New Girl's Return: All In? Or a Bit Puzzling?

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New Girl Season 3 Premiere ReviewNetworks as much as anyone like to show off. So when Fox sent out screeners for not only all of its new comedies (including two exposures to Dads) but also a double-helping of The Mindy Project, it did seem a smidge conspicuous that we got not a single frame of New Girls Season 3 premiere.

Me, I chose to believe that it was because with the Mexico setting, there was perhaps extra ADR to do for windy beach scenes. Or a bit of green-screen work to do with some pick-ups. Surely there was nothing to “hide.”

Yet something was undeniably “off” about the first episode back for one of TV’s most anticipated returning comedies.

PHOTOS | Fall TV Spoiler Spectacular: Exclusive Scoop on New Girl, Plus 44 Other Returning Favorites

What worked? The cold open, where Jess and Nick expressed ever-heightening declarations of being “all in” with their new romance, then fretted about how returning to the loft (and Schmidt’s 40 texts per day!) would kill their buzz. So instead, they turned heel and ran for the border, on an impetuous Mexican getaway (following a bit of Volvo loving).

Schmidt’s own romantic dilemma — to break up with Cece or Elizabeth — worked on some levels, as predictable as his cowardly approach may have been. Even the scene where he saves face with Cece by fibbing that Winston bedded Elizabeth had promise (“Give her the short version, which you did not give Elizabeth!”), until it escalated into prolonged and creepy weirdness. Which yes, was the point, but it did the character of Winston, forever the show’s Achilles Heel, no favors. Ask yourself: Is there any reason Cece would believe that the neighbor she has known for a couple of years now would engage in so lewd a practice as sewing her underwear into his own?
NewGirl-EP301_AllIn-Sc13_00696Were that scene the least of the embarrassments visited upon Lamorne Morris’ character. Sigh. No, instead we got a C-story in which he apparently obsesses over jigsaw puzzles — at first kinda funny, if only for the theme songs he would hum to himself. And yes, it “paid off” when his (so-so) skills allowed him to (sorta) reassemble Nick’s shredded passport. But the bit that revealed his color-blindness… what? And my confusion comes from someone who is a bit color blind himself.

And don’t get me started on the inexplicable (and again, prolonged) scene in which Winston and Schmidt circled each other, the former wearing a hoodie for pants. Did it not feel like these two characters shouted/growled 75 percent of their dialogue in the episode?

Thankfully, the half-hour ended on an up note, as it resolved Jess and Nick’s conundrum — can they make a new relationship work while already living together? — with sweet lines such as, “I’m not ready to lose you; I just got you” and, “I got a really great deal on Craigslist — I got all of you.”

Are you “all in” for Season 3? Was the hit-or-miss premiere but a rare hiccup?

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Comments (74)

  • I liked the episode. It’s obviously not one of the best, but it still had really funny moments. They really need to give Winston a better story line. His character is so funny, but he’s always an after-thought. The puzzle thing was funny, but really? That’s it?? Give him something!!!!!

    Comment by Megan – September 18, 2013 03:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Something was definitely ‘off’ in this episode. The show certainly isn’t what it used to be. I’m probably not all in for the entire season…

    Comment by Jamie04 – September 18, 2013 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved it, love Jess and Nick. As long as they continue to mix sweet Nick with exasperated Nick it’s going to be fine.

    Comment by MrsB – September 18, 2013 04:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it’s hard because season two was almost perfect. And, I think that there was just enough sexual tension between Jess and Nick for it to work. This season, with them being a full-fledged couple out in the open…I don’t know if it’s going to work.

    Comment by neha – September 18, 2013 08:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved it, I’ve never laughed so much during an episode!

    Comment by Annika – September 18, 2013 10:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked it and found it amusing. I am still excited for the return of Coach. I thought we were going to find out if Schmidt chose Cece or Elizabeth though but we didn’t.

    Comment by cas – September 19, 2013 06:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was disappointed with it. Some shining spots, but a lot if misses. And Nick’s behavior was so over the top, I’m not sure why Jess is still “all in.” It seems like it was a lot iof extra work for her.

    Comment by Laurel – September 19, 2013 10:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am so glad I am not the only one that was disappointed. I like Nick & Jess together. And Schmidt has long been a favorite. But, poor, poor Winston! What are they doing to him? I just feels like the writers are struggling to flesh him out. I loved when he had his interaction with his bosses son. I thought maybe they were going to make his character more “real” and less of a caricature. I will keep tuning in…but we will see for how long.

    Comment by Jen – September 20, 2013 03:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Considering not watching this show anymore but probably will just in case it comes back to life. I don’t like that Jess is already trying to vagina-wash Nick and regulate his friendship with the guys, who have known him longer. I don’t like that Nick is so ready to leave his friends. They make Winston seem unstable now and they are still neglecting CeCe’s character. Thumbs down.

    Comment by Chad Davis – September 29, 2013 07:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So i enjoy the show but just got caught up on season 3. I really am not likely the switch to a multi camera format, i feel like the entire flow of the show has changed. You miss a lot of the instant reactions from people and the constant editing between cameras was giving me a headache. I think it really changed the feel of the show, disappointed

    Comment by Eric – October 2, 2013 07:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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