If you’re anything like me and you like to lose yourself in TV shows to escape reality’s increasingly lethal grip, you may have stumbled upon “New Girl” in your shows-for-self-care searches.
Begrudgingly, I decided to give the series a shot — what else did I have to lose? I was far too depressed to rewatch “BoJack Horseman” and way too invested in political affairs to get into any “Recommended for You” docuseries.
If you've had the great privilege of face-timing me these past few days, you would know that I've been non-stop complaining about the show. Here are some snippets of one of my rant sessions about the show:
She’s just so different!!!!
The show follows a woman in her 30s after she moves into an apartment with three male roommates that she finds off of an ad on Craigslist. At first, I was so annoyed by the lead, Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel), that I was going to give up after the pilot episode. Her role was so one-dimensional that it physically made me want to vomit, but I know that as a journalism and media studies and women’s and gender studies double major, finding media representation of women who don’t induce my gag reflex is nearly impossible.
Jess lets you know that she is just so different from every woman right away because she wears different shades of tights with ballerina slipper flats, rocks bangs and glasses, is clueless about sex and men and has really niche interests, like being a total history nerd. Truly adorkable.
Moving past how it felt like Jess had to prove herself as not-like-the-other-girls, I was startled by how funny the show was. Schmidt, Nick, Winston, Cece and sometimes Coach had the perfect chemistry. I found myself getting really into the series really fast, and letting out those deep belly laughs that are only shared in your own company, between you and a screen.
I was pleasantly surprised by the wit of the show, the hilarious one-liners and the entertaining pranks. It moves at a good pace and even the side characters are fairly thought out and funny. Nick is the ruggedly-handsome bartender, Schmidt a feminine douche-bag that definitely grows on you and Winston is hard to pin down, but funny regardless.
“New Girl” wouldn’t be “New Girl” without its famous on-again, off-again couple Nick and Jess. The first time the two got together was in a steamy makeout session outside of Jess’s door. I literally let out a shriek so loud it startled me, and could only be compared to the yells I released from reading Larry fanfiction.
The kiss was so passionate and raw, it made me wonder how actors can make out without catching feelings. I couldn’t help but think about the years of sexual tension between these non-existent people and shudder: It was a really steamy kiss.
Their relationship was cute but short-lived. It was so obvious that the two are soulmates, but wacky writing made them break up, and they lived together on good terms after the initial heartache (for the most part).
The changing of the show’s funny, on-brand introduction in season four should’ve signaled the end of something beautiful, but I naively pressed onward.
Coach was definitely a saving grace for season four — he is so effortlessly funny that it wasn’t a chore at all to binge-watch this season. I also really enjoyed the relationship he had with the other characters and found it made the show more entertaining. (Coach and Winston's mess-around will forever hold a place in my heart).
And then came in season five.
There are honestly not enough words in the English language to truly capture my utter disgust at the show after season four.
I should’ve known the second that Reagan (Megan Fox) stepped into the beloved loft that the show would make its way from hilarious to horrible. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love Fox. I love her probably as much as any teenage straight boy in 2010 loved her — and believe me, I understand the severity of the statement I’m making by saying that.
Where Jess is the Quintessential Quirky Girl!, Reagan is the Cool Girl: She works for a big pharmaceutical company and yells at people all day, works out often, travels a lot, oozes sex and is *gasp* bisexual.
I thought it couldn't get any worse for female representation after Jess, but clearly, it did. Regan had no character outside of being so gosh-darn mysterious and puzzling to Nick. She pretty much served as a filler for Jess, and it was disheartening to see my queen Fox be typecast yet again.
In addition to the weird addition of Fox, Jess’s love life takes a horrible turn for the worst. From dating her hot doctor ex (who leaves her) to Cece’s ex Robby (who she later finds out is her third cousin), I literally had the urge to shake our quirky protagonist and beg her to find literally anyone else in Los Angeles who had not stepped foot in that loft. It felt like a character recycling competition of sorts, with each episode spitting another blast-from-the-past that nobody asked for.
The only aspect of post-season five that I really enjoyed was Cece and Schmidt's cute relationship. But even their FaceTime wedding (perhaps foreshadowing the pandemic Zoom marriages of today) was not enough to absolve the writers of their sins against comedy and character development. If anything, it made things way worse.
But I’m a sucker for Fox and I told myself I would keep watching until Nick and Jess got back together again, so nonetheless, I persisted in my pursuit of the perfect procrastination. Little did I know what was in store for me.
And it got worse…
Season seven was simply unbearable. The former season ended with Jess and Nick finally making out in an elevator, which I was really excited about. Finally! They’re back together! I expected a proposal, or a wedding or something for the two of them. But season seven propelled us three years into the future where the couple was still dating. Yawn.
What I got was more horrible than even my twisted imagination could conjure.
Episode one of the last season is at Cece and Schmidt's daughter’s birthday, which is feminist-icon themed. Nick is trying to find the courage to propose to Jess after a few months of traversing across Europe when another one of Jess’s exes somehow makes an appearance. Major question mark but okay.
What really sent me over the edge was when I saw Jess’s obvious fake nose ring, and I almost threw my remote at the TV screen. Something about that cheap and obviously fake hoop incited a fit of fiery anger inside of me that gave me the courage to boldly inform my Snapchat followers that I would boycott season seven due to how horrible it is.
I knew it was time for me to stop watching the show for good after I got the strong urge to do my homework instead of sit around and enjoy my free time.
I refuse to watch the rest of the series, and I even googled the ending so that I could be spared from the heartache that would inevitably follow. I’ve decided that for me, the show ended when Schmidt proposed to Cece, and all was right in the world of the Los Angeles loft.
An ode to Winston:
Another issue that I had with the series in its entirety was the ways that dear Winston, perhaps the funniest person on the show, was done so dirty by the writers. I feel like he truly didn’t have any character until at least season four.
There was a long stretch where he was just obsessed with his cat, Ferguson, while the rest of the members of the loft were in committed relationships or pursuing careers. That’s especially frustrating considering he was the only Black character in the show until Coach’s reappearance in season four, and it suggests a broader trend in Black representation in mainstream media.
When Winston finally does get some much-needed development, it left a bad taste in my mouth because out of the blue, he decided to be … a cop.
I have serious issues with this because there have been several studies that prove there are more Black cops on TV than there are in real life, which is surely a form of cop-aganda. In season five and six though, he does develop a beautiful relationship with his police partner Aly. So I guess you win some, you lose some when it comes to representation?
If you’re looking for an intelligent, life-changing show with well-developed characters that will make you question yourself and those around you, “New Girl” is definitely not the show for you. But if you’re in the mood for some laughs and a distraction from the real world, this series is perfect for you — but do yourself a favor and do not watch past season four or you’ll really regret it.