“New Girl” Premiere Gives Hope for Strong Third Season

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Poster for season three of Fox’s “New Girl”

Jamie Ferguson

Poster for season three of Fox's "New Girl"
Poster for season three of Fox’s “New Girl”

New Girl is back, and its tumultuous season three premiere hints that it will be better than ever.  The third season of New Girl has a lot to live up to, as it has become one of the most popular comedies on air. With the development of Nick and Jess’ relationship, the future of season three is not clear, but hopefully the premiere is a good sign for what is to come.

After a dramatic finale to the second season, the premiere kicks off right where it left off, with Nick and Jess riding through the California night after Cece’s wedding.  After a romantic the night in the car, they are not sure if they want to go back home. They run away to Mexico for some much needed alone time, and spend the next four days relaxing on the beach and sneaking into a resort—that is, until Nick is sent to “resort jail” because he does not have a wristband (he stole one for Jess before the guard came over).

Back at the loft, Schmidt realizes that he is unable to pick between Cece and Elizabeth, so he lies to both of them (a predicable but out of character move). He will almost certainly choose Cece, but not only would Schmidt picking Elizabeth better develop his character, it would also send an empowering message if the plus size girl got the guy over the model. Meanwhile, Winston is tackling a 750 piece puzzle (while wearing a sweatshirt as pants), but he is not nearly as good as he thinks he is. The scene is funny, but once again portrays Winston as the weird one while the rest of his roommates are given legitimate story lines.

Jess returns home to bring the boys back to Mexico to get Nick out of resort jail. A ridiculous but funny exchange about Winston’s shoes reveals that Winston is colorblind (he previously thought that both his shoes and Kermit the frog were brown), which explains why he is so bad at puzzles. One of the funniest lines in the episode is when Schmidt asks Winston, “If you think your shoes are brown, what color do you think you are?”

 In one of the more touching moments in an otherwise outrageous episode, Jess reminds a Nick that the four of them are a family, albeit a strange one, and that they need each other. But when Nick finally agrees to come home with them, they accidentally shred his passport. Winston puts his questionable puzzle skills to use, and the group somehow manages to get back home.

As a season premiere, the episode is good but not great. It certainly has its funny moments, but it is lacking in what makes the show so good. Winston’s strange story lines were undoubtedly funny, but he is left behind once again in terms of character development. He seems to get a new strange characteristic every episode (his love of Wicked, his earring, his fear of the dark, and his pranks only some of the weird traits he has been given) instead of a proper character arc.

The show has a strong following, a solid cast, and a roommate gimmick that works very well. Hopefully, it will be able to realize its assets, and avoid getting caught up in cliches that have been done to death. At the end of the day, New Girl is not funny because the characters are going on bizarre adventures all the time, but because the dynamic of its cast is so electric.  Season three will be a challenge for not only Nick and Jess but also the show itself, but hopefully, it will deliver in the strange, quirky, but always funny way that only New Girl can.