So, did anyone else catch that? Between the flashbacks and call backs, New Girl essentially changed the game during its winter premiere episode, "Stuck Inside The Bar." It took its old premise — wacky new chick moves into a cool loft with zany male roommates — and burned it to the ground, so to speak. Shifting the focus on the roommates' lives outside of the loft and onto the real world that exists around them. Like their jobs! And extracurricular activities beyond the boudoir.
Now, whether it's a success or not is yet to be seen, but the change was long-overdue and necessary. Fox's comedy darling was in major need of a mix-up, and we're certain that this was the series' best move.
Nick, Jess, Schmidt, and Winston's jobs never really played all that heavily into the antics of the series — it was all about the characters and their completely insane and hilarious relationships. It was about delving deep into these people's hearts and minds and showing the silver lining in life's little lunacies. But two and a half seasons in... we get it; there's not a lot of newness that could be added to their interpersonal dynamics. And while Winston's cat proved a new addition with multi-episode story arcs, there's only so much you can say about felines that the Internet hasn't already covered with hilarious aplomb. So! It's no surprise that the show raised the stakes by forcing Jess to choose how she defines herself outside of her relationship with Nick. And by highlighting the rest of the character's careers (or lack thereof if you're Winston) sets the stage for a lot more to come.
The shift from relationships to real life also allows for the characters to grow and develop more — which ultimately leads to comedic scenarios that will naturally give rise to increasingly dynamic storylines that will further nurture and develop the relationships of the main cast. Giving the characters new life by giving them lives again forces them out of the rut and into the light: now, instead of Winston's sad lovelife, we get to see him figure out what he wants. Now that Nick's passed the bar, he's gained respect and another layer of potential growth — there's heaps you can do if you've passed the bar exam. And if Schmidt can get back to truly loving what he does (like the Christmas tree selling), perhaps he'll finally move beyond his waffling, insecurity-driven douchebaggery.
Changing up a beloved show with a fervent fanbase is a tricky endeavor that does not guarantee success. Sometimes people get stuck on the familiar they're afraid of change — I mean, isn't that true of all life, though? — but so often it is necessary. The episode wasn't perfect, and felt clunky at the start, but ultimately landed on its feet. Here's hoping for added hilarity as the characters attempt to do the same.
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