By CLAIRE WINKLER
The season premier of Fox’s hit sitcom, “New Girl,” saw Zooey Deschanel back in high quirky form as Jess Day, leader of her band of misfit boys. A double episode special, the four main characters all saw their share of wacky highs and awkward lows.
The first episode in the special was centered on the long-awaited removal of Schmidt’s, played by Max Greenfield, penis cast. An occasion this momentous was certainly worth celebrating, and so Schmidt decided to throw a danger-themed party. While Schmidt’s storylines are consistently funny and winning, it would be nice to see the character gain some depth. Hopefully, he will become more rounded out as this new season progresses.
This happy occurrence was met with a sobering loss as Jess was let go from her job as an elementary school teacher. This sequence was a bit disappointing. It was treated with humor over poignancy, even though downsizing is a serious issue that is affecting schools all over the U.S.
To bounce back from the loss of her job, Jess manages to finagle her way into being Schmidt’s second-string shot girl. Jess tries her hardest to be the best shot girl she can, but between her turn-of-the-century bathing costume and an improvised bar dance of kicks and jazz hands, it does not go very well. In the end, a sweet scene between a tearful Jess and Nick, played by Jake Johnson, reveals that Jess is not ready to leave her teacher past behind just yet. A solid mix of funny and sad, this was easily the best moment of the episode.
In the main arc of the second episode, Jess goes “off the grid,” at Nick’s suggestion, to recuperate from her job loss. This entailed going to Nick’s bar, drinking pink wine at 11 a.m. and changing her name to Katie. The rest of the episode focused on the confusion that Jess’s name change resulted in. Though nuttier than the first episode, this was not necessarily a good thing. The plot twists were, at times, illogical and difficult to follow.
While both episodes were the dependable mix of wackiness and wit that has become “New Girl’s” staple, neither episode was groundbreaking. Both seemed to exist to recap the details of last season and establish new plot points for this season. However, these were only the first two episodes. There is still an entire season ahead, which leaves plenty of time for new developments.
All in all, the season premier was enjoyable, but nothing innovative. Still, it will be exciting to see what kind of madcap heights this season takes its viewers to.