Zooey Deschanel mood piece/dorky comedy, Fox. Tuesday Nights

What’s it about? I could describe the “plot” of this show – an unlucky-in-love girl moves in with three guys who need a fourth roommate – but that wouldn’t be telling you what this show is about. This show is all about making you go “DAWWWWWW!”

If you think Zooey Deschanel is as adorable and funny as a wide-eyed hamster a with pink bow on it’s head, you will love this show. If you think Zooey Deschanel is as annoying and shallow as a wide-eyed hamster with a pink bow on its head, you will not love this show. So it really all rests on how entertaining you find adorable things to be.

On the Holiday Special Scale: 8 out of 10. We already know that Zooey Deschanel can warble a mean “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” but I’m more interested to see how her character Jess approaches Halloween. We already saw that Jess had a bit of a strange childhood (my favorite flashback in the episode was to a young Jess playing “One of Us” by Joan Osbourne on the guitar while her relatives cringed), and I’d love to see that idea carried further. Jess loves Lord of the Rings references. I’d love to see her take Halloween a little too far and have her new roommates try to reel her in, only to realize that Jess’s enthusiasm is really what Halloween is all about. Then again that’s
probably what every episode will be like. But Zooey Deschanel will be in an adorable Halloween costume. So there’s that.

On the Stupid Advertisement Scale: 8 out of 10. This is the only pilot I saw with a large group of people, and they ate it up. The pilot is by no means perfect, but like Raising Hope and Glee (or on another network, How I Met Your Mother), it’s a perfect crowd show. It’s not too cerebral, like Community or 30 Rock, but it’s also not dumb like Two and a Half Men. It plays perfectly to a room full of laughter, and it balances out Deschanel’s awkward girl cuteness with some jerkiness on the guys’ part. It’s heart-warming but a little bawdy. It does rely too heavily on Deschanel acting like she’s not astoundingly beautiful, graceful and charming, which means she has to play insecure and naïve, which can only last so long. In short, it’s utterly watchable, but it begs for a bit more from the supporting cast to keep the kookiness in check and create a full library of scenarios and characters to play off of like we have in the How I Met Your Mother and Raising Hope universes.

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