As we delve into a new television season, I always enjoy looking back and reflecting on the previous seasons of my favorite shows and looking at what the shows have done right and what could be improved upon in the upcoming season. First up is one of the season's early starters, New Girl.
If season one of New Girl could be called the “Season of Jess”, season two was, without a doubt, the “Season of Nick.” The writers made the incredibly smart decision to delve further into Nick’s history and family in order to show us that he isn’t quite the directionless loser we thought. Instead, he was a kid who had way too much responsibility forced upon him as a child, and he took his first chance at freedom to completely blow off responsibility. We also got to see him realize throughout the course of the season that he does need to quit slacking off and get back to growing up.
The show also did a great job at continuing to develop the rest of the cast. Throughout the first season, Winston fell into the back scenery. He had some storylines, but they ended up being some of my least favorite episodes from that season. Even though he could still sometimes fall into the scenery, after season two I am insistent that Winston needs to exist and be my best friend. When they utilize him, Lamorne Morris is pure gold. Schmidt was not left out this season, either. We saw him really struggle with some loss of confidence and got to see him get back in touch with some of the qualities that made Fat Schmidt so loveable. Even CeCe got some development, although not on the same scale as the rest of the cast. We also got to see some different group dynamics by having different characters paired up, especially Schmidt and Winston.
Quite possibly my favorite part of this season was how the writers developed the Nick and Jess storyline. The chemistry the two had was evident after the first season, and I feel like the writers expanded on that in a very organic way. They chose to let things progress as naturally as we can expect from a television program. From the moment that they acknowledged that there was an attraction between them, through the first kiss, all the way to the events of the finale, I never thought that things were being forced between the two. I know that there are fans who think Nick and Jess were brought together too early in the show’s run because it takes away the question of will-they or won’t-they. However, I think this gives the show a huge avenue for all kinds of stories. Nick and Jess still don’t even know exactly how to label things between them. And as crazy as these two kids are, I can just imagine the ways they will inadvertently try to screw things up between them.
That being said, the season wasn’t perfect, but I don’t think perfection is a possibility. With New Girl being such a young show, you are going to have those episodes and storylines that just don’t quite work as the writers continue to develop and tweak the show. I will, however, applaud the writing staff for recognizing pretty quickly what doesn’t work and addressing those issues.
Going forward into this season, I definitely have a wish list of some things I would like to see happen. First and foremost, there needs to be at least another round of True American. It’s the best made-up drinking game that’s ever existed (and I’m still trying to learn the rules). I definitely want to see the Nick and Jess relationship continue to develop. I don’t want to see things be perfect, but I also don’t want to do them to go through the continuous break-up/together cycle that so many shows seem so fond of. If the writers continue to let things progress naturally, I think we’ll be fine. I also want to see some more character growth, especially from Schmidt and Winston, but not having it come all at once – we need our shenanigans! New Girl’s strength is in the chemistry of its ensemble, so if that isn’t messed with, I think we are going to have another great season on our hands.