We all enjoy New Girl, especially the parts where Zooey Deschanel (Jess) is adorable but also sexy. As a middle-of-the-week TV show, it’s a solid piece of work; Deschanel’s charm, mixed with the antics of Max Greenfield (Schmidt), Jake Johnson (Nick), and Lamorne Morris (Winston), makes for a lovely little on-screen formula. And although the end of the second season was predictable (Jess and Nick are together you guys), the new installment seems to be pushing the limits of both writers and actors contributing to the semi-hilarity.

Aww, come on, be quirky

This is what we knew at the end of season two: Nick and Jess had solidified their relationship, Winston was messed up on duct gasses, and Schmidt was in the middle of a Cece/Elizabeth sandwich (tough choice, bro). Three launches into the story moments after these final revelations. Nick and Jess have undeniably good chemistry (we’re all jealous, Johnson, you sly dog), and finally being in a relationship forces the actors to take their characters somewhere we’ve all wanted to see for quite some time. And I’m guessing if their inevitable breakup has to happen, the writers will milk every cutesy moment out of the two until their tragedy can be oh so heartbreaking (damn you television writers).

Schmidt is weirder now. It’s important we focus on his difficulty deciding which lady he’s to leave behind, and how that only ends poorly, but it’s hard to pay attention when cats are strangely attracted to his nipples and his behavior is even more nonsensical than before. I’ve always been a Schmidt fan, but a few episodes in without the douchebag jar? Have the folks over there forgotten Schmidt’s longest running thing?

New glasses

My only complaint is that Winston is treated like a throwaway character onto which the writers can foist terrible things. So far, it’s become clear that the poor dude is colorblind, has a cheating lady-friend, and doesn’t get to enjoy anything beyond small life victories. Sure, he’s also a much needed straight man, and doesn’t follow the black dude conventions that continue to make TV obvious, but he could win at least once.

My predictions for this season are as hopeful as those I made about How I Met Your Mother. The cast is challenged with wacky but adult growing pains; situations are tensing up nicely in the character’s lives, and Schmidt’s surreal intensity is growing in its madness and comic potential. If I’m right, Jess and Nick will get real close to marriage, but it will be something unexpected that breaks them up, Winston will raise an army of cats and/or get into a relationship with a cat lady, and Schmidt will become a small business owner (with ulterior motives of course). Or, the loft will become a drunken battleground and there will be even better cameos than Curtis Armstrong’s mesmerizingly awkward principal of Jess’s new school (he has a jacuzzi he calls his “jacooz”).

This season has the potential to be the best of the three if the writers and cast stay true to the utter silliness of the previous two seasons, while still surprising the audience and maybe themselves with their own performances.

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