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Premiere Thoughts: New Girl, Whitney

Note: This is yet another in a series of shorter, "seriously-off-the-top-of-his-head" posts on Fall premiere month for TV shows. These are not intended to be formal reviews and might not cover every show the day after they air. But, that's what blogs are for, amiright?

New Girl
Tuesdays at 9/8c on Fox

Although she is unquestionably super-pretty (Brigitte even says it ALL THE TIME), I'm not a huge fan of Zooey Deschanel. I usually think feel a huge wave of unwanted twee washing over me that I can't overcome and then I start looking up YouTube videos of cats, etc.  But her role in New Girl is, I gotta admit, pretty much perfect.

As the title character who moves in with three dudes after she breaks up with her boyfriend, Zooey is a true weirdo (in a sitcom way, of course; she pretty much acts in what I would consider a "real life normal" way amongst my friends and me, but for TV she's kwayyyzee.) She makes up songs, she references Lord of the Rings, she even wears glasses! (Although, I am of the mind that she's even hotter with glasses, as are most Americans in the age of geek chic.) She definitely makes the show worth watching.

I have a slight concern with the supporting cast of three dudes. One of them, Damon Waynes Jr., is already going to be off the show since he is on the surprisingly-renewed Happy Endings, although I thought his role was the least funny part of the show. Jake M. Johnson plays sort of a toned-down Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (either that, or I got that impression because he kind of looks like a cleaned up version of Charlie and, on the show, was dating the Waitress from It's Always Sunny). And Max Greenfield, who was in Veronica Mars, has a funny recurring gag where every time he says something douchey, he has to put money in the Douchebag Jar.

It's not that they are not capable or smile-worthy, and there's certainly plenty of time for the dudes to develop quality repertoire with Mrs. Ben Gibbard (seriously, how is that possible?), but they weren't quite as smile-worthy as the title character. But there's time to develop and I'll come back.

Grade: B+

Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC

I was totally and unnecessarily skewered by Chris, Brigitte, and even our guest Carrie Raisler on Blogulator Radio this week when it came out that I sorta, kinda laughed at some of the (incessant, beat-you-over-the-head) promos that NBC released for this multi-cam sitcom, and my general opinion that, although the show might not be great, star/writer Whitney Cummings might have some kind of future in sitcoms. (Although, having also created a show with much more positive buzz 2 Broke Girls, maybe that future is behind the scenes instead of starring.)

So, now that I've seen the finished product pilot, I gotta say: you were right, jerks. It's not very good, at all. (I still smiled at a few gags, though. Am I not allowed to smile? Why must you mock my happiness?!) And, Cummings is, while fine, not particularly hilarious. Filling the role of "dud sitcom for douchebags" that NBC seems to always need to fill on its Thursday lineup, it's still a big step up from the offensively bad Outsourced in a lame way. And if that's damning it with faint praise, then so be it. If the characters of Whitney showed up at the New Girl apartment, they'd all be paying into the Douchebag Jar a lot. I'll continue to keep one eye on this and another on my laptop in between Community and Parks and Recreation (while also keeping a watchful eye on Zombie-The Office).

Grade: C

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  1. Blogger chris | 11:48 AM |  

    Haven't watched Whitney, but saw New Girl last night. I thought Damon Wayans, Jr. was great! I will miss him. "WHO CARES?!?!" was brilliant. So yes, it wasn't as terrible as it easily could have been. It's weird seeing the V-Mars guy trying to be so wacky. Zooey's less obnoxious here than she usually is. More akin to her character in Weeds than 500 Days of Summer, which I appreciate. I will watch this because I am attracted to her and I laughed at least thrice.

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