How could anybody possibly resist those beautiful big doe eyes? Zooey Deschanel—who stars in New Girl, which is looking like the biggest breakout TV show of the fall season—has been a charmer since I first began recognizing her in such flicks as Almost Famous and Yes, Man.
In the Fox comedy, which launched Tuesday night, Zooey plays Jess, who has just gone through a face-slapping break-up and moves in with three (rather cute) guys. With its non-stop parade of knee-slapping punch lines and life-as-80s-hits (like Dirty Dancing), New Girl has all the ingredients of an instant hit.
Deschanel is already being compared to Mary Tyler Moore and—perhaps a bit overreaching—Lucille Ball, with her goofy, sweet, geek-with-a-heart-of-gold persona. And hey, I've already memorized the spelling of her last name. That's huge!
As the show rolls forward, hopefully Jess will be less of a sad sack and more domineering, less a loser and more forward-thinking. One thing's for sure: We'll have the opportunity for find out, because New Girl is most certainly going to be with us for the long haul.
Fun facts: * Deschanel comes from a showbiz family. Her pappy, Caleb Deschanel, is an Oscar-nominated cinematographer, her mammer, Mary Jo Weir, starred in Twin Peaks and her sister is Emily Deschanel from Bones. * She's named for the male character in J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey. * She's a trained singer and did so in the movie Elf. * Married to Death Cab for Cutie's lead singer Ben Gibbard. * Acted in 40 films, including one called The New Guy.