Midseason report card: Was there joy to be found in ‘New Girl’ season 3?

During most of “New Girl” season 2, we were ready to appoint the show as the funniest on TV. The storylines were weird and wacky, and most of the characters were really starting to find their voice a little bit. Since that time, the show has remained solid, but it’s fair to also call this season so far a step back from the greatness that we were seeing at this point last fall.

We’re going to get into some of the reasons why “New Girl” may no longer have the great spark that it once had below, but we will start this off by raising a question that perhaps many have asked: Is it possible that we have too much of a good thing? Everyone was begging for Nick and Jess to get together, but are the two of them really more interesting now that they are?

What worked – First of all, some great episodes. This has been a great season for Schmidt, as we’ve come to see him be even more of a loose cannon than usual after losing both Elizabeth and Cece since he couldn’t make up his mind and choose like a rational human. Also, Winston has had some good stuff this year to really remind us that he is a valuable part of the family. That is not something that was always apparent in the writing for the first and second seasons. Also, great comedy for the most part for Hannah Simone, who has been the female Winston at times when it comes to some of the stories that she has been given.

What didn’t – The show is consistently funny, and there hasn’t been a single episode that we have hated. So why aren’t we loving it as much as we once did? Part of it may just be that a great portion of the show was about how these misfits were struggling to be accepted, and in a sense now both Nick and Jess have. Without the two trying to sort out their love lives, part of that tension and fun of the show is gone. It’s a paradox in that we want to root for them to be together, but they are more interesting apart. Also, we don’t necessarily think that Damon Wayans Jr. and Coach are working as well as we hoped. Despite us loving him and liking the character, it feels at times now like there is a little too much going on.

Overall – “New Girl” still is a top 10 comedy on TV, and there are moments in here where it sounds like we’re being a little harsh. That is mostly just because it was a top 3 comedy last year, and it’s not even the best Tuesday-night comedy now on Fox. That honor instead goes to “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Grade: B+.

Do you like “New Girl” so far this season? Let us know your thoughts one way or another below.

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