Film & TV

ReRuns: An Ode to Comfort Show ‘New Girl’

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Who’s that girl? It’s Jess.

When asked what my favorite show is, I’d probably have to say “New Girl.” Although there are a plethora of options I could answer with, this is the show that I seem to come back to again and again.

Although it originally released on Fox in 2011, I was first introduced to the show my sophomore year of high school by an old boyfriend. I had never even heard of it, but I was an avid “Friends” fan at the time, although “New Girl” is sans laugh track – which is much appreciated. And while similar to “Friends,” dare I say “New Girl” is the superior of the two?

“New Girl” follows quirky and bubbly Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel), who, after a messy breakup, moves in with three single guys: Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris). Along with her best friend, Cece (Hannah Simone), Jess forms a close family bond with her new roommates, commencing many shenanigans.

Besides the show’s incredibly clever and witty script, the characters are what really make it. Although the show’s original main focus was on Jess, it eventually broadens its scope to be about her roommates too, who in my opinion, are the main source of the show’s hilarity.

Nick Miller is a sarcastic, almost-lawyer-turned-bartender from Chicago. He’s known for being somewhat of a messy and unkempt slacker but is the ultimate charmer. Nick and Jess’ chemistry and their will-they, won’t-they plotline is one of my favorites on the show. 

Need I mention season 2, episode 15, “Cooler”?

When the guys’ night out gets cut short by Jess after she hears “noises” in the loft, she tries to salvage it for them by playing “True American” — the gang’s complicated drinking game. However, the game goes awry when Nick and Jess get stuck “behind the iron curtain” to make out, only to have Nick tell her “not like this.” But it’s really the ending of “Cooler” between Nick and Jess that makes it one of my favorite episodes.

Courtesy of Fox Broadcasting Company “New Girl” ran on Fox from 2011 through 2018.

Schmidt, who is the fastidious, self-proclaimed “top-dog” of the loft, might be the funniest on the show. With impeccable timing and laughter-inducing one-liners, Schmidt’s quickness is nearly unmatched. One of Schmidt’s most famous shticks is the “douchebag jar,” in which he has to put money whenever he says or does something pretentious. Schmidt is also completely enamored with Cece, and his vanity is humbled by her throughout the course of the series.

In one episode, “Table 34” (season 2, episode 16), Schmidt follows Cece to an Indian dating convention where she’s placed at a bad table. Seeing how disappointed she is, Schmidt gives a speech in front of everyone about how special she is – and the ending is everything.

Ex-pro baller for Latvia, softie and prankster Winston adds even more wackiness to the show. Proud cat father and self-proclaimed “Prank Sinatra,” Winston even goes so far as to marry someone just for the sake of pulling an elaborate prank on Schmidt and Cece. 

The prankster also teams up with Cece for what they deem “classic Cece and Winston mess-arounds.” In “Parents” (season 2, episode 8) when Schmidt’s cousin and rival “Big Schmidt” comes to town, Winston and Cece suggest the two have a competition to see who’s the manliest through a series of weird exercises. Eccentric and whimsical, Winston’s subtle humor is even more hilarious on a rewatch.

And man, have I rewatched this show a lot.

While I’m oftentimes content with watching a series once and then never coming back to it, “New Girl” is the exception. It’s the show I watch if I’m down and need a pick-me-up, when I’m bored or when I just want a laugh. I guess you could call it my “comfort show” since I consistently go back to rewatch episodes and instantly feel better.

Unlike many shows, “New Girl” starts out strong, gets even better and then stays consistently good. It’s the number one show I always recommend to anyone when they need something new to watch. Although slapstick-style comedy, the series also has a lot of heart and is the ultimate feel-good show.

All seven seasons of “New Girl” are available to binge-watch on Netflix.

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