by Clio McConnell
“New Girl’s” not-so-stellar start may have scared off a few potential watchers this season. Lucky for those who remained persistent, it seems that Zooey Deschanel’s new Fox comedy is becoming increasingly funnier by the week.
Though Deschanel’s likability still carries the show to some extent, the writing has certainly improved. As all of the actors slide more comfortably into their roles, the program definitely elicits more laugh-out-loud moments from its audience.
Jess is the epitome of ‘hot nerd,’ looking attractive in everything from a chiffon dress to a fuzzy bathrobe. Max Greenfield’s Schmidt has established himself as the whiny-yet-somehow-endearing jackass who goes to incredible lengths to maintain his reputation. Winston (Lamorne Morris) – the replacement for Coach – seems to be the most levelheaded character, spending most of his energy trying to avoid the crazy antics his roommates find themselves mixed up in; though, of course, he often is roped in as well. Nick (Jake Johnson) is the only somewhat-unknown quantity. Although he attempts to be the voice of reason, he’s not the most emotionally stable guy himself. His main role so far has been to help Jess balance between friendly and overenthusiastic, and he plays the part gracefully.
The third installment, “Wedding,” sees the four roommates in a new condition: formal wear. The gang heads to a wedding, at which they pretend to be something they’re not. Jess is roped into being Nick’s fake girlfriend in his attempt to make his ex jealous. Winston, searching for a job after his stint playing basketball overseas, serves as an usher for the event, yet he seems generally free of responsibility throughout the episode. Schmidt acts the part of a recovering alcoholic to score sympathy points with a girl he’s been trying to bed since his freshman year of college.
Though running the risk of being clichéd, this by-the-book plot of pretense-to-impress is turned into something rather hilarious by the cast. From Jess’ innovative pantomimic dance moves (“I’m Mime-chael Jackson!”) to her outfit mishaps (“Oh, I’m just cuttin’ off my underwear. You know, girl stuff!”), Deschanel will have you constantly chuckling. Schmidt’s macho front is comically reduced by his need for some girl-talk time with Jess, not to mention the gaudy clip-on earrings he wears for a significant part of the show. Winston has a dance-off with a fellow usher – who happens to be a pre-pubescent boy with a bit of a crush on Jess.
Once again, the episode ends with the four roommates indulging in some silly shenanigans, as apparently Jess’ flamboyant nature is rubbing off, and Winston finally admits that he and the guys are glad to have her around. At last, all three of the guys are ready to welcome the new girl into their hearts, just as viewers are confident enough to let her into their homes on a regular basis.