When New Girl first came out, so many of my friends and relatives were enchanted by the humor. They could find parallels to their own lives and see themselves as the characters.
In the same way that fortune tellers and modern day personality quizzes keep their predictions just generic enough to convince people that they have special knowledge about whatever they claim to, New Girl keeps everything just generic enough to make all of the characters appear accessible. Everyone has felt like the ugly ducking of a group at some point and can connect with Jess, the “awkward” girl, and her model best friend who interacts with human males perfectly. However, unlike real life, the awkward girl is also very attractive and often undergoes a “ugly ducking” transformation when the plot is served by having her look good. This lack of character establishment makes it easy to mold the characters to the plot line, instead of the plot and comedy being driven by the characters.
As mentioned above, one of my issues with the show is the lack of real characters. They are shells of stereotyped groups of people. Everyone can relate to one or more of the characters on the show. This makes the show universally appealing, but lacking depth.
Another issue that was a turn off for me was the shows inability to move forward and recreate the context for comedy. At every turn when the characters are paired with another person and there is a chance to grow as a person, the characters decide to stay the same and reject the present situation because they are “happy.” Below is a major example.
Schmidt, the douchiest character, used to be very overweight. Because of his size, he was bullied and didn’t have many female relationships outside of the friend zone. However, when he was in college, a girl decided that the sweet overweight guy would be good boyfriend. That girl, named Elizabeth, was not the traditional “hot” girl, but stunningly pretty. She was an interesting character that was introduced as a side love interest for the newly buff Schmidt. Initially, she told him off because if they were going to get back together she wanted him to be a sweet human, not the douche that working out had made him become. After he proved that he wanted to grow out of being a self absorbed, misogynistic, bro-man, Elizabeth decides to date him.
They are genuinely happy for 3 months. But then, after his old flame becomes single again, he betrays Elizabeth. She was the only non-stereotypical casting and was strong while still being in love with Schmidt. The choice to remove her and give the love interest for Schmidt back to the “hot” girl was an obvious choice that allowed the character to remain a total douche bag.
The final issue that I have with the show is that it went from being a show between friends to a show about a group of friends exploring all possible couplings of their friend group. Cece, the model “hot” girl, by season 3 has slept with 3 out of the 5 roommates. Jess and Nick decide to get together and their relationship is full of ups and downs in a traditional will they, won’t they scenario. Initially, I enjoyed the show a lot. Everyone in the loft had their own partner outside of the roommate pool. They had separate lives, but were a wonderful support system to each other. However, at the end of season 1, someone decided that there needed to be more sex in the show. From then on, the whole show revolved around who was sleeping with who. It became a raunchy show where many of the characters are living for the next time they have sex. For me, this made the show extremely boring. I couldn’t relate to the show because I do not live only for the next hot guy that I can seduce. The depth and sweetness of the show disappeared.
I have watched more of this show than I would like to admit. Personally, I have this issue where once I have started a show, I have to finish it at some point. This show isn’t bad enough for me to stop watching, clearly, but it is like watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians. At some point, I will stop watching it. That will probably be when the misogyny and sexual content get to be too much for me. *I can feel it coming in the air tonight*
Thanks for reading my rant about the Fox show New Girl.
Let me know what your thoughts are, I would love to know!