Is the New Girl Here to Stay?

October 20, 2011 Arts & Entertainment, TV

“Who’s that girl? It’s Jess!” Days after the premiere of New Girl, Fox’s newest show, my suitemate walks around our apartment repeating these lines, which make up the show’s title sequence. Just as catchy as its short and sweet theme song, this new show starring Zooey Deschanel is catchy, sweet and, at 30 minutes, short.

On Sept. 20, the show premiered on Fox to 10 million viewers, following the season premiere of Glee. New Girl has since become one of Fox’s most popular shows for audiences.

On New Girl, Deschanel plays Jess, a quirky, pretty girl who annoys her roommates yet brings out the fun in others. Recently dumped, Jess moves in with roommates Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Nick (Jake Johnson) and Winston (Lamorne Morris, who replaced Damon Wayans Jr., who had a previous commitment to the ABC series Happy Endings). The show is about Jess’ adventures with her new male roomies and how she will fi t in as the oddball girl. Though well dressed and pretty, Jess is a little dorky, sometimes sporting false “hillbilly” teeth or speaking in a British accent about slut butlers. “There’s still that part of myself that’s totally dorky and weird,” Deschanel admits. So is Deschanel just playing herself when she plays Jess? Well, not exactly. “She’s really a 13-yearold version of myself,” she says.

Deschanel comes from a family in show business. Her father is cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, her mother is actress Mary Jo and her older sister, Emily, stars in Fox’s Bones. Previously seen in Almost Famous and (500) Days of Summer, Zooey Deschanel has since expanded her repertoire beyond just acting. Deschanel told Rob Moynihan of TV Guide, “I used to be frustrated on set being just an actor, feeling like I had to constantly keep my mouth shut … It’s important to say what you feel in the nicest possible way and tell the best stories we can. That’s ultimately my goal.” Not only is Deschanel the star of New Girl; she is also the producer. Furthermore, the 31-year-old actress and producer is also a musician and records under the name She & Him with musician M. Ward. The duo’s latest album is set to release on Oct. 24.

Much to fans’ dismay, New Girl is on hiatus after only three episodes in order to expand The X Factor from 90 minutes to two hours. But never fear, the rest of the season will continue on Nov. 1. Sneak peek: Justin Long will make a three-episode guest appearance as Jess’ love interest on the show starting Nov. 15. Will they be a match or will Jess be too quirky for him? Tune in to find out.

Viewers cannot yet decipher whether Deschanel is believable as the awkward but fun roommate or if she is just too pretty to pull it off. We will have to keep watching to find out.

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