Starring Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, and Lamorne Morris
I have been called quirky. Zooey Deschanel has also been called quirky. Now, I hate to sound like a hipster, but I was quirky before Zooey made it cool! Sad thing is, is that being quirky isn’t like the newest band that sounds like The Avid Mumford and Sister Sons or whomever, but rather being quirky sometimes makes you the butt of every joke. Which is pretty much the basis for Fox’s hit TV show, New Girl. New Girl is currently on it’s third season, and still going strong, but Season 2 has just been released on DVD. How is America’s “Adorkable” sitcom in it’s sophomore season?
The entire series starts with Jess (Deschanel), a quirky and lovable school teacher. She has just broken up with her live-in boyfriend and needs a new place to live. She then answers a Craigslist ad for a new roommate… with three men: delightfully curmudgeonly, slacker Nick (Johnson); metrosexual, womanizing, over-the-top Schmitt (Greenfield); and the oh so delicious Marlon Wayans playing Coach… sadly for one episode (Wayans had to be replaced, as he was already booked for another popular sitcom Happy Endings). Luckily when Coach moved out we then got Winston (Morris), an ex-basketball player without game… poor sweet thing. Also in this crazy mix is Jess’s childhood friend, Cece, a model, a really hot model.
As you can already predict instead of the three men being serial killers who take advantage of poor Jess, they all become best friends over time. Eventually Schmidt and Cece even hook up. There’s even a pregnancy scare between the pair in the first season, but of course Schmidt, like most sitcom womanizers (see Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother), screws it up. Also, you can tell in the first season that Jess and Nick have some serious chemistry. And poor Winston… well, they just need to write a silly, young, blonde girl into the show as a love interest for him (wink wink… hint hint).
Although this is a sitcom, there is a through story line. You might be a little lost coming into this season if you haven’t seen Season 1. It picks up with Jess being let go from her teaching position. No, she wasn’t doing anything wrong. She just didn’t have tenure. TENURE! UGH, shooting ourselves in the foot with that one, BUT that is a discussion for another time. Anyways, Jess spends most of this season really finding out who she is, going through a wide array of jobs including a shot girl, a haunted house actor, and working at the Salad Hut, The Wrap Station, or some other quasi-fast food place like that. Jess eventually does find love with Sam, a pediatrician. At first they’re just having casual sex until Jess confesses her true feelings of wanting a real relationship. Sadly, Sam pulls away, BUT comes back later… only to be deterred by Nick and Jess kissing. Yes, I know. This is supposed to be a comedy, but it’s like Friends or How I Met Your Mother. It’s one of THOSE shows. And I’m not ashamed to say that I’m little addicted to it. But what we all stick around for is, will Nick and Jess ever end up together? Will Cece forgive Schmidt and his dumb ass ways? And will Winston ever find love?
Oh, and look out for “True American,” the game that the roommates have created. “It’s 50% drinking game, 50% life-size Candy Land,” as Jess says. OR, “It’s more like 75 drinking, 20 Candy Land, and by the way the floor is molten lava,” says Schmidt. Or even better yet, “It’s actually 90% drinking and then it’s got a loose Candy Land-like structure to it,” according to Winston. I’m not quite sure WHAT it is, but in the episode where Nick FINALLY kisses Jess, we see the game played… and it pretty much ends up with everyone drunk and acting a fool. Sign me up! And by the way, if you want to play, here are the rules: http://www.trueamericanrules.com (PS, if you are going to play, call me first!)
This season is actually funnier than the first. I really enjoy this series. Not every episode is fantastical, but they’re only half an hour… and so it’s really not a complete waste if you didn’t laugh your pants off. My only grievance is that since the show is all about Jess, the show then becomes the “Jess and Nick” show, and I don’t like their story. I am much more compelled by the Cece and Schmidt story. Maybe it’s because secretly (even though I have dated guys just like Nick, Winston, AND Schmidt) I think that Schmidt has the biggest heart in the apartment. Or maybe I just have a soft spot for FFKs (Former Fat Kids). Either way, this season is a fun little ride.
Video looks fine. This series is very bright and colorful, and it was all transferred very well to DVD. Shot in 1.78:1, it looks just like it does on TV. Nothing to write home about, though.
Audio is good, too. Again, nothing to write home about, but all of these actors are very talented. We all know that Deschanel is a great singer, and she shows off her pipes once in a while. The soundtrack to this series is great. Especially in the “Virgins” episode, where everyone talks about how they lost their virginity. Cue Lisa Loeb, Boyz II Men, and other 90’s classics. You’ll be pleased.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
Honestly with series like these, the packaging and bonus features are the only reason to actually buy these DVDs. Pretty much everyone knows now that the second season of New Girl is now on Netflix and Hulu Plus. The packaging is nice. There are a lot of promo shots all over the case and the discs that I had not seen before, and everything is brightly colored (just as Jess would like it). And although I am happy that there are several features to choose from, I can’t help but feel gipped. There is an “Extended Version of Virgins” which really wasn’t all that much better or scandalous than the original. There is also a gag reel, deleted scenes, and commentary from the writers on “Cooler.” It’s not that these features were bad… they were just kinda ho-hum. I’m not sure if it’s worth the extra money.
Overall (Not an Average)
This is a fun series. It’s not truly ground breaking, but it’s fun. And we all need fluff. To be quite honest, this series is kind of like a modern Wizard of Oz. Of course Jess is Dorothy. Nick would be the Scarecrow. It’s not that he doesn’t HAVE a brain… he just doesn’t like to use it, which is why he chooses to stay a bartender after going to law school. Schmidt is VERY obviously the Tin Man without a heart considering his womanizing ways and callous manner in accordance with many issues. And poor Winston is the Cowardly Lion. He seems to have a fierce roar but in the end he’s just a sweet little pussy cat. And I would guess that Cece is the really hot Toto. After all, she is an incredibly loyal companion to Jess. Either way, all of these friends are on a journey together to find the Wizard, aka find out who they are and what they want from the rest of life… just like the rest of us 20-30 somethings. This is another great series to watch but watch on Netflix or Hulu Plus, the bonus features aren’t worth the buy.