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PopWatch Matchmaker: Winston Bishop and Det. Amy Santiago

Some of our favorite TV characters are often unlucky in love. They just can’t seem to find The One — but what if The One is on another show altogether?

New Girl‘s Winston Bishop (Lamorne Morris) has had a rough go of it this season. After his beloved puzzles made a mockery of him and his booty call cuckolded him, Winston was relegated — as of last week — to “jokingly” suggest inviting his cat Ferguson on group dates with his roommates. Put more simply, Winnie needs a woman!

He doesn’t have to look far. Bumping right up against New Girl, Fox’s freshman comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine boasts a similarly pitiful singleton in Detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). The no-nonsense NYPD officer is demonstrable successful, but it’s unfortunately in the vein of FBI agent-turned-Miss Congeniality Gracie Lou Freebush (née Gracie Hart). While Santiago doesn’t need a man to define or complete her, think how much more relaxed and well-rounded she’d be with one.

I have to admit, I’m springboarding off the coupling of Morris and Fumero in a Fox promo video (click through and scroll down to watch the segment). As they rapid-fire quiz each other, the two actors show they have amazing chemistry. Then, when I gave it deeper thought, I realized their characters might, too. Below, five reasons why Winston and Santiago are a match made in sitcom heaven. READ FULL STORY

'New Girl': Three Cheats to the Wind (a.k.a. A Tough Time in Schmidtsburg)

Fare thee well, Elizabeth? She was barely in tonight’s episode, but — if her pie-mangling hatred of Schmidt is anything indication — it seems our beloved Merritt Wever will no longer be appearing on New Girl. That prospect makes me want to cry almost as much as Schmidt and Cece’s heart-wrenching break-up. In the midst of tonight’s episode, it finally hit me: There’s a reason that Schmidt’s love triangle hasn’t been as funny as most Schmidt-uations — it was too real. I think we secretly knew deep-down that it would end in this kind of a gut-punch confrontation. New Girl‘s pendulum has to swing both ways, is what I’m saying. So, yes, tonight’s installment may not have been as laugh-packed as usual, but it’s also the kind of episode that proves these characters are more than just a collection of tics (well… except for Winston, I’m still somewhat sad to report). It was also obviously a huge set-up episode, ushering in the “Schmidt’s Revenge” story arc we’ve been promised. So how did Schmidt go from two-timer to broken heart to man on a mission? Well…

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Schmidt shakes his groove thang in weekend-starting 'New Girl' Gifgasm -- EXCLUSIVE

Putting the “GIF” in TGIF, Fox just launched a “Gettin’ Schmidty Wit It” microsite dedicated to television’s reigning endearing d-bag. You’ll want to check out this gloriously silly tribute to Schmidt (Max Greenfield), who shakes what his mama gave him to a kicky tune that’s guaranteed to be “Shakalak”-ing through your head ’til at least Tuesday at 9 p.m., when New Girl‘s third episode of the season airs.

As you can see from the image above, Schmidt’s having the time of his chut-i-ney-loving life. But he doesn’t have to do it alone, does he? Come on! How can you possibly resist such unbounded exuberance? You can’t, right?

So click here to get your weekend started right!*

And don’t forget to keep clicking, Newbies! This is the kind of time-suck for which the phrase “the gif that keeps on giving” was created. If only there were about 100 more gifs ready to go. Note to Fox: MORE MORE MORE! (Please.)

*Just a warning for iPhone/iPad watchers: The sound will only auto-play on a desktop.

'New Girl': Jacuzz'!

New Girl is back, y’all. No disrespect to last week’s premiere, but tonight felt like the level of hilarity, heartstring-pulling, and sharp storytelling that spoiled us last season. To wit, Jess and Nick once more earned their couplehood, from the minute he spit-smoothed her bangs to his final words to her (“I would have noticed you”); the mean girls — and boy — on the sidelines reaffirmed why we loved the loftmates so much; Schmidt was up to his usual douchebag jar-worthy antics… but almost redemptively guilty about his behavior, and Winston got the chance to play with an adorable kitteh. Daisy was even featured — and, for whatever reason (probably her association with “Cooler”), I loves me some Daisy. Straight talk: I don’t want to get too excited because there are still 20-odd episodes remaining this season, but it was good, you guys. My optimism last week was not in vain. READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' Winston Watch: The 12 Winstons we've met so far

New Girl returned last night, and with the season 3 premiere came an all-new Winston (Lamorne Morris): colorblind and puzzles-obsessed.

Sigh. It looks like Winston’s still getting a quirky trait each episode instead of a proper, character-building arc, but we’ve aired our grievances about that before. At this point, the regularly sidelined loftmate has accumulated too many strange characteristics to keep count, so why not try tallying them all up?

May we present to you, PopWatchers, the “Winston Watch,” an ultimate (though probably not definitive) showcase of every version we’ve seen of our favorite fruity-drink-loving, darkness-fearing, pranks- and puzzles-obsessed supporting character:
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Is '40 Days of Dating' just a big-screen version of 'New Girl'?

When it was announced that the people behind viral website 40 Days of Dating — which featured his and hers daily blogs between two long-term friends as they tried dating each other for 40 days — had gotten a movie agent, the rollout seemed inevitable, and now it’s official: The story of Jessica Walsh and Tim Goodman will be a movie, written by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist) and directed by The Vow‘s Michael Sucsy.

Ugh. I’ll be happy to be wrong, but right now, even reading that news seems exhausting — I just can’t imagine a not-insufferable two hours full of will-they-or-won’t-they between two twee adults caught up in the cuteness of their own story. Perhaps 15 years ago it would be intriguing, but the girl who just can’t help but fall in love and the guy with commitment issues are such well-worn tropes that I’m already checking my watch years before I get to the theater. And then I realized the real issue: I’m already watching this story unfold on a weekly basis, and it’s called New Girl.
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'New Girl' season 3 premiere: Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Life-changing revelations, rampant bribery, vehicular sex, addiction, international intrigue, threats of violence (nay, murder!), a valiant act of self-sacrifice, an unsolvable love triangle, and even a bit of original music. It may not have seemed like it, but New Girl‘s season 3 premiere had all the elements of a classic high drama. Admittedly, it didn’t all fit together perfectly. But, New Girl, you’ve never let me down before. Like Nick, Jess, and one of Winston’s puzzles, there are good, solid foundations there. I’m confident that over the course of the next 20-odd episodes, everything will fall into place (maybe with the help of an almond or two). READ FULL STORY

TV's quirkiest women: Before Mindy and Zooey, there was ...

The Mindy Project and The New Girl — starring two of the most quirky-cool ladies on TV, Mindy Kaling (as Mindy Lahiri) and Zooey Deschanel (as Jess Day) — return tonight on Fox. The female-anchored shows air back-to-back and have successfully maneuvered past their freshman seasons (The Mindy Project is entering its second season, while The New Girl will start its third), garnering fans and award nominations along the way.

While the myth of the manic pixie dream girl is alive and well in film, TV only recently seemed to embrace shows that orbited around a less-than-perfect, idiosyncratic female lead. It’s refreshing to finally see women who are beautiful and flawed and beautiful because they’re flawed: Girls who are Anthropologie sale-section connoisseurs and major klutzes. Girls who have wonderful gal-pal personalities and are at times wildly undateable. Girls who have ambitious careers and want families (someday).

So it’s high time we celebrate the evolution of the quirky girl on TV. Before Mindy and Zooey, there were ball- (and genre-) busting femmes who paved the way for quirky female characters everywhere. Here are 10 of the best quirky female characters ever on TV:
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EWwys: 'New Girl' stars Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson accept their awards -- LISTEN!

New Girl scored a hat trick in the 6th Annual EWwys, EW.com’s reader-voted awards for the Emmy-snubbed: Stars Zooey Deschanel (Best Actress), Jake Johnson (Best Actor), and Max Greenfield (Best Supporting Actor) each took home a golden ewe when winners were announced yesterday. Deschanel and Johnson phoned in to Entertainment Weekly Radio’s TV Recap hour to accept their honors. They also teased the Fox comedy’s Sept. 17 season 3 premiere, which finds the new couple vacationing in Mexico, along with who might already be trying to break them up. Listen to the chats below with EW’s Dalton Ross, Jessica Shaw, and Mandi Bierly.

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PopWatch Confessional: The popular thing you just don't get

Another fall, another TV season… another year of people telling me that I just have to start watching New Girl.

“It’s gotten so much better since the pilot!” they’ll say. “Everyone is funny now, not just Schmidt — and it handles the will they/won’t they romance better than any other sitcom — and Zooey Deschanel’s wardrobe is adorable!

All that may be true. But every time I give New Girl another chance — and at this point, I’ve watched at least three or four episodes — I’m left totally cold by it.

Objectively, I should love this show: It’s a fast-paced, goofy comedy aimed squarely at my demographic. (I’m a 20-something female city dweller who enjoys wordplay and sleeveless A-line dresses.) It’s also one of the few comedies on TV created and run by a woman, which wins it automatic points in my book. Yet whenever I fire up an episode of New Girl, the show fails to resonate with me. I don’t laugh at its jokes; I don’t identify with its characters; I don’t swoon when Nick and Jess make goo-goo eyes at each other. It’s not that I think the series is bad, per se — I just think it’s not for me.

Which got me thinking: In the back of everyone’s mind, there must be some extremely popular, critically acclaimed TV show, movie, musical artist, etc. that they know they should like — but can’t seem to get into. EW’s staff has more examples:

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