Betsy on TV: New Girl On The Block


I’d already pegged New Girl onto my weekly ‘to watch’ list, halfway through the title sequence. A kooky collection of doe-eyed comedy, realistic romance and several unexpected laugh-out-loud moments, this show is a triumph for E4’s New Year line-up.

Anyone who has ever been dumped unceremoniously will know that it is always an unexpected, and more often than not, unfathomable blow which leaves the dumpee in a post-shock coma of semi-mental behaviour and carnage. And Jess, the ‘adorkable’ protagonist of Elizabeth Merriweather’s New Girl, is no exception.

With every stereotype at the back of her mind, Zooey Deschanel flipped a finger to the conventional television heroine that she’s battled for years, and – in doing so – created one of the most incredibly convincing, deeply hilarious replies to the female character that comedy has seen since 30 Rock.

Following glasses-wearing, funny-girl Jess, New Girl documents the life of a recently dumped schoolteacher who has decided to move in with three single guys, in order to get away from the man that wronged her. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: predictable, cliché, been done – right? Wrong.

New Girl pays tribute to the genius comedic offerings of 30 Rock and even boasts a neo-sitcom, indie-esque Friends feel. A little more quirky than shows gone by, it revels in the rose-tinted, ‘American dream’ air that it so unpretentiously portrays.

With a primarily unknown ensemble cast, one would think that the show would lack professionalism and edge – shall we say, a little amateur? But that is absolutely not the case. Deschanel and peers deliver the well-written script with originality and flair, and although offbeat, this adds to the whole adorable charade. The broken-hearted bartender, aggressive personal trainer, and flirtatious businessman, are so deliciously messed-up, that you find yourself almost rooting -in a rather embarrassing show of involvement – in desperation that everything will turn out positive in the end.

And positive is exactly what this show is. She sings to herself and she does stupid dances, she snorts when she laughs and smiles like a hungry badger. And she watches Dirty Dancing six times a day.  Jess is what every girl dreams she had the courage to act like, and who every male wishes he had the patience to date.

A tale of how that one unexpected person can change your life for the better, New Girl’s pilot episode was impressive. A programme about optimism and not judging a book by its cover – and we did not judge – New Girl pushed into the New Year with a bang, helping us to succumb to the genius comedy styling’s of Deschanel and cast, and proving that E4 has not lost its touch (Desperate Scousewives, hello?)

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