The New Girl

I gave up watching half-hour sitcoms years ago, after adding up all of the hours I spent watching TV every week and being appalled at myself, and I’ve never really looked back (the stuff I watch in syndicated re-runs sometimes, of course, doesn’t count). This decision happened back when Niles and Daphne had just (finally) gotten together, which tells you how long ago I broke up with sitcoms, and let me tell you, it’s left me out of a lot of discussions about a lot of popular shows over the years since. I’ve felt kind of bad about that, but I also can hardly keep up with all the hour-long genre and reality shows on my Must Watch list as it is, so… not TOO bad.

So of course, even though I adore Zooey Deschanel (does anybody NOT adore Zooey Deschanel?), I had no plans to check out her new sitcom on Fox. But the other day I was knitting and catching up on my shows, and I caught up before I finished my knitting, and there was a free advanced preview of The New Girl on Hulu, which was just the right length of time for finishing up my knitting project, so I figured, what the hay?

So I watched it, and then I LOL’d and LOL’d. I can’t say the show was great — not all of the jokes were gems, especially the ones delivered by the male roomies — and as long as I’m going parenthetical can I just take a moment to say how old it made me feel to go from “Hey, it’s Damon Wayans,” to “Wait– Damon Wayans Junior?!!” — and they had the annoying and all-too-common-these-days habit of explaining jokes that might have been funny if they had just let them be. But: Jess (Deschanel’s character) is hilarious, and sings about everything, and makes up theme songs for herself, and watches Dirty Dancing on repeat for days on end when she’s heartbroken, and she’s not afraid to look like a damn fool, and how can you not want to hang out with this girl?

I know I do, which is why for the first time in over a decade I’ll be letting a half-hour comedy back into my regular TV rotation. Let us hope that this won’t turn out to be my gateway crack.