When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”
Did you watch New Girl‘s pilot episode last week? If yes, feel free to skip the introduction I’m about to write, because “Kryptonite” is the exact same story.
Jess is a lovable, quirky, slightly socially challenged elementary school teacher whose boyfriend of six years just cheated on her. So she moved in with three dudes: 1) Douchebag Dude, who rips off his shirt at the slightest provocation. 2) Every Dude, who also recently had his heart ripped from his chest. 3) Athletic Dude. Only Damon Wayans Jr. has been replaced with Lamore Morris, because Damon Wayans Jr. made the very correct decision to make a go of it over at Happy Endings. Jess needs something — last week it was an apartment, this week it is to get her stuff back from her ex-boyfriend — so the boys ridicule her until the last minute when they have her back in a show of solidarity.
I’m sorry — am I being an ass? It’s just that I wanted so badly for this sitcom to be awesome because I looooove Zooey Deschanel, and so far I’ve had to watch both episodes by peeking through my fingers which are covering my face because it’s that un-good. Like I said last week, the bait is Deschanel’s charm and adorability, which, once again, are on full display. I just wish we weren’t watching through this lens of straight dude heckling. The whole premise so far is: Jess does a cute/awkward thing, the boys nyuk, nyuk, nyuk at her like she’s one of the Three Stooges.
It’s like, Oh, my God! How boy-annoying is she for bringing me breakfast in bed?! [Imaginary laugh track] Oh, my God! How boy-annoying is she when she makes up songs?! [Imaginary laugh track] Oh, my God! How pathetic is she with her boy-senselessness?! [Imaginary laugh track] Seriously, the show really does feel like it’s pausing for a laugh track. It’s just, even Zooey Deschanel can’t turn that formula into AfterEllen bait.
FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS!
Again, I’ve got nothing. And I kind of hate myself for it. I’m really not that hard to please. I hate being this person who’s all criticism, criticism, criticism. But the only feeling New Girl has given me so far is mild annoyance and cringing. (Is cringing even a feeling?)
Gah! And here it is! CUTE GIRLS ARE MY KRYPTONITE! I think that’s why I’m so upset, actually. There’s no reason for this show not to be slaying me every single week. Manic Pixie Dream Girls are my thing, man. Ridiculous sci-fi references and unorthodox world views and wacky shenanigans: I love that stuff. And, of course, Deschanel brings that. I just wish she wasn’t sobbing over her ex-boyfriend the whole time, or being ridiculed by her roommates the whole time. Like, when I think even Carrie Bradshaw is better than you at men? You’re not in a good place.
This, at least, was slightly better. Even though Schmidt is a complete tool, he lands some funny one-liners this week. “You’ve got some Schmidt on your face” was a favorite. Along with “Curly Sue, let’s do this!” And, “Did you guys just assume he’d have a handlebar mustache?” Actually, the second half of the episode was much better for the giggle bombs. Jess driving past her ex-boyfriend’s house a hundred times trying to work up the nerve to stop reminded me of a Kristen Wiig gag, and so of course I loved it. And “Suck it, Mr. Crabs” was kind of great.
Look, I do think this show can be good. I think if they pick up the pace, and drop this whole “how pathetic is Jess” thing and round out the characters a little bit, it could be a really fun buddy comedy. Right now, though, there’s just something clunky and marginally sexist about it that’s driving me bonkers.
What did you think of “Kryptonite”? Are you in or are you out for New Girl? If you’re in, how many episodes are you going to give it?