falls hard. Remember the Thanksgiving episode with the food issues? Not many people can pull off the juxtaposition of having so many issues with maintaining a total bro personality. Just like Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, Schmidt dug his way into my heart, and I suspect he’s there to stay.
2. Nick (Jake M. Johnson)
Nick is probably the most down-to-earth character on the show. A recovering law-school dropout whose serious girlfriend dumped him just prior to the pilot, Nick’s still trying to find his place in the world. As lost as he seems in his professional life, though, he finds meaning in his friends’ lives and in his relationships with them. His breakup with Caroline was pretty accurately portrayed, for as unmooring as it was for him, and its lasting effects are still playing out, which I appreciate.
It’s pretty obvious that Johnson and Deschanel have some serious chemistry, and that their characters will probably end up together. Honestly, I’m fine with that, but I don’t want it to happen this season. Sometimes this show jumps the gun a little bit, but I think the writers have a better plan than that.
3. Winston (Lamorne Morris)
Lamorne Morris had some pretty big shoes to fill when he replaced Damon Wayans, Jr., but I’ve been thoroughly impressed so far. An unceremoniously-replaced basketball star in Latvia, Winston had to catch up on two years of American pop culture for his job search (and to better his life, if you ask a pop culture nerd like myself), and his antics have only grown from there. However, Winston’s finest hour so far has been in “Bells,” where he taught Jess’s hand bell choir to play “Eye of the Tiger.” I don’t know about you, but never before has such a serious dedication to handbells made me laugh so hard. Winston’s introduction made me nervous, but Morris has really brought him to life and I look forward to cracking up every time I see him on screen.
Basically, if this show fails, it’ll be because Jess is too sticky-sweet to stick, not because Zooey is too vibrant against a bland backdrop. These guys are all 100% great, and they’ve cemented themselves in my TV schedule for so many reasons. Plus, Zooey just got a Golden Globe nomination, so this show is pretty much set to succeed in my book.
Are you a New Girl watcher? What do you think of the guys?
New Girl airs on FOX at 9/8C on Tuesdays. The next episode is a rerun entitled “Naked.”