Good news for New Girl fans, bad news for Happy Endings fans still holding out hope that someone somewhere (USA? Animal Planet? Home Shopping Network?) will revive the beloved canceled ABC series: The artist formerly and currently known as Jess' roommate Coach, Damon Wayans, Jr., will remain on New Girl 's Season 3.
Wayans, who is listed as a "special guest star," memorably starred on New Girl's pilot episode, only to leave the series when Happy Endings got picked up for another season, and return when the ABC comedy was canceled after just three beloved seasons. And, so far, his decision to come back to the hit Fox series has proved to be a good one — not only is Wayans one of the funniest actors on television today, but his mere presence has improved the series, and its well-documented problems with alleged tokenism, tenfold. As PolicyMic wrote earlier this year about Winston (Lamorne Morris), the character who replaced Coach when Wayans left in New Girl's first season:
The biggest issue with Winston is that, while the other, whiter characters have well-developed relationship and career arcs, as well as identifiable and defining characteristics, Winston just sort of flits around in the background, getting into zany scrapes while the rest of the loft-dwellers live their much more finely drawn lives.
But, luckily, with the introduction of Wayans in Season 3, it seems as though New Girl's diversity problems seem to be melting away. Coach's first episode of the season, which aired Tuesday, saw him and Winston with significant storylines, serving as more than just a diverse backdrop. As Bustle's own Alanna Bennett noted about the episode, "They so casually bashed tokenism in the face with some strip club lobsters ... who knows what will happen after this episode. The future is up in the air — but it just felt so natural ... What I’m saying is SNL could take some notes on how to notice talented people of color."
That said, perhaps we shouldn't get too attached to Coach. Wayans is currently at work on another Fox comedy, about two single dads who balance parenthood and party-hood when they move in with one another. The project currently has a pilot commitment at Fox, and, should it be picked up, we'd likely have to wave goodbye to Coach once again. I know what you're thinking:
But if we love Coach, we might have to let him go. Just be glad he's sticking around for now.
Image: Greg Gayne/FOX