REVIEW: THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2

Starring

Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Leslie Jones (Ghostbusters)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8)
Sterling K. Brown (Black Panther)
Eugenio Derbez (Sandy Wexler)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Zach Woods (The Post)
Pete Davidson (The Dirt)
Lil Rel Howery (Good Boys)
Dove Cameron (Descendats)
Nicki Minaj (The Other Woman)
Brooklynn Prince (THe Lgo Movie 2)
Maya Rudolph (The Good Place_
Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip)
Nolan North (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Grey Griffin (The Fairly OddParents)
Suzanne Waters (New Girl)
Newell Alexander (The Bar)
Bridget Hoffman (Hercules: TLJ)
Richard Steven Horvitz (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Michael Sorich (VR Troopers)
Kelly Stables (Superstore)
Lynnanne Zager (Deadly Women)

Peter Dinklage, Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, Josh Gad, Rachel Bloom, and Awkwafina in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)Three years after Red became the hero of Bird Island, he now runs a business protecting it smoothly with his two best friends Chuck and Bomb. They and the rest of the birds and pigs are in a constant prank war against each other after Piggy Island, which was destroyed in a prior battle with the birds, is rebuilt. Eventually, a giant ice ball from a nearby isle called Eagle Island hits the sea near Piggy Island, forcing the pigs to seek an emergency truce with the birds. Zeta, the leader of Eagle Island, is fed up with her frozen surroundings and wants to occupy the two islands by shooting ice balls from an advanced super-weapon to force their inhabitants to evacuate.Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, Sterling K. Brown, Josh Gad, Rachel Bloom, and Awkwafina in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)Meanwhile, three hatchlings, one of whom is Terence and Matilda’s daughter Zoe, plan to reenact a battle between birds and pigs using Zoe’s three egg siblings at a beach, but the eggs drift out to sea by accident. They set sail to retrieve them, but once they catch up to them, a whale blows them into a cloud. They manage to get them down after inflating Zoe into the air only to misplace them again.Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, and Josh Gad in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)Chuck and Bomb force Red to join them in a speed dating activity, where Red meets Chuck’s sister Silver, an intelligent engineering student who deems him incompatible. Leonard Mudbeard, the King of Piggy Island, meets Red at his house and convinces him to build an alliance with the pigs. They recruit Bomb, Chuck, Mighty Eagle and Silver. A team meeting in Mighty Eagle’s cave is disrupted when an ice ball hits Eagle Mountain, destroying a portion of the mountain during the process.Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Sterling K. Brown, Josh Gad, Rachel Bloom, and Awkwafina in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)As the team prepare to travel to Eagle Island by submarine, Red assures the civilians that they do not need to evacuate. Once there, Mighty Eagle confesses that Zeta is his ex-fiancée whom he abandoned due to cowardice, and he retreated to Bird Island. Red insists on fighting alone but Silver decides to follow him instead. They intrude the base from the mouth of the weapon only to be captured by the guards. The other team members disguise themselves as a Trojan Eagle and grab a key card to get into the base. Their disguise rips apart, but not before they drive the eagle guards into a breakdance battle, allowing them to escape.Peter Dinklage, Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, Josh Gad, Rachel Bloom, and Awkwafina in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)Elsewhere, the three hatchlings finally find the eggs on a small island, guarded by a snake. They defeat it and plan to drift back to Bird Island, but arrive at Piggy Island by mistake and are greeted by three piglets whom they travel with by hot air balloon. As Red and Silver are confined with their extremities frozen to inflatable recliners, Zeta tells them her plan to fire ice balls filled with lava at both islands. Red, who regrets not telling the islanders to evacuate, admits his selfish desire to be liked by everyone to Silver, who comforts him and frees them both using her long crest-braids, reuniting with the team. Red gives up leadership to Silver, who establishes a plan to destroy the weapon. Silver and Red put themselves in an ice ball and roll on a rail towards Zeta’s super-weapon, but the plan fails and the whole team are confronted by Zeta and her guards, giving her a chance to fire the weapon.Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, and Josh Gad in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)Suddenly, Mighty Eagle arrives to stop and apologize to Zeta and tries to make things right with her. But she brushes him off, revealing she got over him a long time ago, exposes his real name as Ethan and that he abandoned his daughter, her servant, Debbie. While Zeta is distracted, Silver tells Chuck to tie up the weapon using her super string, which catches and decelerates the lava balls after Zeta fires them. As the string breaks, the hatchlings and the piglets passing by Eagle Island help grasp it. The lava balls slide back into the weapon, destroying the whole base.Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, Josh Gad, and Brooklynn Prince in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)Everyone escapes, and Mighty Eagle protects Debbie from being crushed by a metal plate, redeeming himself to her and Zeta. Mighty Eagle and Zeta get married on Bird Island, with Red as the chief witness. Everyone praises Red for saving the islands, but he credits Silver and the team for doing so, unveiling a Mount Rushmore-style monument to them, and to his surprise, being even more beloved for his honesty and selflessness. The birds and the pigs have a huge party to celebrate while Red and Silver begin a romantic relationship and Chuck comes in to interrupt the two. In a mid-credits scene, the hatchlings put the eggs back home, but three snakelets hatch instead. The injured mother snake comes and exchanges the babies with them, only for the three new hatchlings to drift out to sea again, waving goodbye to Zoe, to her dismay.Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, and Josh Gad in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)The film doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is, harmless family fun. There are no moral overtones and it has the lightest of stories but that shouldn’t deter anyone.

 

REVIEW: THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE

CAST

Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Danny McBride (Pineapple Express)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Sean Penn (Gangster Squad)
Keegan-Michael key (Tomorrowland)
Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Hannibal Buress (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad)
Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street)
Blake Shelton (The Ridiculous 6)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Ali Wong (American Housewife)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Billy Eichner (Noelle)
Max Charles (The Neighbours)
Mckenna Grace (I, Tonya)

On Bird Island, an island inhabited by flightless birds, the reclusive Red is sentenced to an anger management class after his temper causes a “premature hatching” of a customer’s egg. Resentful, Red avoids getting to know his classmates Chuck, Bomb, and Terence, as well as the class’s instructor Matilda. One day, a boat docks at the island’s shore containing green-colored pigs, and their captain Leonard, who claim to be peaceful explorers bringing offerings of friendship. The pigs are accepted on the island and introduce the birds to innovative technologies such as slingshots and helium balloons.More pigs arrive and seemingly adjust to the bird’s society, but Red soon becomes suspicious of their motives, as they slowly overwhelm the island. He recruits Chuck and Bomb to help him find Mighty Eagle, a giant bald eagle said to be the protector of the island, and the only bird that can fly, but who has not been seen for many years. They find Mighty Eagle on top of Bird Mountain, but he is now overweight, self-absorbed, and largely in retirement. Looking through the Mighty Eagle’s binoculars, Red’s group sees the pigs planting explosives around the island while the birds, probably unaware the other three are gone, are at a rave party. They realize the party was actually a cover for their plan to steal the birds’ eggs. Red, Bomb, and Chuck attempt to warn the other birds and stop the pigs, but they arrive too late as the pigs escape with the eggs and their explosives destroy the village. When the birds realize what happened, they apologize to Red for not believing him, and the forgiving Red rallies them to let their anger loose and retrieve their eggs.he birds construct a boat and sail to Piggy Island, where they find the pigs living in a walled city and Leonard, who is actually revealed to be King Mudbeard, the king of Piggy Island. Deducing the eggs are most likely in the castle at the center of the city, the birds attack and defeat the pigs by firing themselves over the walls using their gifted giant slingshot. However, when Terrence attempts to launch himself into the city, he accidentally snaps the slingshot in half after pulling himself too far back. Meanwhile, Red, Chuck, and Bomb make it to the castle and find the eggs in a boiler room, where the pigs plan to cook and eat them. Mighty Eagle arrives, having watched these events through his binoculars and had a change of heart, and carries the eggs out of the castle. While the birds escape, one egg falls out and rolls back into the castle. Red battles Leonard and retrieves the egg, escaping as the pigs’ reserve of explosives blow up and destroys Piggy Island. Red reunites with the other birds as the rescued egg hatches, revealing three little blue birds (The Blues), and is declared a hero. He, Chuck, and Bomb are approached by Mighty Eagle, who claims that his laziness was only a ruse so the birds could find faith in themselves. Returning to Bird Island, the birds rebuild Red’shouse, which had been moved by Red near the edge of the island and was gradually destroyed whenever a boat full of pigs had arrived, in the middle of their village. All of the birds that have hatched sing a song to Red to thank him and enshrine him as a legendary hero, and Red lets Chuck and Bomb move in with him.During the end credits, the pigs are revealed to survive Piggy Island’s destruction, as King Mudbeard begins to make a new plan to steal the eggs. In a mid-credits scene, the three blue birds that Red rescued use the rebuilt slingshot to launch themselves out to sea.Even if you haven’t played the game, this movie is fun to watch. I really liked it, the silliness is just right and can be enjoyed by both adults and kids.

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: LITTLE MONSTERS

Lupita Nyong'o in Little Monsters (2019)

Starring

Lupita Nyong’o (Us)
Alexander England (Gods of Egypt)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Diesel La Torraca (Lambs of God)
Kat Stewart (Sucker)
Nadia Townsend (Knowing)
Stephen Peacocke (Hercules)
Felix Williamson (The Great Gatsby)

Josh Gad in Little Monsters (2019)Dave is a foul mouthed, washed-up musician who goes through a rough break up with his girlfriend and is forced to stay with his sister and her son, Felix. While dropping Felix off at school, Dave meets Miss Caroline, Felix’s kindergarten teacher and is attracted to her. After a parent drops out from an upcoming field trip to a farm, Dave volunteers to chaperone, mostly to be near Miss Caroline. On the day of the field trip, Dave is upset to learn that children’s television personality, Teddy McGiggle is filming his show there and that Miss Caroline is engaged to someone else. Meanwhile, zombies break out of a U.S. testing facility and head straight for the farm. During a tractor ride, the class is attacked by zombies and try to escape only to find the whole farm overrun with zombies.Lupita Nyong'o in Little Monsters (2019)They try to escape back to the bus, but find it too is overrun with zombies. They try to seek shelter in the gift shop only to find Teddy McGiggle locked in and refusing to let them in. Dave breaks in from the roof, beats up Teddy, and lets Miss Caroline and the kids in. Felix then has an allergic reaction after Dave accidentally feeds him chips with dairy in them. After a botched attempt to give Felix epinephrine, Miss Caroline rushes to get some from Felix’s backpack, which was left in the tractor with the others. She makes it back as Teddy tries to signal a military helicopter. He falls off the roof and is rescued by Dave who Teddy reveals to him that he’s an alcoholic sex addict who hates children.Alexander England and Lupita Nyong'o in Little Monsters (2019)That night while Teddy and the children are asleep, Dave and Miss Caroline talk to each other. Dave tells her about how his father left him when he was young and that only his sister was there for him. Miss Caroline reveals that she is not engaged as her husband had cheated on her. She only wears the ring to keep single fathers away. The next day, the military plans to bomb the gift shop and destroy the zombies to prevent an outbreak. The survivors decide to get a large vehicle and drive to safety. Teddy and Dave attempt to get Teddy’s McGiggle mobile, but Teddy betrays him before he is eaten by a zombie in the car. Felix later saves Dave by driving the tractor(he has a fascination with tractors) and they rescue Miss Caroline and the kids. As they drive to safety, they find the zombies respond to the music Miss Caroline plays. The reach the military and escape just as the military bombs the farm and kills all the zombies.Lupita Nyong'o in Little Monsters (2019)Dave and Miss Caroline share a kiss as they and the kids are taken away by men in radiation suits. The survivors are placed in quarantine for 48 hrs in case of infection. The final scene show Dave, Miss Caroline, and the kids sing Taylor Swift’s, “Shake it off,” which Dave previously hated.Lupita Nyong'o, Caliah Pinones, Vivienne Albany, Kim Doan, and Diesel La Torraca in Little Monsters (2019)While much of this film is inspired by George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and its sequels, Forsythe infuses Little Monsters with his own brand of crass comedy, some utterly tasteless and even crude with the inclusion of Josh Gad as a child TV personality. Gad is super bad, albeit intentional with profanity, but also a scene stealer when it comes to iterating how conflicted celebrities can be in showbiz. The film also has questionable origins to the zombie outbreak in an undisclosed location in Australia, where the amusement park is conveniently set next to a ‘US Army Testing Facility’. This doesn’t live up to the Romero films that inspired it, but as a zombie film, Little Monsters is cuteness overload with a lot of heart and a lot of cheer, and also blood and gore to match.

REVIEW: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)

Starring

Emma Watson (Harry Potter)
Dan Stevens (Legion)
Luke Evans (Dracula untold)
Kevin Kline (Last Vegas)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Ewan McGregor (Christopher Robin)
Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games)
Audra McDonald (Rampart)
Ian McKellen (X-men)
Emma Thompson (Burnt)
Hattie Morahan (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle)

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in Beauty and the Beast (2017)A beautiful enchantress disguised as an old beggar woman arrives at a castle during a ball and offers the host, a cruel and selfish prince, a rose in return for shelter from a storm. When he refuses, she reveals her identity. To punish the prince for his lack of compassion, the enchantress transforms him into a beast and his servants into household objects, then erases the castle, the prince and his servants from the memories of their loved ones. She casts a spell on the rose and warns the prince that the curse will only be broken if he learns to love another, and earn their love in return, before the last petal falls, or he will remain a beast forever.Emma Watson and Luke Evans in Beauty and the Beast (2017)Some years later, in the small town of Villeneuve, Belle, the book-loving daughter of a music box maker and artist Maurice, dreams of adventure and brushes off advances from Gaston, an arrogant former soldier. On his way to a convention and lost in the forest, Maurice seeks refuge in the Beast’s castle, but the Beast imprisons him for stealing a rose from his garden as a gift to Belle. When Maurice’s horse returns without him, Belle ventures out in search for him, and finds him locked in the castle dungeon. The Beast agrees to let her take Maurice’s place.Belle befriends the castle’s servants, who invite her to a spectacular dinner. When she wanders into the forbidden west wing and finds the rose, the Beast scares her into the woods. She is ambushed by a pack of wolves, but the Beast rescues her, and is injured in the process. As Belle nurses his wounds, a friendship develops between them. The Beast shows Belle a gift from the enchantress, a book that transports readers wherever they want. Belle uses the book to visit her childhood home in Paris, where she discovers a plague doctor mask and realizes that she and her father were forced to leave when her mother succumbed to the plague.Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast (2017)In Villeneuve, Maurice fails to convince the other villagers of the Beast and Belle’s imprisonment. Gaston, seeing rescuing Belle as an opportunity to win her hand in marriage, agrees to help Maurice. When Maurice learns of his ulterior motive and rejects him, Gaston abandons him to be eaten by the wolves. Maurice is rescued by the hermit Agathe, but when he tells the townsfolk of Gaston’s crime and is unable to provide solid evidence, Gaston convinces them to send Maurice to an insane asylum.Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in Beauty and the Beast (2017)After sharing a romantic dance with the Beast, Belle discovers her father’s predicament using a magic mirror. The Beast releases her to save Maurice, giving her the mirror to remember him with. At Villeneuve, Belle reveals the Beast in the mirror to the townsfolk, proving her father’s sanity. Realizing that Belle loves the Beast, a jealous Gaston claims she has been charmed by dark magic, and has her thrown into the asylum carriage with her father. He rallies the villagers to follow him to the castle to slay the Beast before he curses the whole village. Maurice and Belle escape, and Belle rushes back to the castle.Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast (2017)During the battle, Gaston abandons his companion LeFou, who then sides with the servants to fend off the villagers. Gaston attacks the Beast in his tower, who is too depressed to fight back, but regains his spirit upon seeing Belle return. He defeats Gaston, but spares his life before reuniting with Belle. Ungrateful and unrepentant, Gaston fatally shoots the Beast from a bridge, but it collapses when the castle crumbles, and he falls to his death. The Beast dies as the last petal falls, and the servants become inanimate. As Belle tearfully professes her love to the Beast, Agathe reveals herself as the enchantress and undoes the curse, repairing the crumbling castle, and restoring the Beast’s and servants’ human forms and the villagers’ memories. The Prince and Belle host a ball for the kingdom, where they dance happily.I was a little unsure of how I would like it. I was a child when the animated movie came out, and you know. Wondering if they would do it justice. But, I was pleasantly surprised. It mixed a bit of nostalgia, with a bit of new. It also gave a bit more depth to Belle, and her father, and I rather liked that. Worth watching. Worth owning.

 

REVIEW: NEW GIRL – SEASON 4

 

Starring

Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia)
Jake Johnson (Jurrasic World)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Lamorne Morris (Game Night)
Hannah Simone (Oldboy)
Damon Wayans Jr. (Let’s Be Cops)

Jessica Biel and Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jessica Biel (Next)
Reid Scott (The Big C)
Hina Abdullah (Margaret)
Ciara Hanna (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Chasty Ballesteros (The Internship)
Kaitlin Olson (Finding Dory)
Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust)
Rob Reiner (ED:TV)
Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Julian Morris (Pretty Little Liars)
Erinn Hayes (The Watch)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Angela Kinsey (The Office)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield)
Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw)
Amber Stevens West (22 Jump Street)
Lisa Bonet (Angel Heart)
Greta Lee (Money Monster)
Rebecca Reid (I Live With Models)
Billy Eichner (The Angry Birds Movie)
Barry Bostwick (Spy Hard)
Nasim Pedrad (Scream Queens)
Zoe Lister-Jones (Band Aid)
Sarah Burns (Life As We Know It)
Ben Falcone (Tammy)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers)
Meaghan Rath (Being Human)
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Nora Dunn (Bones)
Kiersey Clemons (Dope)
Artemis Pebdani (Son of Zorn)
Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)

Max Greenfield, Damon Wayans Jr., Hannah Simone, Lamorne Morris, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)Romantic relationships remain the primary concerns of Jess, her four dude roommates, and her best friend Cece (Hannah Simone). In season three, Jess and her cute slacker roomie Nick (Jake Johnson) made good on the will-they-or-won’t-they? dynamic teased in the previous seasons and are already peaceably broken up at this point. (The episode “Goldmine” nicely addresses the difficulty of getting people not to bail on dates with each of them after learning that they live in the same apartment as their ex.) At work, Jess has made it up the ranks from schoolteacher to vice principal, which is all well and good until she gets a crush on a new British teacher (Pretty Little Liars’ Julian Morris) with the saucy name Ryan Geauxinue (pronounced “Goes-In-You”); unfortunately for Jess, administrator-teacher couplings are a no-no, so she tries to ignore the hunk. (That doesn’t happen.) Nick finds Kai (Greta Lee), a lady who likes to lay about the apartment as much as himself; rookie cop Winston (Lamorne Morris) “investigates” her behavior for his roommate and decides she must be homeless. (She’s not.)Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)The show’s other key couple, former-model-turned-inept-bartender Cece (Hannah Simone) and metrosexual would-be player Schmidt (Max Greenfield), continue their pas de deux; Schmidt starts off the season overwhelmingly obsessed with Cece while she just wants to move on. As the season continues, Schmidt cools it a bit and finds a way to be Cece’s friend… which, of course, just makes her remember why she liked him in the first place. Unfortunately, by this point, Schmidt has started up with manipulative, career-driven city councilwoman Fawn Moscato (Zoe Lister-Jones). Fawn’s power excites Schmidty, but is this duo built to last?Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)Wayans was a “recurring” cast member in season 3, but he’s a full-fledged co-star in season four. His presence in the show — besides demonstrating that non-“niche” sitcom ensembles can have more than one black dude in them — is wonderfully layered with jock-y braggadocio, hidden tenderness, and amiable goofiness. Coach also reacts to relationship strife in the most entertaining ways possible, whether it’s emotionally breaking down as he tries to describe fertilization in a health class he’s teaching or attracting a bar full of ladies to grind up against him to the strains of Alannah Myles’s “Black Velvet.”Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)That just leaves Winston, who occasionally takes a break from studying for his police exam and from being in love with his cat to try to woo a human lady. I have to admit that Winston’s decision to become a cop just keeps reminding me of the later seasons of That ’70s Show, where Kelso’s decision to join the police academy also felt fairly arbitrary and strange. This is addressed in a subplot in the episode “Par 5,” which was actually co-written by Lamorne Morris, in which the character feels forced to hide his profession when he starts dating a woman who actively protests the LAPD. This episode tries to add a little nuance and depth to Winston’s choice to be a policeman.Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)For a show with so many semi-arrested characters, gaining maturity and finding worthwhile career paths are unsurprisingly also an ongoing component of the show. Jess and Winston, of course, seem like they’re right where they want to be career-wise with the vice principal and police gigs respectively. Nick continues to flounder professionally, but eventually teams up with Schmidt to start their own entrepreneurial concern, and while their first concept — a suit made out of sweatsuit material — is a dud, the show seems optimistic about them finding fulfillment in working together. Cece finally goes to college, with some financial help from Coach and Winston, who consider it an investment that they expect to see repaid. When they find out Cece uses the opportunity to take somewhat esoteric liberal arts courses, the fellas are duly perturbed.Zooey Deschanel and Julian Morris in New Girl (2011)Once again, the show opens its doors to a number of excellent guest stars, including It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Kaitlin Olson as Jess’s former classmate and potential stepmom (Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis return as Jess’s divorced parents), Jessica Biel as a romantic rival for Jess, Billy Eichner as a stressed-out, catty airport employee on Christmas, Childrens Hospital’s Erinn Hayes as a promiscuous school nurse, Lisa Bonet as the touchy-feely leader of a teachers conference, Nora Dunn as Schmidt’s overbearing mother, and on and on. Justin Long. Josh Gad. Michaela Watkins. Barry Bostwick. Sarah Burns. Kurt Braunohler. Regis Philbin. Funny people! The ensemble cast truly shines in this newest season of New Girl. Some episodes come in a little below expectations, but overall the season offers some interesting developments for the characters and oodles of great jokes. If you like the show, keep liking the show.

REVIEW: NEW GIRL – SEASON 3

Starring

Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia)
Jake Johnson (Jurrasic World)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Lamorne Morris (Game Night)
Hannah Simone (Oldboy)

Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Merritt Weaver (Signs)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Eva Amurri Martino (Saved)
Curtis Armstronng (American Dad)
Brenda Song (Dads)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Jon Lovitz (Happiness)
Taye Diggs (Go)
Damon Wayans Jr. (Let’s Be Cops)
Jessica Chaffin (The HEat)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Gillian Vigman (The Hangover)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Ben Falcone (Enough Said)
June Diane Raphael (Year One0
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Prince (Graffiti Bridge)
Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body)
Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Santa Clarita Diet)
Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip)
Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo)
Alexandra Daddario (Baywatch)
Stevie Nelson (The Mad Ones)
Kerri Kenney (Wanderlust)
Rob Reiner (EDTV)

Zooey Deschanel, Mark Proksch, Angela Kinsey, and Dreama Walker in New Girl (2011)Coach’s return was a little unexpected, there was already a great ensemble, why mess with it? For those who don’t know, Coach was one of the original characters from the pilot. Wayans’s was already cast in Happy Endings, but with Happy Endings suffering in the ratings, it was expected to be cancelled, leaving Wayans’s free to find another role. It didn’t get cancelled, and New Girl even benefited with the addition of Winston. Eventually, Happy Endings was cancelled, and Coach comes back. Coach’s return to, guess what, coaching was inspired, and his slight change in focus really benefits both him and Schmidt, as well as the show as a whole. By the end of the season, it feels like Coach has always been there!Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)Then there is Winston. It really is a testament to Lamorne Morris’s ability as an actor and comic that he has got so much out of character that doesn’t really have much to do. I think he’s one of the least developed characters, and with so much focus on Nick & Jess, the re-introduction of Coach and Schmidt’s all round issues, he’s left to fill out episode storylines without getting much development himself. The comic relief Winston provides is necessary to balance out the drama with the other characters, but it’s a shame so much of it is just short story arcs or lasts just a single episode. If there’s any area I’d like season 4 to develop, it’s Winston. There is just too much talent and comedy to ignore.Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Damon Wayans Jr., Lamorne Morris, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)New Girl continues its solid track record, producing a classic relationship season without losing the fact it’s a comedy at heart. Well executed by all involved.

REVIEW: NEW GIRL – SEASON 2

Starring

Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia)
Jake Johnson (Jurrasic World)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Lamorne Morris (Game Night)
Hannah Simone (Oldboy)

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Nelson Franklin (Captain Marvel)
David Walton (Bad Moms)
Raymond J. Barry (Falling Down)
Josh Gad (Murder on The Orient Express)
Kali Hawk (Bridesmaids)
Rebecca Reid (I Live With Models)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Molly Cheek (American Pie)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Rob Reiner (This Is Spinal Tap)
Lauren Dair Owens (Astrid Clover)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)
Jeff Kober (Buffy: TVS)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Dennis Farina (Get Shorty)
Bill Burr (Zombeavers)
Nate Corddry (Mom)
Brenda Song (Dads)
Brooklyn Decker (Battleship)
Satya Bhabha (Sense8)
Michael Vlamis (Roswell, New Mexico)
Odette Annable (Supergirl)
Margo Martindale (Sneaky Pete)
Ellen Albertini Dow (Wedding Crashers)
Nick Kroll (Sing)
Dermot Mulroney (Young Guns)
Ron Funches (Powerless)
Merritt Wever (Signs)
Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Mary Lynn Rajskub (2 Broke Girls)
Taylor Swift (The Giver)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Management)
Ariela Barer (Runaways)

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl (2011)The first season of New Girl established the will-they-won’t-they pairing of Nick and Jess and the they-did-will-it-last coupling of Schmidt and CeCe, so the second season is all about raising the stakes for them. For Nick and Jess this takes the form of bad relationships keeping their minds off messing with the loft dynamic by dating a roommate. Though each has some legitimate opportunities for happiness, be it Jess’ commitment-phobic Dr. Sam or Nick’s sexually adventurous stripper girlfriend (played by Olivia Munn.) However knowing that there remains a chance they could end up together leads to frequent self-sabotage.Zooey Deschanel and David Walton in New Girl (2011)As much as Deschannel is the star of the show, Johnson has quietly become just as integral, as Nick grows and discovers himself, with the help of his future self and a water-massaging elderly Asian gentleman (the show can get weird sometimes.)For Schmidt and CeCe, reality is far less promising, as CeCe begins to sense her biological clock is ticking, and finds herself on a course for an arranged marriage to a pleasant man who just isn’t Schmidt. Meanwhile, the one true Schmidt seeks to alleviate the impending loss of his caramel queen by running back to his one true love, Elizabeth, a girl he dated in college, when he was hundreds of pounds heavier. It sets up a troubling love triangle, as the real Schmidt is just right for Elizabeth, but the Schmidt he wants to be is a perfect match for CeCe.Zooey Deschanel, Maria Thayer, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)While there’s a grimy aspect to Schmidt keeping two women secret from each other, on the other hand, Greenfield makes it work by showing Schmidt cares about both women and is, oddly, doing it to not hurt either of them, rather than out of some sort of romantic greed. It’s an unusual situation, and one the show handles well.The focus on Schmidt and CeCe this season unleashes the show’s secret weapon, as Simone proves to be one of the most consistently funny performers in the series, popping in a look or a delivery that’s just perfect for the situation. Many of the show’s best moments this season grow out of CeCe’s on and off again connection with Schmidt, with the season’s home-stretch existing only thanks to the culture clash that grows from her arranged marriage, Part of what makes her so entertaining is how her exotic beauty gets betrayed to hilarious effect by her ability to be wonderfully silly. (The other benefit of having CeCe around is the presence of her Russian modeling pal Nadia (Rebecca Reid), who is economically hysterical, with a higher laugh to word ratio than anyone on TV.)Jamie Lee Curtis, Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, and Hannah Simone in New Girl (2011)The mix in the loft is why the show works so well, as the quartet of roomies and friends behaves realistically, no matter how offbeat the situation may be or how odd the four may sometimes get. So whether it’s Schmidt feeling old thanks to some hipsters who have imoved in and befriended Jess, the exploration of the group’s most annoying aspects (a.k.a. “pogos”) or Winston struggling with his period, they mercilessly tease each other, but have each other’s back to the end. This is never more clearly illustrated than in “Virgins,” where the crew one-up each other with their horrible tales of their first sexual experiences. The way they interact is as close to real friends as anything on TV.Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone in New Girl (2011)With the series expanding upon the world created in the first season, we get to meet more of the people in the lives of the four roommates, and those additions were rather impressive, to go with returning speicial guests, like June Diane Raphael (playing Jess’ lesbian gynocologist.) The late Dennis Farina had a great turn as Nick’s con-man father, while Margot Martindale plays his brassy mom, Nick Kroll is his dim-witted brother and Bill Burr is his Beantown cousin. Meanwhile on Jess’ side, they snagged Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis to play her feuding parents (and Reiner should become a series regular as her dad). Add in Rob Riggle as Schmidt’s brother, Carla Gugino as his sexually-aggressive boss and Brenda Song as Winston’s new lady friend, and the show managed to cultivate a fine ensemble outside of the core five, expanding and improving the series.Zooey Deschanel, David Walton, Olivia Munn, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)The natural progression of the relationships between Nick and Jess and Schmidt and CeCe, along with the changes in the world around them, made for an entertaining season that balanced silly fun with genuine emotion.