“I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”
If you missed last night’s New Girl season premiere, have no fear — you didn’t miss much. If anything, you saved yourself from a cheesy, uncomfortably forced storyline.
Last season ended with Jess and Nick FINALLY together, Schmidt deciding between Cece and Elizabeth, and Winston…well Winston is always robbed of a legit role, but that’s a different conversation for another time.
This season picks back up in the exact same spot. Nick and Jess are smitten with each other but decide they must get away from Schmidt, Winston, and the apartment if they want to have a lasting chance. Where to go? Well, Mexico seemed like the only probable choice and of course that brings trouble for the new couple, jokes that flop, and Jess running back to Schmidt and Winston when Nick gets into trouble.
Throughout the episode, Jess and Nick repeatedly state that they’re “all in” on making this relationship last, but if the premiere is any indication of the rest of the season, I don’t think I can commit just yet. Perhaps this was a methodical approach — set low expectations so you can exceed them in coming episodes. Or maybe this is a show in its third season, running out of material, forced to resort to mediocre comedy.
Being Jess Day
With the exception of this lackluster premiere, Jess Day is one of my favorite TV characters. She embodies the “Millennial struggle” and is the poster child for not having your life fully together.
She’s a 20-something that moves in with three random guys because she needed a place to live after a breakup. Think that doesn’t happen in real life? One of my best friends just moved in with two guys she met on Craigslist. Not by breakup, by choice, but her venture into Broville mirrors Jess’s experience.
She has a steady job…until she’s laid off. What 20-something doesn’t think, “Well at least I have my career going for me” and then WHAM! Gets fired out of nowhere or realizes they want to do something else. A major part of your 20s involves a struggle to find out where you want to go with your career. Getting fired? That will probably happen to more of us than we’d like to think.
She has a dating life but isn’t in a serious relationship. Raise your hand if you’re in the same boat! Jess’s love life ranges from insanely romantic to downright awkward. And while she may keep things casual, Jess fears she’s going to die alone and worries about her eggs rotting, but finds solace in Taylor Swift’s lyrics and wine.
Despite all her quirks, she has a good heart and is surrounded by friends in the same boat. Her life’s messy, but whose isn’t? Jess’s relatability makes her a great character. No one in their 20s has it figured out. If you think you do, you’re just fooling yourself. Challenge, conflict, and some struggle is what make a story interesting and I want to see where Jess’s story goes.
So is it too soon to throw in the towel on Jess and her boys? I think so, but next week’s episode needs to seriously step it up.