There was a collective breath held when New Girl returned on September 17th. After the not-so-surprising but nevertheless big finish of last season, there was a definite curiosity about where this season could be heading, especially as we all know that TV relationships are never destined to work out. So what did the beginning of this season have in store for Nick and Jess? And what, for that matter, for the Schmidt/Cece/Elizabeth love triangle?
Episode one picked up right where we left off, dealing surprisingly well with the aftermath of the high we left on. Nick and Jess take an impromptu trip to Mexico of all places, whilst Schmidt accidentally tangles himself even further in the dreaded love triangle. This seems a bit of a callous storyline to me, as it will no doubt end in a lot of stress for everyone involved. It did make for some great Schmidt/Winston interaction, however, which we don’t often see all that much of. There are a few lines between those two and Cece that really catch you off-guard in a very amusing way. Winston, it seems to me, may just be the shining star of the new season. He’s got this all-round good-guy, quirky persona going on. A little inconsistent with how his character began, perhaps, but you won’t see me complaining.
Episode two saw Nick and Jess back with the gang, although still in their own bubble of sorts. Although it’s nice to see them together at last, they seem to have taken on a double-persona, and I’m concerned they may turn into one of those couples – you know the ones I mean. I’d like the relationship to eventually end up a background storyline, which, in turn, may just guarantee them some longevity. Nick helping Jess fit in with the ‘cool teachers’ at her school made for some pleasing entertainment, as did Winston’s newfound relationship with Ferguson the cat (may he remain a regular, bless him). Schmidt’s storyline, however, just left me a little stressed out over the prospect of Cece and Elizabeth finding out about each other.
Episode three was mildly lacklustre in comparison to the two before it, but still of a good standard. I am as of yet enjoying Ferguson’s presence, and there were a great deal funny lines thrown into this episode, but overall it left me a little off-kilter – not necessarily in a bad way. Very shocked by Schmidt’s lie to Cece about Nick’s apparent affair (and shocked that there was no aftermath of the lie), and although I’m pleased the love triangle seems to have been put to rest, there was some concern over the episode ending with Schmidt promising to break Nick and Jess up. I don’t like this serious Schmidt! Let’s just be a big, happy family again.
Episode four saw a more normal Schmidt, thank goodness, although it was clear that he had some tricks up his sleeve. I was very happy to see this episode didn’t take the dramatic turn I thought it might. Winston remains to be somewhat of a background character, but this may be remedied soon. I’m still unsure if I found Schmidt’s coaching of Jess through ‘The Captain’ sexual escapade amusing or slightly horrifying, but all in all it did turn out a good episode. I’m interested to know how long the episodes are going to focus on Nick and Jess as a couple, and when it might turn to situations outside of the relationship. I found the apparent new boyfriend of Cece a nice touch at the end. I wonder where this might be headed..
For these four episodes, I give a collective THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)