The third season of New Girl may have just started, but producers are already teasing what's to come this year with the news that Taye Diggs will guest star on an upcoming episode. I instinctively greeted this announcement with an eye roll, and it's nothing against Diggs (I loved him Malibu's Most Wanted). No, my issue lies with Fox and the way the network has been bombarding some of its sitcom's with guest stars.
The Mindy Project featured James Franco in last night's season premiere and Season 2 will feature a bunch of guest appearances, including actors like Timothy Olyphant, Adam Pally, Kris Humphries (I don't get it, either) and Ben Feldman. I know the girl needs love interests, but at a certain point, it just takes away from the actual cast. And by "actual cast", I mean Mindy Kaling and a little bit of Chris Messina. The first season definitely had its issues and it struggled with such a large ensemble cast, but as they cut and reduced characters, the show improved, because it gave Kaling more time to shine.
There's a reason why her name is in the title and it's because viewers come for her. Kaling always stole any scene she was in on The Office as the amazingly superficial Kelly Kapoor and wrote some of the series' best episodes. I can't speak for everyone, but her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) made it feel like she had looked inside my head before writing the single most relatable memoir I have ever read.
That's what I want in The Mindy Project: Kaling's hilarious, relatable, sometimes cringeworthy dialogue and observations. There were definitely some great moments in the first season, but for the second season to improve, the focus needs to go back to Mindy. Let the guest stars come, if that's what Fox thinks they need for ratings, but don't let the focus stray from the show's biggest strength.
So that's why I wasn't thrilled about Diggs appearing on New Girl, with one notable exception. New Girl's best asset isn't one person, but the amazing main cast and their chemistry. The roommates and Cece all play off of each other perfectly, and all of the characters are constantly developing in funnier ways. Try to watch the clip below without laughing, I dare you.
Every time I watch an episode, my favorite character changes — usually back and forth between Schmidt and Nick. Both actors are amazing, and I hate any guest star who takes away even a second of their screen time. How can you pick between these two?
It's impossible. But I do know I would choose either of them, or Jess or Winston or Cece, over Diggs' future character Artie in a heartbeat. Yes, having notable stars play the main characters' family members was great — Jamie Lee Curtis, Rob Reiner, Margo Martindale, Rob Riggle, Nick Kroll — they were all hilarious. But their roles also complemented the main characters perfectly, and even made them better. I can't say that for the various love interests that have come and gone.
So please Fox, lay off the guest stars. Let your actual stars do what they do best. (Except for Glee, I'll just come right out and say it—they need all the help they can get.)