New Girl, FOX
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The main reason I wanted to see this is because it stars Zooey Deschanel, who I always like in anything she's in. She's pretty much made of quirky, and never more so than in this show. In fact, sometimes her character goes beyond quirky, to just plain weird. But it's okay, because she's so darn cute and sweet and funny and adorable. (Or "adorkable.") She also sings the song's very catchy theme song, Hey Girl, though the song is different lengths in different episodes, and in season four it gets dropped entirely (except for a brief clip of the music, but the song itself is gone). Anyway... it's just a cute, quirky, funny little show (which kind of puts me in mind of My Boys). All the characters are amusing and likable, both because of and in spite of their respective quirks. (And, oh my... I don't even know how to describe all their quirks. I mean, I probably could, but... it's just better if you watch the show for yourself. Because mere words on a screen can't do justice to the characters. Only the actors can do them justice. But I will say that Schmidt often has to put money in a Douchebag Jar.)
So, Deschanel plays an elementary school teacher named Jess Day, who breaks up with her boyfriend, Spencer, when she catches him cheating on her. She finds a new apartment from an ad on Craigslist, and moves in with these three guys: a bartender named Nick Miller, a guy named Schmidt (I have no idea what he does, but he works in an office), and a personal trainer called "Coach" (played by Damon Wayans, Jr.). Though sometime between the first two episodes, Coach moves out and Nick and Schmidt's former roommate, Winston Bishop, moves back in, after two years playing professional basketball in Latvia. Nick is still getting over his breakup with a woman named Caroline (which happened six months ago). Also, Jess has a friend named Cece Parekh, who is a model. She doesn't seem to like Jess's new roommates much, but over time they kind of grow on her. Especially Schmidt, though that's... complicated. (Cece and Schmidt are sort of together for awhile, and eventually they're not, but it's never exactly a "relationship.") Meanwhile, Winston eventually gets a new job, and starts dating a woman named Shelby. Over the course of the first season, there may be an increasing sense of the possibility that Jess and Nick should be a couple, though they don't seem to see that. Jess dates a teacher named Paul (Justin Long) for awhile. And Nick dates a lawyer named Julia (Lizzy Caplan). Later, Jess dates a rich businessman named Russell, whom Nick likes a lot. And um, I think they both have some shorter relationships throughout the season. But in the end, Nick almost gets back together with Caroline. And then doesn't.
Jess gets fired from her job. Cece starts dating a guy named Robby, so Schmidt is jealous, though he does become friendly with Robby. And Jess dates a pediatrician named Sam. Winston eventually breaks up with Shelby. He later starts dating a woman named Daisy (Brenda Song), for a little while. That doesn't last long, but when he breaks up with her, he becomes the new owner of her cat, Furguson. Nick meets an old Asian man named Tran, whom he often sits with on a park bench and talks to (though it's unclear whether Tran even speaks English). Also, Nick dates a stripper named Angie for awhile. Cece eventually breaks up with Robby, and lets her family arrange a traditional Indian marriage for her, with a guy named Shivrang. Schmidt eventually reunites with an ex-girlfriend named Elizabeth, whom he used to date when he was fat (and had a very different personality from his current one). And I think everyone dated various other people throughout the season. So, like, damn... I can't keep up or care about everyone. Most dates weren't all that important, anyway. Though Schmidt also spends most of the season wanting to get Cece back. But eventually Nick and Jess try to have a relationship together. And in the season finale, Schmidt and Winston try to sabotage Cece's wedding... and it turns out neither Cece nor Shivrang really want to be with each other, anyway. Oh, and of course there manage to be a lot of plots that have nothing to do with romantic relationships. There's stuff about various characters' families (Jess's divorced parents are played by Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis), and um... I dunno, all kinds of random stuff happens.
Jess and Nick continue to enjoy their relationship, though Schmidt spends some time trying to break them up. And Jess has a new teaching job, though I don't remember if she got that this season or last season. Anyway, she wants to become the school's vice principal, and eventually does. (The principal, Dr. Foster, is played by Curtis Armstrong.) Schmidt has to decide whether he wants to be with Cece or Elizabeth; he secretly dates them both for awhile, but ends up with neither, when they find out. Coach returns to the show this season, moving into Schmidt's room when Schmidt moves to an apartment across the hall. There's a special post-Super Bowl episode with guest star Prince. There are a few episodes with Jess's sister, Abby (Linda Cardellini), who dates Schmidt for awhile. Winston eventually decides to apply to the police academy. Jess gets Coach a job at her school. Cece starts dating an Australian guy named Buster. And she studies for a GED test. Near the end of the season, Jess and Nick break up, and thereafter have to deal with the awkwardness of being friends and roommates, as exes. (This is even more awkward, because Schmidt moves back into the apartment, since Jess and Nick were sharing a bedroom.)
Cece breaks up with Buster. Winston attends the police academy. When he graduates and starts working for the LAPD, he gets a partner named Aly Nelson (Nasim Pedrad). A British teacher named Ryan Geauxinue (pronounced "goesinyou") gets a job at Jess's school, and after fighting their mutual attraction for awhile (due to a non-dating policy at the school), they finally start dating, anyway. But eventually Ryan moves back to England for a new job. They try to maintain a long distance relationship, but it doesn't work out. Nick dates Tran's granddaughter, Kai, for awhile. Schmidt dates a city councilwoman named Fawn Moscato for awhile, though she basically just treats him like a tool to help her achieve her political ambitions. Cece starts college. Coach starts dating a cellist named May. Cece realizes she's in love with Schmidt, but doesn't want to tell him. Then she goes away for a little while, so she's not around when Schmidt breaks up with Fawn. However, in the season finale, Schmidt and Cece each learn that the other is in love with them, and they get engaged. Also, Coach moves to New York, since May got a job there. And Nick and Jess realize they may not be totally over each other, though they don't actually consider getting back together, or anything.
Note: This season didn't start til January, though it managed to have a normal number of episodes and still finish in May, just like it does when it starts in September. Sometime prior to the season premiere, I made a meme wishing the show would go back to using the opening theme song, but it didn't.)
Nick and Schmidt co-own the bar where Nick works. (I think this happened last season, but I don't exactly remember.) In the third episode, Jess gets jury duty, which will require her to be sequestered for awhile, and therefore not on the show. But Cece will be spending more time at the apartment, now that she's engaged to Schmidt. Also, the guys sublet Jess's room while she's away. In the sixth episode, the new tenant is a woman named Reagan (Megan Fox), who will be around for awhile. Nick has a major crush on her, though she's emotionally distant from pretty much everyone. Still, she eventually develops feelings for Nick, as well. Jess returns in episode 10. Reagan leaves (her job requires her to travel a lot), though it's unclear whether she and Nick will continue their relationship. Dr. Foster retires, and is replaced as principal of Jess's school by Becky Cavatappi (Elizabeth Berkley, whom I didn't recognize at all; but I probably haven't seen her in anything since Saved by the Bell, anyway). But she makes Jess do all her work for her, which leads to Jess quitting. Winston realizes he's in love with Aly, but she's dating a guy named Tripp (Kal Penn, whom I mainly know from How I Met Your Mother). So Winston doesn't tell Aly how he feels. Cece gets a new job on a local news show. Schmidt reunites with his estranged father, Gavin (Peter Gallagher, whom I mainly know from The O.C.). Jess gets a new job at a free-spirited school run by a woman named Genevieve (Lucy Punch). She turns out to be dating Jess's ex-boyfriend, Sam, but they break up, and then Jess and Sam start dating again. We finally learn that Nick and Schmidt's bar is called the Griffin. Winston dates a woman named Rhonda, and the two of them have fun pulling pranks together. But it turns out that their last prank, getting married, is for real. Winston then wants to get it annulled, but before they can do so, Rhonda has to go overseas (she's in the Army or something, I forget). Schmidt, Nick, and Winston go on a road trip with a few other guys. Most of them I don't recall having seen before, but one of them is Cece's ex, Robby. And he eventually starts dating Nadia, a model friend of Cece's, who I don't think I've mentioned before, though we've seen her several times (and she dated Schmidt once in season one). Aly breaks up with Tripp and starts dating Winston (even though he's technically still married to Rhonda).
Of course, throughout the season Schmidt and Cece make a lot of preparations for their wedding, as well as freaking out about it, for various reasons. Shortly before the wedding, Schmidt's mother, Louise (Nora Dunn, whom I mainly know from SNL), and her life partner, Susan (Kim Wayans, the aunt of Damon Jr.), come to town for the wedding. Coach and May also come for the wedding. And Gavin attends. And Cece's mother, Priyanka, who had previously disapproved of the marriage, changes her mind and comes. Sam breaks up with Jess, telling her that she still has feelings for Nick. At first she disagrees with this, but she soon begins to think it could be true. However, Reagan shows up to be Nick's date for Schmidt's wedding, and invites him to go with her on her next business trip, which will last a few months. Anyway... Schmidt gets stuck on a plane on the day of the wedding, so he can't make it to the main event with all the guests. But when he does get home much later, he finally marries Cece, with a small gathering of friends in their apartment. It was really very sweet. (And in a very nice touch, we see what is presumably the final appearance of the infamous Douchebag Jar.) Oh, and also... ever since last season's finale, I'd been hoping we'd finally learn Schmidt's first name when he got married, but sadly, as of this season's finale, it remains a mystery.
Nick comes home early from his trip with Reagan, and Jess struggles to hide her renewed feelings for him. Schmidt and Cece buy a house, but it will require a lot of renovation before they can move in. Jess spends a lot of time with Robby, as a part of a group of singles who ostensibly want to remain single. However, it's obvious to their friends that Jess and Robby have great chemistry together, though it takes awhile before the two of them realize it. At first Jess is reluctant to get into a new relationship, but eventually they do. It's only after they get together that lots of really cool facts about Robby's life begin to be revealed (least of which is that his last name is McFerrin). Nick is writing a novel (he probably dabbled with that in earlier seasons, but he seems more focused on it this season, and even makes Cece the manager of the Griffin so he'll have more time to write). There's also a crossover episode with Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And when Genevieve resigns as principal of her school, Jess goes after the job, herself. Also, Cece starts her own modeling agency. Nick finally finishes his book, "The Pepperwood Chronicles," and self-publishes it. And Reagan returns from her work trip, but her relationship with Nick faces occasional obstacles (which Jess tries to help them overcome, despite her feelings for Nick). And eventually Jess and Robby break up, for a reason I don't want to spoil. Winston and Aly get engaged. Rhonda finally returns, and she and Winston get a divorce. We finally learn Schmidt's first name, and the revelation was pretty much perfect. (Of course I won't spoil it.) At the end of the season, there are a few major plot developments, which I also don't intend to spoil. And it's unclear whether there will be a seventh season or not. If there is, then I'll have to tell you about those plot developments, but if not... the season finale would make a pretty decent series finale.