By Susanna Comfort
One mention of the cute, quirky, blue-eyed Zooey Deschanel and all the ears in a room will perk up. As an actress, singer-songwriter, and blogger, she has charmed audiences large and small. Some may remember her as the enigmatic Summer Finn in the indie comedy film 500 Days of Summer or a littler back as the apathetic Jovie in “Elf”. Die-hard fans may recall her earlier days in the 2001 film “Manic” where she met the handsome Joseph-Gordon Levit. Others are acquainted with her appearances on TV shows from “Weeds” to “Bones” to “The Simpsons.” Recently, Deschanel has taken a new role on the hit FOX comedy show called “New Girl,” as an offbeat but adorable preschool teacher named Jess Day. Drawing over 10.28 million viewers – numbers FOX hasn’t seen since 2001 – Zooey dances delightfully into the hearts and minds of her viewers. New Girl will have you rolling over in laughter at the adorable awkwardness of how nerdy Jess fits into the lives of three young single guys.
The pilot opens with Jess left homeless after her boyfriend cheats on her. She discovers an ad on Craigslist and moves in with three men – Nick, Schmidt, and Winston. Nick is a law school dropout and terribly single, Schmidt is a failing ladies’ man, and Winston is a sports fanatic. Neither the guys nor Jess are aware of what they are in for upon her joining their man cave. Jess spends her nights nursing her broken heart by soaking the sofa with tears while singing along with Dirty Dancing. Horrified, the three guys try to ease Jess back into the dating world. Hilarious moments ensue. The four end up out to dinner alone one night when Nick remarks to the questioning waitress: “Yeah, we’re her boyfriends. We’re reverse Mormons – one guy just isn’t enough for her.” And no line sets the tone and theme for the show better.
As the series developed it picked up its momentum introducing viewers to more characters like Cece, Jess’s best friend who also becomes the victim of Schmidt’s relentless romantic pursuit, and establishing a wickedly amusing dynamic between Jess and her three co-ed roommates.
One of the greatest qualities of New Girl is the way the characters break the mold on the stereotypes they are initially placed under. Jess isn’t merely a disillusioned wholesome prude. She is intelligent, endearing, and a little nerdy around the edges. She is unexpected – she’s not afraid to start the chicken dance or whip out false teeth when necessary. Cece is a model who gathers catcalls and stares from the guys but isn’t superficial. Schmidt Comes off as a typical jerk like business man who sees women as sexual objects rather people, but after a few short moments he reveals very human sides to him that make him appealing and one of the crowd favorites.
Another intriguing aspect of New Girl is how all the characters while all come from different walks of life mesh together and create this family atmosphere. Proving that no matter how different you see the world from someone else civility can be paid to them and in return given to you. It is safe to say that when you throw a good-looking woman into a house of three men sexual attraction is bound to occur, while there certainly is some tension growing between Jess and Nick, the men still see past her beauty into her person. It is through the way Nick, Winston, and Schmidt defend Jess’s honor, support her no matter how out of touch she gets that keeps viewers coming back.
Without a doubt, New Girl is worth your twenty-five minutes – or maybe a few hours as you’re pulled into the hilarious and heartwarming journey of these characters. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.