New Girl: Season 2, Episodes 1 and 2 “Re-Launch” and “Katie” (B-/B)
I’m sad to say that I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about either of the first two episodes of this show which quickly grew on me over the course of its first season. It may be that getting back into these characters requires a bit of finessing, while these two installments tried to pinpoint too obviously each of the characters’ token personality traits that usually serve to make them so likeable. Jess getting laid off sent her into her latest of a number of spirals, and seeing her down on her luck is just how this show started, and it was only once she started to put her life back together that the show got really good. It’s about time that Schmidt’s penis cast was removed, and it’s a shame that Cece has moved on, causing him to fixate on getting her back and nothing else, despite the fact that he was the one who broke up with her. As usual, Winston has little to do. The second episode was lamentable for its overly obvious positioning of Josh Gad’s Bearclaw as Nick’s selection for Jess despite the fact that she was clearly interested in the other guy. David Walton got to play his usual role as a vain sex maniac unconcerned with the fact that Jess lied to him. The whole situation made for an entertaining bathroom-set confrontation which made the plotline somewhat worth it. Nick’s visit from his future self, played by Raymond J. Barry, recently seen as Arlo Givens on “Justified,” was highlighted by one hilarious moment where Nick thought that he might invent the hot air balloon before realizing it had already been invented. Let’s hope for more of that kind of knee-slapping humor in the episodes to come.