If you love that whole pretty, quirky thing Zooey Deschanel has going, Fox's new comedy "New Girl," which premieres tonight (9 p.m.), might make the cut on your new fall season must-see list.
Deschanel, for sure, is one of those actresses you either love or hate. She's silly and geeky, but also undeniably pretty and stylish, what I always think of as a more spastic, slightly retro version of "Gilmore Girls" heroines Lorelai and Rory. You could build a whole lifestyle brand around the many ways in which she displays her infectious Zooey-ness, and, in fact, she is doing that very thing with the female hipster website Hello Giggles.
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In her TV incarnation, Deschanel's Jess is every bit as delightful as Deschanel appears to be (assuming, again, that you find the actress and singer delightful to begin with), from her obsession with "Dirty Dancing" as a way to get herself through a breakup to her habit of breaking into song (including making up a theme song for herself). And there's her general endearing spirit, a cluelessness that leads to an odd sort of self-confidence.
The premise of "New Girl": Jess, having been dumped by her cheating boyfriend, finds a new home sharing an apartment with three guys she doesn't know. Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris are Nick, Max and Winston, respectively, fairly average guys who've got their own issues with the opposite sex, and are going to learn a thing or two about women from their new roomie.
Even though the series is obviously a Zooey Deschanel vehicle, it's probably the dudes who are the key to just how long viewers will tune in. I am in the camp of viewers who finds her completely charming, but even in the pilot, it's easy to see how her adorkableness might become too, well, too, not so far down the road.
It's up to her male co-stars, then, to pick up some of the comedic heavy lifting, which they do in the premiere, by trying to help her land a rebound date, asking her for some female-perspective advice and coming to her rescue when… well, you'll see.
The fellas are also the impetus behind what may the most clever, and necessary, invention of the new fall season: The Douchebag Jar. It's another aspect of the show that won't be spoiled here, but suffice it to say, once you find out what it is, you'll agree that there are a whole lot of people who could use one.