Here at EW, Fall TV Wish List is a new weekly series in which our TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen weigh in on what they hope the coming season will bring for some of their favorite shows. This week: Fox’s New Girl, which premieres its third season on Sept. 17 at 9 p.m.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
At the end of season 2, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) got their big, John Hughes-finale moment and made out in a parking lot to the strains of a dramatic love song; Cece (Hannah Simone) dumped Shivrang (Satya Bhabha) at the altar; Elizabeth (Merritt Wever) and Cece forced Schmidt (Max Greenfield) to choose between them; and poor, lonely Taylor Swift ran off with her sweet Shivvy so she’d never have to cry into her journal again.
WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT LAST SEASON
Melissa: So many things. Great physical comedy. One-liners that capture Schmidt’s “bromain” so well, you could screen-print them on a freshly ironed muscle tank top. (The best: “They make shoes for your penis. They’re called pants.”) The very funny “Virgins” episode, which added depth to characters that don’t normally get much screen time (Lamorne Morris’ Winston!) and finally — finally — gave us that elevator-door-jammingly urgent hook-up between Nick and Jess. Also: Nick’s tortured face when that random Asian man cuddles him. Elizabeth embarrassing Schmidt with her favorite kitten t-shirt. And all the other times that this self-aware show acknowledged that even fans of cuteness can only take so much of it before they cringe.
Jeff: What Melissa said. New Girl continued to be a welcome guest in the TV queue, thanks mostly to the comic chemistry and camaraderie of the cast. It feels like the actors can tackle anything the writers throw at them, from zombie Woody Allen impressions and to hallucinatory wrestling matches with invisible trolls. Episodes like “Halloween” and “Virgins” brilliantly synthesized slapstick, cracked-ribald laugh lines (“It was like a wind-sock on a windless day”), and character-driven storytelling. And the Jess-Nick hook-up was well-mounted (so to speak) and almost everything I hoped it would be (sorry). What Max Greenfield was to the show in season 1, Jake Johnson was to the show in season 2: an inspired breakout performance that deserved an Emmy nod. Robbed!