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TV REVIEW: Linda Cardellini Breathes Life into New Girl in “Sister II”

By on February 26, 2014
Linda Cardellini guest-stars as Jess' sister, Abby in NEW GIRL. Co.  Cr:  FOX

Linda Cardellini guest-stars as Jess' sister, Abby in NEW GIRL. Co. Cr: FOX

By Nicole Bozzani

There’s nothing better than a wild child who doesn’t want to be tamed but unfortunately for Jessica Day, this wild child is her sister.

Abby is continuing her stay in apartment 4D much to Jess’ dismay. The boys seem to really enjoy her company and a rousing game of sky knife. Meanwhile, Winston is waiting for his test results from the LAPD Police Academy. What happens when Abby decides to make her stay in Los Angeles a little more permanent? And what role could Schmidt possibly play in all of this?

Understanding New Girl as of late has become a complicated process. Every week, Winston seems to get more and more creepy, and the plethora of characters on the show is starting to create somewhat meaningless story lines. That fact is such a grave disservice to New Girl, a show that was once so funny it hurt.

The characters are still wonderful and entertaining to watch, but sometimes there are simply too many of them. Their appearances begin to feel like afterthoughts or reminders of their existence. Remember, Coach is a coach. He trains people at a gym. Schmidt doesn’t even live in the apartment anymore but somehow he’s always around when the action happens. And who can forget Cece, who unnecessarily shows up for one scene with one line. To be fair, Schmidt keeps the show going, and it’s not even centered around him. He slides in when the action is happening, makes a witty retort, and rides off into the papaya orange sunset. Praise, Max Greenfield.

Abby takes the lead for the best thing to happen to this episode. Guest star Linda Cardellini does it again. Her current stint has been fantastic. So much so that we wish she would stick around forever. She brings a little mischief to the gang which is a refreshing change. The moments between She and Nick at the car museum are priceless mainly because of Nick’s uncomfortableness with lying. Enter Schmidt, to save the day again – with a taco. Now, Schmidt and Abby would be a strange pairing. A pairing that seems predictable, but surprisingly wonderful.

There’s plenty of issues to be resolved with the characters. Jess and Abby must sort out their sister relationship since Jess constantly feels the need to change and protect her. It was probably one of the least cringe worthy moments of the episode. It’s understandable Jess would want to protect Abby, but at the same time it seems to be one of Jess’ more annoying traits. Her constant need to change those around her rather than accept them for who they are is entirely disheartening. Winston, meanwhile is scared to find out the results of his entrance exam. It’s a giant step in life, and a scary one at that. Abby is no help psyching him out just before he looks. But once it’s revealed he’s failed, it’s just disappointing. He wanted so badly to be a police man. Maybe finally it would have given him some substance rather than being an adult babysitter or eating Tang soup at his weird girlfriend’s house.

The real trouble with New Girl isn’t the jokes or even the situations they seem to get themselves involved in. It may not even be the plethora of guest stars that come though like a revolving door. It’s hard to decide what keeps the groans coming week after week,especially when it often begins so promisingly. Inevitably though, there’s a let down. Some characters rise and some fall. Some may not be needed at all. Hopefully Abby sticks around for a little while longer to stir up some trouble.

Either way, Sky Knife looks like a lot of fun, right?