TV Improvement: New Girl

Welcome to the latest installment of TV Improvement. Last week, we introduced the series and discussed ways to improve Modern Family. This week, we tackle another amusing half-hour comedy, New Girl

Without a doubt, New Girl is one of the breakout hits of the TV season. People hitched their wagons to the Zooey Deschanel train and things have gone really well. There is a lot more to like about New Girl than there is to dislike. That being said, I still get irked on a weekly basis about a few things. Let’s take a look at some improvements that we can make.

Decide on the proper Zooey dosage
 

It’s no secret to anyone that Zooey Deschanel is the reason that people started watching New Girl (no offense, Max Greenfield). Still, the writers seem to havve decided that Jess’s wackiness was at a level that was unsustainable for a series. As a result, they have vacillated back and forth on what level of Jess they want to set their show on. There’s the “Bad in Bed” episode where Jess was cranked up to an 11.

On the other hand, there have been plenty of other episodes where Jess was more subdued in an effort to give other characters an opportunity to showcase their skills. It seems like the writers are still working on finding the right mix. It’s find to take a little time to figure a show out (particularly sitcoms), but at some point they need to make a decision about the Jess character. For the record, I like my Jess more subdued.

The Winston Conundrum
 

This problem has been touched on in several places, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be brought up here. Obviously, the writers planned on having Damon Wayans, Jr. on the show. When those plans had to change at the last minute, they had to scrape together another actor and attempt to develop a character for him on the fly. So far, they have failed pretty impressively with Winston.

On a regular basis, the show will bring up details about Winston and then never mention them again. (The nanny gig, anyone? Does he even still do that?) It’s pretty distracting that one of the (supposedly) primary characters on the show has no character. It doesn’t matter how they choose to fix it, it just needs to be fixed.

Cultivate the Cult of Schmidt
 

While I am sure that there are some people that hate him, I gather that most people love Schmidt. I have to give Max Greenfield a ton of credit. He has somehow managed to make a supreme douche (“I can’t find my driving moccasins anywhere!”) into a lovable character. That being said, New Girl needs to work hard to cultivate the Cult of Schmidt. There are websites and websites devoted to lovably wacky characters on sitcoms. (Here’s a good one.) Schmidt should be no different.

There should be 12 different tumblr pages devoted to all of the things that have merited Schmidt placing money in the Douche Jar. Without doing any in-depth research, I would assume that Schmidt’s followers are a lot more ardent than Jess’s followers. Cultivate that base and they will always defend you. Take a lesson from Parks and Recreation or Community. Those guys know how to cultivate a rabid following.

 

There you have it. Just a few suggestions for improving the biggest breakout sitcom of the fall season. I like New Girl a lot, but with a few tweaks, it could be an excellent show for many years to come.

What do you guys think? How should New Girl be tweaked? Let me know in the comments below or via Twitter @TVCzar. Also, if you have any suggestions for the next installment of TV Improvement, feel free to submit them in the comments as well.

The TV Czar