TV on Trial

New Girl

If you're one of the many facing a Friday night in due to alcohol abstinence or January financial ruin, you might have half an eye on the TV listings. Well, scoring 10 million viewers on its US debut, the Zooey Deschanel vehicle, New Girl, starts up tonight on Channel 4. 

On paper, it's not one for the fellas. In it, Deschanel plays Jess, a woman who having just been dumped, moves in with three guys who only accept her as a housemate because of her model best friend. Her character is supposed to be adorable - or 'adorkable', to use the made up buzz word the show's marketeers invented. Yes, they really did.

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Of course, she's kooky, she pulls faces and sings intermittently throughout. Hmmm. Then there are Deschanel's huge, doey eyes, which border on the sinister and are so distracting they deserve their own mention on the show's end credits. So far, then, so happy to avoid with an oversized bargepole.

What's surprising is that in spite of all this, it turns out to be one of the more watchable mainstream comedy imports for a while. Yes, we said that out loud. And we weren't drunk. Perhaps those giant, mesmerising eyes are more powerful than we thought.

Channel 4, Friday, 8:30pm