Tuesday night was a pretty great night for FOX, as two of their three returning sitcoms aired their season premieres (New Girl and The Mindy Project aired, Brooklyn Nine-Nine will return on September 28th) Both premieres were fantastic starts to the 2014-2015 TV season, with enough laughter and heart to sustain us for the week. While I enjoyed both episodes immensely, I decided to focus on New Girl‘s episode this week, though I hope to cover The Mindy Project at some point this season.
Last year I noted that I was uneasy with the direction the show seemed to be taking Schmidt, a fear that became reality time and time again throughout the season. Schmidt was not the only issue that plagued season three of New Girl; the writers were clearly at a loss, especially when it came to integrating Nick and Jess’s relationship into the group dynamic, as well as having to develop Coach into a three-dimensional character. Don’t get me wrong, the season hit some highs, especially where Winston was concerned, but the show’s second season was incredible largely due to the romantic tension between Nick and Jess, a void the writers needed to fill. Basically last season was a mess, and the show was in need of a fresh start for season four.
Luckily, the writers figured out what wasn’t working, because New Girl had the strongest season premiere of its medium-length life. Since season one, New Girl has been notorious for starting off slowly and building to something better throughout the rest of the year. Season one took nearly half its episodes to figure out what type of show it wanted to be, season two had a pretty messy start with Jess being jobless, and, as I mentioned before, the majority of season three was shaky. This week’s episode was the first season premiere to feel organic from the start, where every character seemed to fit nicely into the show. Having everyone (other than Cece) live under one roof again was instrumental in making the show feel grounded, something that the show has finally achieved.
The loft is such an important part of the show, and when one character isn’t living in it, the whole New Girl universe feels off. Setting the new season 4 months after Nick and Jess’s breakup helps restore balance too, as now both characters are more comfortable with just being friends. Their scene together on the men’s room toilet was funny, but more than anything it demonstrated how far both of them have come since breaking up, where Nick can give Jess relationship advice just because he wants to see her be happy. Jess ends up taking Nick’s advice and doesn’t go home alone, not because she went home with Veep’s Reid Scott, but because none of them ever go home alone (Cue the”aww”s). This sentiment–more than anything else in the episode–proves that New Girl will be back on track this season. The show is at its best when it focuses on the group rather than the individual, and I can’t wait to see what the group gets into this year.
Some things that made me laugh:
– Jess trying to open the
fridge wedding invitation-holder
– Nick’s tap shoes (especially hearing their clicking in every scene where Nick runs away)
– Obligatory Game of Thrones reference: “Winter is coming.”
– The montage of Coach’s previous wedding conquests (“I rented ‘Best Man Holiday’. You’re not in it.”)
– Nick’s “hooove” hands
– Nick getting a bit too dark while insulting wedding invitations: “I hope they can’t have kids”
– Seeing the characters of New Girl hanging out and having fun together: always a blast.