' ' Cinema Romantico: New Girl: Kryptonite

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Girl: Kryptonite

"Opening Day is about hope ... beautiful, glorious and irrational hope. And second days are about the slow and irretrievable loss of that hope." - Joe Posnanski

The second episode of mercurial Zooey Deschanel's new Fox sitcom is titled "Kryptonite." This is in reference to the fact that Zooey's - er, I mean Jess's moronic ex-boyfriend she never would have dated in the first place is her Kryptonite, that, as it did to Superman, saps her strength. Oddly, though, this whole Kryptonite angle is barely played up. One of her three male roommates - Nick (Jake Johnson) - makes mention of this fact and......that's all we get. I hate to already be comparing a new TV show I'm watching to my beloved "Seinfeld" but seriously, man, "Seinfeld" knew how to employ a Superman reference. In "New Girl" it's like they titled the episode after it to appeal to a certain demographic and then forgot about it.

As the episode starts we learn, strangely, that Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) is...uh...apparently no longer on the show. He has moved out and another black guy named Winston (Lamorne Morris) has moved in. Why did Coach move out? ...uh... Apparently because Damon Wayans Jr. chose to return to his old TV show "Happy Endings" and the producers of "New Girl" didn't want to re-shoot the pilot because...uh...that would make sense? But never mind! Coach is gone, Winston is in! Stop asking questions, damn it! And it turns out Winston is a former professional basketball player ("In Latvia - he went pro in Latvia") which conveniently allows for a basketball to be bounced around inside the gang's spacious apartment and the second Jess gets her hands on the basketball you're thinking, "No, no, no, no, don't throw it into something. Do not throw it into something! Do you hear me, Jess, DO NOT THROW THAT BASKETBALL INTO-"

She throws it into the TV and it breaks. Sigh.

I will, however, give "New Girl" points for not just making the basketball-thrown-into-the-TV a throwaway gag and instead making it the primary plot point, as in the loss of the TV causes the guys to force Jess to confront the moronic ex-boyfriend she never would have dated in the first place to get her stuff back, her stuff which, of course, includes a TV. And that leads to Nick referencing Kryptonite and the whole gang - including Jess's pal with the long legs and the snappy dress - to drive over to the house of the moronic ex-boyfriend she never would have dated in the first place so Jess can confront him. (My favorite part of the whole episode was Jess taking about 12 or 13 spins around the block in her car in a dubious effort to build up the courage to confront the moronic ex-boyfriend she never would have dated in the first place. That reminded me of myself.)

The secondary storyline involves the three guys attempting to determine the hiearchy of their group, as in who's the "top dog", which brought to mind the three guys on "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" attempting to determine who was The Brains, The Looks and The Wild Card. And, frankly speaking, that show did their storyline with a whole lot more chutzpah. "New Girl" barely follows through with it. Come on, writers, mine deeper, take it further! The set-up isn't enough on its own! You're getting paid for scripts, not just ideas! (Aren't you?)

So taking stock of "New Girl" from the first episode to the second it seems that not only have the three guys failed to progress, they have, in fact, regressed, which is due to the fact that - I can't believe I'm saying this - Damon Wayans Jr. seemed to have the best comedic timing of the four. This doesn't bode well. There seems to be a bit of potential in the tug and pull of the relationship between Jess's pal with the long legs and the snappy dress who thinks she should be giving Jess advice, not the guys, and then the guys giving advice anyway and I hope they play on it and it was also a nice move to get the moronic ex-boyfriend she never would have dated in the first place out of the picture (I hope) early on so we can move on to hopefully better and brighter things for Jess (which may or may not involve a will they? won't they? situation with Nick which is entirely dependent on show creator Elizabeth Meriweather - and let me make myself clear - MAKING SURE SUCH A THING DOES NOT HAPPEN).

Look, I'll be honest, the episode didn't exactly thrill me but it's just like last week......when Zooey is sitting on the couch at the end in the glasses and the tee shirt and the jeans and the blue shoes and suggests they watch "Adventures In Babysitting", well, how the hell does a guy named Nick bolt? He's an insult to Nicks everywhere. I'd stay. And I'm going to. This is a new relationship, people, and you have to work at it.


Sam Turner said...

This series (on your blog, not the TV series) continues to be literally sodding hilarious. Wayans has LEFT?! Wayans was the funniest thing IN IT?! You couldn't make this sort of thing up. I'm telling you, I would be well out of there by now.

Nick Prigge said...

I honestly had no idea Wayans was gone. That was....weird, when suddenly he wasn't there. I really can't comprehend why they just wouldn't re-shoot the pilot. It's so odd.

You know, even though it doesn't look promising I'm actually a bit invigorated about sticking around for the rest of it. Maybe I can provide a hardened look into where modern day TV goes wrong?

Or maybe by April I'll want to carve out my eyeballs.

NeverTooEarlyMP said...

Great review. I missed the first episode, but caught this one. To be honest, I think your version is better than the show itself. I may keep watching just so I can keep up with you.

Nick Prigge said...

Why, thank you! I don't know, I hope I can keep this up. I hope the show continues to inspire me (is that the right term?) to keep this blogging marathon going.