ith star Zooey Deschanel still on leave caring for the baby she had last month, New Girl won’t return to Fox’s lineup until January. Production is scheduled to gear up this month anyway, though, and the New Girl team has come up with the most classic sitcom way to explain her absence: Jess has been sequestered for jury duty! But there’s now a hole in the five-person cast, and Jess’s empty room in the loft . . . maybe a moderately famous name can come goose ratings and help fill it?
Enter Megan Fox , the comely star of the Transformers movies whose megastardom has not quite faded to the point that the New Girl stint can’t be considered stunt casting. The show’s creator Liz Meriwether told Entertainment Weekly that she’s admired Fox’s comedic skills since her small role in 2012’s This Is 40 and that Fox is “the perfect person to come in and shake these guys up.”
If by “shake these guys up” she means “distract them with her beauty,” that’s right on—in This Is 40 and Friends With Kids and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People she’s excelled at playing the woman so beautiful men lose their senses around her. And New Girl has featured a few supporting characters of exactly that type, usually with not-great results—remember when Schmidt, Winston, and Coach spent an entire episode trying to woo the hot new neighbors?
But let’s be charitable—New Girl is headed into its fifth season, a time when any sitcom could use a change of pace, and replacing doe-eyed Deschanel with Maxim-ready Fox is a big, but inherently temporary, change. And Megan Fox is funny, seemingly trying in all of her comedic roles, to varying success, to get a reaction other than “hubba hubba.” What better place than the woman-run, feminist-leaning New Girl for Fox to really give it a shot? They’ve done a great job turning model CeCe into a character with depth; giving Fox more than a few episodes could turn the show’s stock character of “hot girl to distract the boys” into someone with real purpose, too.
Megan Fox was one of the biggest rising stars we had about five years ago; before she’s relegated to a future of hanging out with CGI turtles, why not give her one more chance to surprise us?
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