"New Girl" executive producers spoke in-depth in this story about what Season 2 holds for Jess, Schmidt, Nick, Winston and Cece. But that was the big-picture stuff: In this post, I've got a lot of details, a few of them exclusive to Huffington Post, about what to expect for the gang this fall.
Here's a quick bullet list of guest stars, story lines and a few mildly random observations about "New Girl" Season 2:
- Parker Posey guest stars in the season premiere as a shot girl. She's every bit as good she was on "Louie."
- Josh Gad, David Walton and Raymond J. Barry guest star in the second episode, in which we also meet Winston's mother and sister. It's a really good episode, all the guest stars are on fire, and Barry in particular is hilarious.
- Upcoming episodes have Jess and Schmidt trying to befriend their early-20s neighbors; Nick realizing he's an "emotional fluffer" in his relationship with Jess (he does all the things a boyfriend would do, but reaps none of the benefits); Jess filling in for Cece at a car show; the guys fighting over the definition of male friendship; Schmidt entering a "50 Shades of Grey" relationship with his boss (Carla Gugino); Niecy Nash playing a hooker; Winston working on his relationship with Shelby (Kali Hawk); and there are tentative plans to have Jess teach night school.
- Big Halloween and Thanksgiving episodes are planned. When I spoke with the producers in August, they said their Halloween idea involved Jess getting a job at a haunted house. Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis will play Jess' divorced parents in the Thanksgiving episode, which will also feature Rob Riggle as Schmidt's cousin.
- Creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether talked a bit more about Jess' relationship with David Walton's character: "Being unemployed has given Jess time to do things she's never been able to do because she's worked her whole life, so she tries to juggle a bunch of guys and fails miserably. He plays this guy who ultimately becomes a truth-teller. He's a guy who doesn't want to do anything but sleep with her. He's not interested in a relationship, he's not interested in getting to know her. They have this physical, sex-only relationship. And she's obviously someone who's not good at doing that. But she gets to be with this guy who doesn't really care about her that much, so he's able to tell her anything he wants to say."
- Cece's crazy Russian roommate will definitely return in Season 2.
- Their thoughts on the drinking game True American returning to the show are in flux, but it's on their radar. Executive producer Brett Baer: "There's two ways we can go with that. We can just tell everyone what the rules are, or we can slowly roll them out. I think we're feeling that we want to give people little pieces." But the characters might argue about how to play, I suggested. "Absolutely," executive producer Dave Finkel said. Meriwether chimed in: "I feel like we need to see the origin story. We talked about doing an election version of it, but we didn't get to it. Maybe we'll still throw that in." (By the way, the producers spoke more about True American to critic Alan Sepinwall.)
- An interesting observation from Finkel: "A set-up punchline style doesn't wear well [on 'New Girl']. You can smell it, it doesn't feel right. It's all behavioral. I mean, I think you're starting to see more of that, but it doesn't feel as common as it should be. And it's not easy. It's also a testament to Liz's style. I've said this before and this is complimentary -- there's a sloppiness to Liz's construction of the way people speak [that ensures] the jokes are all embedded in reality. We're always talking about, how can we mess this episode up? How can we make this behavior messy? And it sort of comes from the way Liz writes, which is about making it the way people really behave. People aren't snappy all the time."
- My random thought about Nick: I'm betting that he's the kind of guy who has a lot of elaborate theories about "Lost." This statement might make a little more sense after you see Tuesday's second episode.
"New Girl" Season 2 returns on Tuesday, September 25 with new episodes at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET on Fox.