With the pilot star committed to the second season of ABC’s “Happy Endings,” Lamorne Morris‘ made his first appearance as Coach replacement Winston.
Winston’s introduction is a relative non-event, with the episode choosing to focus on Jess (Zooey Deschanel) getting her stuff back from philandering ex-boyfriend Spencer (Ian Wolterstorff), her “Kryptonite”, according to the episode title.
Upon first meeting, Winston doesn’t make as big of a contribution in the plucky humor department as Jess, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Nick (Jake Johnson), but he does serve a vital role on “New Girl”: the straight man.
With no sign of the series easing up on the quirk, somebody needs to be a tad normal.
And that definitely wouldn’t be Spencer. The manipulative, scrunchy-wearer was hoarding Jess’ belongings while her grieving for their relationship kept her from taking them back — until she Dennis the Menace’d the boys’ flat-screen and they force her to retrieve them a new one.
After a botched attempt to reclaim her goods — Jess ends up driving his new, bike-bound girlfriend to the airport — they tackle the problem together, giving Jess a bit of a backbone in the process and possibly removing Spencer from the equation permanently.
Other revelations from the second outing?
1.) The opening credits, while awfully similar to a Target commercial and clearly too twee for some, are pretty fantastic. Thoughtful opening titles have been almost exclusively regulated to cable series for the last decade, so we welcome any effort with open arms.
2.) “New Girl” still hasn’t seemed to figure out the best use of Jess’ model-friend Cece (Hannah Simone). She has a few funny exchanges in the backseat of a car with Schmidt, but she otherwise remains a slightly gratuitous attempt to balance the show’s high level of testosterone.
3.) Nick/Johnson has solidified his status as the series’ MVP. Balancing quirk and physical humor with grounded charm, he’s rivaling Jess for lead status in our hearts.
If you didn’t like the pilot episode of “New Girl,” you weren’t likely sold by the follow-up. But for those of us who saw the potential in the aggressively cutesy premiere — and that has to be a great many considering the surprisingly high ratings — “Kryptonite” seems to have raised the bar.
We’re inclined to call it the season’s first official (and deserving) hit.