TITLE: NEW GIRL - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
Release Date: October 1, 2013 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: 545 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 30 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Subtitles and Captioning: English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, French Subtitles
Special Features: Extended Version of “Virgins,” Full of Schmidt DVD feature, Gag Reel, Audio Commentary on “Cooler,” Deleted Scenes
New Girl is back for a second season, and this season takes all of the humor and heart that made the show stand out in Season 1 and escalates it to an even higher degree. Jam-packed with hilarious, pitch-perfect episodes, the second season began to really examine the relationship between the tenants of Apartment 4D - both romantic and platonic. The seasons’ defining story arc was perhaps the escalating tension between Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson), with built to an exciting crescendo and kept fans enthralled right up to the arcs’ climax in the season finale. Additionally storylines included Schmidt (Jake Johnson) attempting to get over CeCe (Hannah Simone) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) attempting to get his personal life together. New Girl confirmed its status as one of TV’s best sitcoms in Season 2, and this 25-episode DVD set will show you exactly why it’s accumulated such high praise.
The second season began with “Re-Launch,” which found Jess at a loss after being laid off from her job. In “Katie,” Jess woos Sam (played by David Walton) by taking on the persona of the woman that was supposed to be his blind date. “Fluffer” finds Nick and Jess questioning just how platonic their friendship is, and “Neighbors” found Jess and Schmidt trying desperately to fit in with their young new neighbors. In “Models,” Jess and CeCe get into an argument after Jess insults CeCe’s modeling career, and “Halloween” finds each of the roommates spending the holiday questioning their current relationships. In “Menzies,” Jess blames her inability to find a job on her premenstrual system, and “Parents” finds Jess staging a “parent trap” to get her parents back together (guest stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner).
In “Eggs,” Jess and CeCe become insecure about their ticking biological clocks. “Bathtub” finds Jess and Winston scheming together to get a bathtub installed in the loft, and “Santa” follows the gang as they party hop on Christmas Eve. In “Cabin,” Jess invites Nick & Angie (guest star Olivia Munn) to double date with her and Sam on a cabin trip, and “A Father’s Love” sees Nick’s con man dad Walt (Dennis Farina) visiting and involving Jess in his schemes. In “Pepperwood,” Nick becomes suspicious of a strange student in Jess’s creative writing class.
The seasons’ turning point came in “Cooler,” which finds Nick and Jess in a compromising position during a game of True American - a position they must deal with the aftermath of in “Table 34,” an episode that also sees CeCe meeting her potential husband at an Indian marriage convention. “Parking Spot” finds the gang fighting over an extra parking spot, and in “Tinfinity,” Nick and Schmidt celebrate ten years of living together.
In “Quick Hardening Caulk,” Nick and Jess begin to struggle fighting their attraction to each other. “Chicago” follows the death of Nick’s father and our introduction to the rest of Nick’s family. In “First Date,” Nick finally works up the courage to ask Jess out on a date, but the date fails to live up to expectations. Jess plans a surprise bachelorette party for CeCe in “Bachlorette Party,” and “Virgins” finds the gang reliving their first times. In “Winston’s Birthday,” the roommates are distracted from Winston’s birthday due to a series of stressful events. The season comes to an exciting finish with “Elaine’s Big Day,” which takes place at CeCe’s wedding and finds Nick and Jess finally making a decision about their relationship.
The episodes appear to be unedited, with runtimes as follows:
1. "Re-Launch” (21:41)
2. "Katie” (21:42)
3. "Fluffer” (21:42)
4. "Neighbors” (21:42)
5. "Models” (21:44)
6. "Halloween” (21:42)
7. "Menzies” (21:40)
8. “Parents” (21:40)
9. "Eggs” (21:40)
10. "Bathtub” (21:42)
11. "Santa” (21:42)
12. "Cabin” (21:41)
13. "A Father’s Love” (21:42)
14. "Pepperwood” (21:42)
15. "Cooler” (21:42)
16. “Table 34” (21:41)
17. “Parking Spot” (21:42)
18. “Tinfinity” (21:42)
19. “Quick Hardening Caulk” (21:42)
20. “Chicago” (21:40)
21. “First Date” (21:42)
22. “Bachelorette Party” (21:42)
23. “Virgins” (21:42)
24. “Winston’s Birthday” (21:42)
25. “Elaine’s Big Day” (21:42)
The packaging for this set is the same as the Season 1 set, and pretty much the standard for modern DVD sets - just a standard, simple digipak with the three discs overlapping each other. The cover art shows the five main cast members getting ready in a mirror, and both the back cover and inside the set itself have pretty nice cast photos of the cast on a boardwalk. Disc 1 contains Episodes 1-8, Disc 2 Episodes 9-17, and Disc 3 Episodes 18-25, as well as the bonus content. Nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done. The days of DVD sets having unique packaging seems to be pretty much over, and this set is no exception.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu for this set is a bit different than the Season 1 set. It opens on Jess looking into the mirror and getting ready, then gradually sees each cast member pop up one by one. After the entire cast is there, they smile and morph into a photo similar to the cast photo on the cover. Then, the “Play All,” “Episodes,” “Setup,” and “Special Features” tabs pop up. A longer version of the theme song plays on loop in the background. Pretty minor, but so many DVD sets have totally standard, generic menus now, so the fact that a little bit of thought was put into this one is nice. The episode navigation menus have the standard “one episode per page” set up that all 20th Century Fox releases seem to have. I kind of prefer the menus that show multiple episodes a page and don’t require you to scroll, but...it’s no big deal. There's convenient chapter navigation - each episode is separated into 4 acts, just as they aired on Fox. Simple, but some DVD sets don't have this, so it's a nice touch. All in all, the menus are easy to navigate and even have a bit of creativity to them.
Video and Audio Quality:
As expected with a current series, these episodes are crisp clear and identical to the way they aired on FOX last season. The video is presented in 1.78:1 Widescreen, while the audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Additionally, all of the episodes have English subtitles as well as Spanish and French subtitles, as well as an option for a Spanish dub.
The special features are fairly decent, although I’d love to see more audio commentaries. The only commentary we get is on “Cooler.” “Cooler” is a great episode totally deserving of commentary, but being the nerd that I am, I’d like to see even more. There's also an extended cut of "Virgins," which has a few deleted scenes and runs about three minutes longer than the final air version (it clocked in at 24:10).
The rest of the bonus features are also pretty good. The best of the bunch is easily the fairly long gag reel (8:45), which has a lot of really funny outtakes and just a lot of fun moments of the cast hanging out on set. That's the kind of stuff you live for as a fan.
The deleted scenes (6:36) are also pretty funny, and in a lot of the cases feel like improv-y riffs with the cast. It's understandable why that kind of stuff doesn't make it into the final cut, but it's fun to see, especially with a talented cast like this one.
The Life of Schmidt feature (2:13) is a short compilation of funny Schmidt quotes. Not essential, but a nice touch.
All in all, it’s a decent collection of special features, but again, more commentaries would be nice.
New Girl Season 2 was such a great season of television, and there’s tons of classic episodes that really defined what made this show one of the best on TV last season. These days, with the explosive popularity of online and on-demand streaming, DVD sets seem to be slowly getting less attention from production companies. So many shows have barebones, generic releases that make you wonder why they bother releasing them on DVD at all. That’s not the case for New Girl, which boasts a nice design, easy packaging, and decent special features. It’s a worthy set to add to your collection, and if you’re not already a fan, you should definitely check out this season as well as the new season, currently airing Tuesdays nights at 9 on FOX. This show is one of the best comedies on TV, and if you’re not watching it, you’re really missing out.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Vincent on 09/30/13
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