You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘New Girl’ not quite in its groove, but getting there

The third episode of “New Girl” was an improvement over the shakier second episode, helping the show remain my favorite new broadcast comedy of fall 2011, but it still seems right on the edge of its comfort zone.

The least of my worries, I think, is the preseason fear of whether Zooey Deschanel’s Jess might become too precious. She was just fine compared to Tuesday’s D plot that put Winston (Lamorne Morris) in a battle of the ushers with an overly precocious 8-year-old that was as painful as they come — neither believable nor funny. Further, I like Morris, but I’m not convinced at all by Winston as an ex-pro basketball player, foreign or not. His identity needs to evolve, the faster the better.

Also, just once I’d like to see a wedding on TV where guests didn’t automatically hook up, and instead sat around the table wondering why it was that on TV, guests at weddings automatically hook up.

NewGirl_Wedding-Sc7_0044 But the storylines involving the rest of the cast mostly worked, with Natasha Lyonne a particularly game pants-suited enemy-with-benefits for Max Greenfield’s Schmidt (though I wish the writers would dial back Schmidty’s prodigious sexual history, which seems phony). Deschanel was charming and funny, Jake Johnson solid as a guy trying to get over a longtime love, and the climactic scene was sweet and well-played.

“New Girl” isn’t the immediate creative success that something like “Modern Family” was, but it’s ahead of the game in comparison to most other halfhours at the same stage. And certainly, it has time to figure things out — it remained the No. 1 show among adults 18-49 on Tuesdays, regardless of timeslot.

More TV

  • Charmed -- "Let This Mother Out"

    'Charmed' Showrunner Exits, Craig Shapiro & Elizabeth Kruger Board Series

    The CW’s reboot of “Charmed” is changing showrunners. Variety has learned that Carter Covington has stepped down as showrunner on the series, which has already been renewed for a second season. Husband and wife team Craig Shapiro and Elizabeth Kruger have been brought on to helm the series going forward. Shapiro and Kruger are currently [...]

  • Apple TV Plus Reese Witherspoon Jennifer

    What We Know About 'Amazing Stories' And Other Shows Coming to Apple TV+

    Viewers got a sneak peek of upcoming shows coming to Apple TV+, Apple’s newly unveiled streaming service, during the company’s live-streamed event in Cupertino, Calif., on Monday. The stars and creators of the most highly anticipated projects like Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” and “The Morning Show” from Reese Witherspoon appeared on stage to reveal more [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    Richard Gere Series 'MotherFatherSon' Sold to Multiple Territories

    BBC Studios, the British public broadcaster’s commercial arm, has announced a raft of territory sales for Richard Gere starrer “MotherFatherSon,” a drama series written by Tom Rob Smith, Emmy-nominated for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” The show will screen Tuesday at Series Mania, France, in the International Panorama section. Buyers for the eight-part thriller include [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer for 'Special'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases a trailer for “Special,” and Wrestlemania’s main event will be a women’s match, a first in WWE history. FIRST LOOKS Netflix has released the trailer for its upcoming 15-minute comedy show “Special.” Ryan O’Connell stars in the semi-autobiographical series about life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. The series is [...]

  • Apple Event: Everything We Learned From

    Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

    After revealing new services in news, finance, and gaming, Apple CEO Tim Cook kept the biggest, most anticipated announcement until last. Cook, along with heads of worldwide video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and a whole group of Apple’s creative talents, presented the company’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, which is slated to [...]

  • Lauren Whitney

    Miramax President of TV Lauren Whitney Exits to Join Spyglass Media Group

    Lauren Whitney, the president of television for Miramax, is leaving the company, Variety has learned. She will now become the president of television for Spyglass Media Group effective April 1. The news comes less than two years after Whitney first joined Miramax. There, she oversaw the studio’s television development, in addition to “Spy City,” produced by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content