September 26, 2012

Quick Thoughts: NEW GIRL, "Re-Launch" and "Katie"

Apparently, Tuesday night was a rude awakening when it came to finding out that my taste in comedy differs from the rest of the world because most people I know thought that the second New Girl episode of the night was better than the first, and I couldn't disagree more. For my money "Re-Launch" was by far better and a good reminder of why I fell for this show in the first place.

"Re-Launch" not only worked on a small-scale level, Schmidt announcing to the world that his member's healed and he's ready to get back out there, but on a larger one as well by having Jess lose her job. One of the inherent problems about calling the show New Girl was what happens when Jess is no longer "new." Well, Elizabeth Meriwether was clever enough to just throw new obstacles at her thus forcing her to once again evolve and change based on her new circumstances. She may not be the new roommate, but she'll definitely be a new Jess by the end of the season. Big picture stuff aside, I just could not stop laugh throughout the entire episode. It was nice having everyone back and better than ever, and while the writers still haven't pegged down Winston (at least their self-aware about their deficiencies), the end tag of a drunk Lamorne Morris singing "Grove Is in the Heart" was a standout moment for him and the character.

As for "Katie," I was less enamored with it because it was a good example of a problem that I sometimes have with these kind of shows. In a post for Ben and Kate, I tried to defend it by saying that it wasn't laugh-out-loud funny but it had heart, and today most shows are only considered "funny" if they rely too heavily on pop culture references, awkward moments and/or people being mean to one another. "Katie" drifted into that last category, and the show even acknowledged that these people can be horrible sometimes. Now, I'm not saying that Jess and Company are as bad as the Happy Endings or the Always Sunny gangs, but they're not saints. And I don't need them to, but sometimes it's hard to cheer characters on when they're not likable. An even better example of this point was Schmidt who wasn't caddishly charming while hitting on Winton's sister, rather he was nothing but a dick the entire time. Yes, he's a douche but I like him better when those qualities are muted in favor of his softer side. And don't get me started on the Poor Man's Jonah Hill/Elder Whos-It/the First Son.

Regardless of which episode people feel was better, I thoroughly enjoyed New Girl's return but it's still neck and neck with Go On when it comes down to which show I'll be checking out first. The novelty of Go On is giving it a slight lead, but there's just something about New Girl that's infectious. It really doesn't matter though because both will take a backseat to Happy Endings.


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