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Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Girl The Complete First Season new to DVD

Arguably last year's best new sitcom, FOX's New Girl The Complete First Season has arrived on DVD in a three disc set. All twenty-four episodes of the show's freshman run are included, along with special features.

As the New Girl "Pilot" begins, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) leaves her boyfriend. Homeless, she finds a place with three bachelors who share a spacious apartment. Coach (Damon Wayans Jr., Happy Endings), the jock, Nick (Jake Johnson), the slacker bartender, and Schmidt (Max Greenfield), the douche whose rude exterior masks a good heart. Coach is gone by episode two, but in his place, the guys' old friend Winston (Lamorne Morris), whose overseas professional basketball career has fizzled, comes home.

These guys are not boyfriend material for Jess, but after a rocky adjustment period, they all come to care very much about each other. They may not be lucky in love individually, but they all lend support where needed. Eventually, Schmidt even finds a steady girlfriend in Jess's friend CeCe (Hannah Simone).

Over the course of the season, these five well written, well acted, layered characters become like friends to those of us watching at home. They really have some neat chemistries, and while some of the plots may seem a bit stale for a sitcom, somehow they come across as fresh when played out by these particular personalities. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why this show works, other than to say that the particular combination of elements here just melds together really well. The brilliance is that the show stays simple, but remains incredibly funny by playing to everyone's strengths.

Among the best installments in this first year are:

  • "Wedding" Jess goes as Nick's date to a wedding and tries to prevent him from sleeping with his crazy ex, Caroline (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia). This is the true start for Jess / Nick shipper fans, many viewers of the show who root for this pair to get together (they still haven't).
  • "Naked" Winston tries to catch up on all the pop culture he missed, while Jess walks in on a naked Nick, shaking his confidence.
  • "Thanksgiving" Jess tries to prepare a holiday dinner for her crush, Paul (Justin Long, Ed), which of course, works out perfectly. Just kidding. It's a disaster.
  • "Bells" Winston joins Jess's handbell choir, and quickly proves to be better than her.
  • "The Story of 50" Jesse tries to salvage Schmidt's 29th birthday party. She is not exactly in tune with Schmidt's tastes, or how to execute them.
  • "Valentine's Day" Schmidt tries to help Jess get laid, Nick's relationship with Julia (Lizzy Caplan, Party Down) begins to crumble, and Winston attempts to woo Shelby (Kali Hawk), an ex that he wronged.
  • "Jess and Julia" Spending time together is painful for Jess and Julia, who have lots of trouble finding common ground.
  • "Control" The delicate ecosystem of the apartment is threatened when Jess encourages Schmidt to only do his share of the housework and Winston calls in Nick's debts.
  • "See Ya" The relationships between the characters grow tenuous when one of them tries to move out, but a trip to the desert helps make things clear.
There are quite a few special features included. Commentary is offered on three episodes, including the "Pilot." Deleted and extended scenes are present, as well as some alternate jokes that didn't make it on screen. There is also a gag reel, and Lamorne's audition. Finally, a featurette called "Dress Like Jess" examines the lead characters very quirky style.

If you missed New Girl last year, this is a great way to finally catch up on the comedy. After all, your friends are probably watching, so why shouldn't you?

New Girl The Complete First Season is available now.

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