Oh the Things We Have Seen: First Impressions of New Girl, Starring Zooey Deschanel

By Tim Surette

Aug 18, 2011

New Girl Fox preview Zooey Deschanel

Just after fall schedules are determined at networks' upfront presentations in late May, major networks send the pilots of their new programs to the media. These previews are not for in-depth review, because many pilots are retooled, recast, and reshot before they officially debut, and the final product might be much different. But that doesn't mean we can't share some basic ideas of what to expect!

The Show: The Zooey Deschanel Show New Girl on Fox, which will air Tuesdays at 9pm starting on September 20. The series has also been picked up for broadcast by E4 in the UK and Citytv in Canada. Yes, we're finally exporting our most valuable natural resource, Zooey Deschanel.

The Cast: Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer, Elf), Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, Jake M. Johnson, Lamorne Morris

Fox's official logline: "Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late twenties who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable, and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn't. Although she's dorky and awkward, she's comfortable in her own skin. More prone to friendships with women, she's not used to hanging with the boys—especially at home."

Early Intel: New Girl was created by Liz Meriwether, one of Hollywood's most sought-after female screenwriters. Though to be honest, her biggest claim to fame is the bleh film No Strings Attached, so she may be more a product of hype than anything else. The show marks the TV debut of Deschanel, whose legion of obsessed fans is growing faster than the crowd at a Cut Copy concert.

First Thoughts: I think my crush on Zooey Deschanel is OVA. I think.

What the series has going for it: Zooey certainly is a looker, and her gigantic baby blues sure grab the attention of the camera (but will her skinny-jeans-clad following tune in?). Your enjoyment of the pilot will hinge on how much Zooey-being-weird-but-cute you can stomach.

Room for Improvement: Have you ever met someone who was endearingly quirky for the first thirty seconds, but then it was so obvious they were trying too hard to be cutesy goofy that the sight of them made you want to repeatedly crush your head in a car door? That's New Girl for ya. In the version we saw, there was even a scene where she took off her glasses and all of a sudden she was "hot."

The Coolest Part of the Early Version: In the pilot we saw, Damon Wayans Jr. played one of the male roommates Jess moves in with, and he was pretty good—just like he's pretty good on ABC's Happy Endings. But since Happy Endings is returning for a second season, Wayans' New Girl character will be recast. It's a shame, because he was pretty funny in the early version, but unfortunately we won't see him in the network premiere. Wait, what's that? Fox isn't re-shooting the pilot? It's just replacing Wayans with another black guy in the second episode? Oh, never mind then.

Last Word: New Girl is so cute you'll throw up.

Here's Fox's official trailer for the series:

+ First Impressions of The CW's Ringer, Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar
+ First impressions of J.J. Abrams' Alcatraz
+ First impressions of ABC's Apartment 23
+ First impressions of ABC's Pan Am
+ First impressions of ABC's Suburgatory
+ First impressions of NBC's The Playboy Club

Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • Sassbo Sep 04, 2011

    Not cute; definitely not funny. Pass.

  • kickdoor Aug 23, 2011

    "Wait, what's that? Fox isn't re-shooting the pilot? It's just replacing Wayans with another black guy in the second episode?"


  • sukamulya Aug 21, 2011

    "The show marks the TV debut of Deschanel, whose legion of obsessed fans is growing faster than the crowd at a Cut Copy concert."

  • gav93 Aug 21, 2011

    the trailer is hilarious!!! i hope d show is outstanding........all d characters look cool especially zooey she is so cute and adorable............looking forward 2 watch d show :)

  • Watashii Aug 20, 2011

    I like the Deschanel sister and most definitely anticipating this show just because of that. I also like quirky people. It seems that this show is getting promoted a lot by Fox this summer so I guess they are really trying to reel this one in. I want it to succeed as well but I'm afraid that some people might not get this 'situation' in this comedy.

    This show is not really comparable to other comedy shows currently airing like Modern Family, The Office, and The Big Bang Theory, so maybe it will have a greater chance to succeed. I think I'm going to take the 'I don't care if it gets cancelled' approach when watching this show at the start.

  • oiger Aug 20, 2011

    i hope that the new girl isn't like summer in 500 days of summer, a cunt

  • deepgx Aug 20, 2011

    Leave it to the vast majority of TV programming out there to make cartoon-characters out of people...I adore Zooey Deschanel, but she should've passed on this one...

  • lalaforever1989 Aug 20, 2011

    I'll pass on this one

  • JediKnightJace Aug 20, 2011

    It still looks great to me.

  • DavidJackson8 Aug 19, 2011

    I'll watch the first 2-3 episodes because, like many others, Zooey is soooo cute (hehe). But it doesn't look that promising. It could be funny, but based on the preview, it seems to lay on Zooey's cuteness a bit too thick. Also, I really like Happy Endings and am glad he's returning to it, but it's too bad Wayan's Jr. is leaving this show... he seems quite funny.

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