The New Girl — Not For All The Twee In China

Can you put a price on adorable? I mean, of course you can, and we’ll see if Fox overpaid. They went A-list for this one, snagging Zooey Deschanel, the Lockheed Martin of the Adorable-Industrial Complex. She puts the “twee” in “intweësting,” which is probably how she adorably pronounces the word “interesting.” Everything is colors and pastels and jazz music and frogurt, always. She is an unrelenting machine of adorable. Adorable, adorable. Adorable, adorable.

Which brings us to Chicks and Dicks The New Girl:

To start, the boyfriend-cheating-on-her scene feels a bit interminable, and culminates in her dropping a vagina bow (I didn’t like writing that any more than you liked reading it, people) on the ground.

But being cheated on, man, that’s terrible! And fine, people get broken up (in an emotional sense) over being broken up with (in a relationship sense). I think we all know what that means: How Zooey Got Her Stella’s Groove Back! Although this presents its own set of problems, namely, is it a good idea to establish a character that is going to either be 1) unrelentingly mopey, or 2) whose overall mood later in the series/season is drastically different than the one used at the beginning to win an audience? We’ll table that for now and focus on what’s important. How, pray tell, is Zooey going to get over that morally reprehensible person she was dating?

Answer: by moving in with three dudes. Nevermind why a single woman would chose this particular fate for herself–the show doesn’t give any reason why it should be better or worse than living with, you know, women, like a normal person would. But why would three friends want to have a girl/stranger for a fourth roommate? To bang her model friends of course! So bro! Brosip Broz Tito! That bit of exposition sure went down easy and non-creepily.

Now we’ve got our situation all set up. Heartbroken girl (you guys, she might watch Dirty Dancing six or seven times… PER SECOND), male roommates… this can only mean one thing. It’s time for that classic situation where a group of single men go out to try desperately, desperately, desperately to get their beautiful female roommate/person they just met laid by someone else. We’ve all been there, right, fellas?

At this point in the trailer, I need to ask… people are complicated, right? I think so. I’d even argue that the idea that a person has a single coherent, consistent “personality” is misleading. Situations shape behavior. People react to outside stimuli. And so, when every single thing Zooey does is met with, let’s say, disapproval, from her roommates, it is weird that she continues to act the exact same way, right? Or at least weird that she does not seem to have much in common with?

Zooey’s Manic Pixie Dust is not working on her roomBros, and yet she keeps sprinkling it everywhere. So, nobody is acting the way humans would. She is oblivious to their cues, and they are, despite their distaste for her personality, going well out of their way to help her. Nobody’s motivations make sense! They don’t appear to even be amused by her antics, and yet they appear to be devoting their night to her. Also, if her moving in with them is money-related, shouldn’t she not be going out?

Whatever, it’s time to get her Rebound Starring Martin Lawrence on! The only roadblock on the train to intimacy: her personality. Stop that, say her new Best Friends Out of Water, or else you’ll eventually meet someone who enjoys your company and loves you for the person that you want to be, not for some act you’re putting on. That would be the worst! LeadBro’s advice “works,” I think? I don’t know. It seems like a pretty low stakes conflict.

This show appears to be reliant on a gimmick that is unrelentingly frustrating as a viewer of television and other visual media: when a show picks a completely attractive actor (the word “actor”: now with two genders!), then uses that forum to relentlessly mock that very attractive actor’s physical appearance or general level of sex appeal.

What regular-looking person wants to sit at home and watch people mock the attractiveness of someone much better-looking than them? That is not good for self-esteem! It was a problem in the last one of these I did, it’s the worst thing about 30 Rock, and generally rings false. (And avoiding that particular trap is why Chuck Lorre is a genius. Also, his jingle writing.)

Is it related to a male fantasy of a beautiful woman who doesn’t know she’s beautiful? Is the point of that fantasy to render her more obtainable for regular-looking humans, and less likely to have the confidence to end a bad relationship if she has a lower self-worth than she should? I don’t know! It does seem a bit possible though.

(This is similar to the fat guy / hot wife conundrum, but different because in those cases, the shows are at least not lying to you about what you can see with your eyes, which is that the woman is much more physically attractive than the man.)

This would seem to be a problem, the whole, crushing its viewing audience’s self-worth and sense of their own attractiveness thing, right? Additionally, there is not necessarily evidence that Zooey’s particular kind of cuteness is sustainably likeable over the course of a movie–don’t you dare claim (500) Days of Summer was good in any way–let alone over the run of a television series. She’s the main character, and all, so this show can’t really work if the viewer finds her grating, which, well, is a possibility.

Other problems I did not address: the uncomfortable gender implications of the jerk being a ladies’ man and “Coach” making fragile Zooey cry because he only understands manly things like Sucking It Up and she is a girl and girls cry, LeadBro claiming he’ll “fix” her personality in order to make her more attractive, the logical inconsistency of asking someone out when they say they need rebound sex, that she was Beautiful All Along, and the utter unlikeability of LeadBro.

As such, this show may be in grave danger already. Any other alarming facts about this show, wikipedia?

[Zooey aka Jessica] eventually finds a new place to stay when she moves in with three single guys: Nick, a bartender; Schmidt, a professional and modern-day casanova; and Coach, a former athlete turned trainer. Rounding out this unlikely bunch is Jessica’s street-smart model friend Cece. Together, this group of friends try to help Jess learn a lot about love, life and mostly about herself, while at the same time learn a lot about themselves.

AND

In the second episode, Coach will be kicked out of the apartment and replaced by a new character named Winston, who will be returning from a professional basketball career in Croatia.

But who cares, it’s adorable Zooey Deschanel picture time!

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