When we last left Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and her friends, Nick (Jake Johnson) had decided to stay in the house, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone) looked to be breaking up, and Winston (Lamorne Morris) was happy to be out of the desert.

Season Two of New Girl is off to a strong start, picking up right where we left off — only this time Jess has lost her teaching job. Nick tells her this is her opportunity to go off the grid, which she takes almost literally. Jess, who early in the first season was a bonafide good girl, experiments in the sequel with being a “shot girl” who gets into trouble and lies about sleeping with people — which is a lot funnier to watch.

Fans of Schmitt may also have been happy to learn that his “cast” finally came off. To celebrate, he threw a big party with a “danger” theme. He invites CeCe and is surprised to learn that she has a new man in her life. Although he comes off as an over-the-top playboy, Schmidth obviously has a lot of heart (which leaves us wondering why Max Greenfield didn’t win that Emmy). He may be a single man on the prowl now, but he clearly isn’t over her.

Meanwhile, Winston gets crazy drunk off of Nick’s elaborate drinks in the first episode, and struggles to keep Schmidt away from his sister when his family visits in the second. The most underrated and underappreciated member of the show, Morris — who offered some of the best moments of last season as a male nanny and repentant looking to make things right with a former flame — demands more screen time.

Overall, New Girl presented a solid Season Two premiere, with a lot to laugh about and the promise of future entertainment as Jess and her roommates adjust to their new lives.

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