The Adorkable Comedy You Need
Hello, I am back for this week’s TBT on TBT! Instead of my usual yelling about fab sci-fi shows of yore, I’m here to talk about one of my favorite and possibly one of the most underrated comedy shows: New Girl. It is quirky, diverse, and quite frankly freaking hilarious. It can be over the top at times but lacks that certain bitter cynicism that a lot of comedies over the last decade have (see: Sam’s wonderfully dismantling TBT about How I Met Your Mother from last week). Also, it was created by a woman, so at least when there are sexist jokes here and there it’s an even playing field for guys and girls alike. And now let’s dive in:
Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) is a bubbly LA school teacher in her late 20’s who walks in on her boyfriend of four years cheating on her in their shared home. She of course breaks up with him and moves out, staying at her best friend Cece’s place (Hannah Simone). She responds to an ad on Craigslist—three single guys are looking for a new roommate in their loft: Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), and Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.)
They are of course taken aback by this tiny, loud, doe-eyed girl, all of them having their wires crossed: she thinking they were a loft of women, them thinking she was a guy. She loves the loft and talks them into letting her move in. Obviously still in the throes of her breakup, she stays in her PJs crying on the couch, watching Dirty Dancing on repeat. The guys are at a loss of what to do about her so they decide they will try to make friends with her and invite her out to a bar with them, saying she should find a guy to rebound with, and she agrees to give it a try.
Now this is definitely a sitcom and there isn’t tons of plot to keep up with; you could pick a random episode to watch and enjoy it, but I recommend starting at the beginning because for a silly sitcom this show has amazing growth for almost all of its characters. And now for some fun talking about my favorite thing: CHARACTERS and their DEVELOPMENT:
Jessica Day: Jess is a lot to handle in the pilot even as a viewer, but they tone her down a bit in the next few episodes. Zooey Deschanel is like today’s Lucille Ball her energy and almost naive outlook as Jess made me love and appreciate her in the day of dark broody TV characters. Jess grows a lot over the shows 6 seasons (the 7th and final season airs in April); we see her mature in her relationships and friendships, get fired and promoted, and make a lot of awkward situations...but she keeps her positive outlook and kindness of heart throughout the series and that make me, a very upbeat real person, happy.
Nick Miller: Nick is a bit of a rudderless, slacker of a guy. He’s actually much more intelligent than he first appears—having dropped out of law school after a few years and becoming a bartender. In the pilot he’s also just gotten out of a long term relationship. Watching Nick grow more confident in himself and finding passion for the things he loves is actually heartwarming and reassuring for those of us who aren’t sure what we really want in life. Jake Johnson does a great job making Nick relatable both as a total comic human disaster and a sincere and sweet guy trying to find himself.
Schmidt: First of all, we don’t learn his first name until like Season 6! Schmidt is also a bit over the top in the pilot, the token dbag if you will. They tone him down a bit as well. He works for a successful marketing firm, is slightly neurotic, and tries to hide his insecurity with hyper overconfidence, most of that stemming from being very overweight until college. Max Greenfield makes Schmidt vulnerable in such a way that you can’t help but love him. He’s a womanizer at first, but he falls in love with one of the other characters and it literally changes his worldview over the course of the series. He also gets the best one liners.
Winston Bishop: Winston (Lamorne Morris) shows up in episode two of the series, moving into the loft after Coach leaves (Damon had a prior commitment, he guest stars in the series). He’s just returned from playing basketball internationally and is Nick’s childhood best friend—his character is hilarious and sometimes over the top, but in the best way. Lamorne plays the character delightfully. He’s used to being at the top of his game both in career and romantically, and we watch as he has to start over in both areas. Over the course of the series he tries a lot of jobs and bad pickup lines but he finally gets his groove back.
Cece Parikh: Cece is a supermodel and Jess’s best friend since childhood. She is very protective over Jess and always keeps an eye out for (in her mind) her naive friend. At first she seems shallow, but really it’s just the world she works in, one she seems to actually loathe. Hannah Simone plays Cece in such a warm way that you can see how her and Jess are BFFs, she sees herself as “not a nice person” and constantly feels objectified for being a model and when a refreshing relationship seems to spring up for her it’s in the MOST unlikely place and she actually doesn’t know what to about it—she tends to hide her feelings. You watch her find her self confidence and learn what she really wants.
Tidbits and final thoughts:
This show has amazing rewatchability
There are tons of amazing guest stars
This show can be ridiculous
“Street Youths!” “Bathtubs are medieval filth cauldrons” “I can’t find my driving moccasins” and a thousand other Schmidt lines
Schmidt is one of my fave comedic characters of all time
I identify with Nick a lot right now
I’m sad there’s only eight episodes left
It’s definitely not a kid friendly show but it has this innocence at its core that I love, similar to Brooklyn Nine-Nine
If you like Friends, Parks and Recreation, and/or Brooklyn Nine-Nine, give this show a try.
It won’t do you dirty like How I Met Your Mother lol
I’m proud to talk about a woman-led, woman-created TV show on this fabulous International Women’s Day! Especially a show that doesn’t mock soft femininity or strong career minded women.
And this wraps up my tbt here on TBT! Until next time go binge watch this adorkable show!
Where to watch:
In the U.S., Seasons 1-5 can be watched on Netflix. Season 6 is currently on Hulu but moves to Netflix in late March. The final season airs April 10th at 9:30/8:30c on Fox.
In Canada, Seasons 1-6 can be watched on Netflix. The final season airs April 10th at 9:30/8:30c on City.
New Girl can also be found on Netflix worldwide.