FALL TV Preview ‘11: NEW GIRL

You’ve seen the commercials. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of the new fall shows are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of the season, with today’s subject being Fox’s NEW GIRL.

The Boilerplate: Since these pilot presentations may go through numerous rewrites and casting changes prior to premiere, this by no means should be considered an official review. Rather a preview of what one can expect come Fall.

The Plot: Created by Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached), NEW GIRL is a new single-camera ensemble comedy starring Zooey Deschanel ((500) Days of Summer) as an adorkable girl (Jess) who moves in with three single guys, changing their lives in unexpected ways.

The First Impression: As one might expect, ones first impression of Fox’s latest attempt to find success in the live-action comedy arena pretty much boils down to how you feel about titular NEW GIRL Zooey Deschanel. If you find her histrionics (Including, but not limited to a post-break up obsession with Dirty Dancing, a complete and utter inability to flirt with members of the opposite sex, and the occasional penchant for singing aloud) akin to fingernails on a chalkboard, this new girl may in fact not be for you. Luckily for Fox, we just so happen to find Deschanel, for lack of a better word, delightful. So much so that we’re only too willing to go out on a limb and proclaim this that this NEW GIRL has Fall TV’s IT girl written all over it.

The Concern: Well, putting aside the fact that based on Fox’s description of this series, they’re actually trying to make “adorkable” happen, our only real issue with the NEW GIRL are the three new guys Deschanel’s character Jess moves in with following her break up. Admittedly, we’ve only seen the pilot, but for this show to really succeed, the writers are going to have to have to spend a little less time making Deschanel “adorkable” (dammit, it’s happening already) and more of their energy rounding out the cliché-ridden roles that have been crafted for supporting players Max Greenfield (“The Douchebag”), Jake Johnson (“The Love Interest”) and Lamorne Morris (Who replaces Damon Wayans Jr. after the unexpected, albeit welcome pickup of ABC’s HAPPY ENDINGS for a second season). Especially if they they hope to turn this NEW GIRL into a not-so-new TV veteran.

The Verdict: Thanks to a plum post-GLEE timeslot, and the off-the-charts likeability factor of Deschanel, don’t be surprised if this NEW GIRL looks to have serious staying power.

NEW GIRL premieres on Tuesday, September 20th at 9PM on FOX (CityTV in Canada)