New Girl: Pilot Review

24 Sep

Men are not always the best communicators. To be fair, sometimes their parents aren’t either and they are not taught exactly how they should express themselves when it actually matters. This doesn’t just apply to teenage boys or guys in their 20s or 30s, this also applies to my father. Who, instead of actually writing me emails, forwards me emails. Jokes, political commentary, news clips. Almost every day. Today I was struck by one about women being like apples. That men are sometimes too lazy or too scared they are going to fall if they have to climb up to the top of the tree to get the best apples (i.e. women), so they settle for the ‘fallen apples’ (I really want to send an email back and ask him if he interprets that as sluts or just sloppy seconds but that might just confuse him – and that would be direct communication something he isn’t comfortable with after 82 years of living). I’m not sure how I am supposed to interpret this. I suppose I am a top apple and most of the men are afraid of me. I could have told him that when I was 19 when guys started informing me I was scary (amazing what guys will admit when they are drunk) but what made me appreciate the email was the rest of it. Apparently, men are like grapes and women have to stomp the hell out of them to ‘create a fine wine’ just so they can bother to eat dinner with them. Now, I agree with the apple thing and the grape thing. I don’t think men really appreciate women unless they are properly stomped. In fact the more one stomps, the more the men seem to come back for more. Or perhaps I just attract extremely warped men. I’m talking about this because I hadn’t bothered to watch the Fox pilot, New Girl created by Elizabeth Meriwether. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel and I already have so many shows on my plate. But I was reading about the high ratings so I decided to watch it but if you missed it, just go straight to iTunes to download it. Unless you have the Dish Network, you’ll get a message on Fox’s website that you can’t watch the pilot for the first nine days after airing or something ridiculous like that.  Honestly, these studios are so stupid at times.  Uh, I’m a viewer.  I want to see your show.  I almost didn’t bother because I found it so annoying to get it.  And the only reason I didn’t want to bother with iTunes is that my computer and external hard drive are almost full of shows that I’ve bought so I’ve got to be picky.

All the annoyance aside, I liked the show.  It’s a simple enough premise:  Jess (Zooey Deschanel) discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her when she shows up unannounced in the afternoon dressed in nothing but a raincoat to help him out with his fantasy.  Ok guys:  guess what, if you ask a girl to do that and she’s actually into you, at some point, she will actually decide to surprise you like this so you probably should not be screwing around on her because the way things work, you will get caught.  Jess’s boyfriend gets caught.  She’s humiliated standing there stark naked in front of him and his slut but I just kept thinking:  why did Jess take a cab home?  It was daytime.  NOBODY in Los Angeles takes a cab unless you are going to or from the airport or you are a tourist or your pet has a medical emergency and your car has just died (yes that happened to me).  Otherwise, people in Los Angeles like to think cabs are something only for New York.  Jess must now find a new place to live.  We don’t see lots of roommate interviews (I’m so relieved I missed that process in life), we just see the interview with her soon-to-be new roommates, three guys who are nice enough but basically jerks.  Personal trainer Winston (Lamorne Morris) can’t be nice or relate to women, Bartender (at least I think that’s what he is) Nick (Jake M. Johnson) is hung up on his ex-girlfriend but seems the most well-rounded one of the three, and finally, Schmidt (Max Greenfield), who believes all women love him and takes his shirt off for everyone of them (note to guys:  even if you have a good body under that shirt, women think you’re an idiot if you do that in person or online, nobody likes a showoff).  The only reason they reluctantly allow Jess to move in is because her best friend is a model and they figure there will be models hand-delivered for the taking.  Instead what they get is an ultra-geeky female who cannot read social cues and likes to watch Dirty Dancing and cry a lot.

The way this show is described is:  it is about the sexual politics between men and women.  I’d say it is more about wish fulfillment.  This show is about men having to become human with feelings because they see if they don’t, their living situation will become unbearable and they start to realize that other people’s feelings do matter.  I’m assuming each week Jess will do something stupid in their eyes and while they try to teach her what is acceptable to men, her emotional needs will teach them how to understand women and themselves more.  This is most likely why this show did so well.  Jess is non-threatening to men and women.  She’s average but can look better when dressed up.  She has a friend who is a model and you will notice that she’s far more self-confident and the ball-buster.  She cares about her friend but you will notice that the attractive woman is far more superficial than Jess.  She is the object they desire but can’t have while Jess is more accessible to all three of her roommates.  I don’t think this necessarily sends the healthiest message:  if you are an attractive woman you simply cannot be accessible.  These guys seem to have to learn from Jess, the apple that fell to the ground.  Now you can argue with me and say she’s high maintenance and worth the climb.  I would say, uh, every female is high maintenance but not every female is worth the climb, just like some grapes are so sour you wouldn’t waste your time stomping on them.  Conversely, if Jess were hot, there would be a different problem:  all three roommates would probably want to have sex with her and start to understand that she isn’t only a sexual being but a human as well.  Maybe that’s a different show.  And a different lesson.  Because these guys are in their training pants right now.

Yes, I’ll watch the show at least a few more times and see if it sheds more light on um, sexual politics.  Or, if it is just full of hot air.

New Girl airs Tuesdays at 9pm/8pm central on Fox.

One Response to “New Girl: Pilot Review”

  1. Gman October 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    I like your psychological take on this show “I’m assuming each week Jess will do something stupid in their eyes and while they try to teach her what is acceptable to men, her emotional needs will teach them how to understand women and themselves more. This is most likely why this show did so well.” There are a lot of gay jokes coming after she thought they were women, but perhaps it’s hopeful since they didn’t care for the Dirty Dancing crying. Aside from that I would totally marry her character as long as she would kill the theme song thing. It would be cute the first time, then…not so much. Nothing beats watching my DVR recording in HD though because I have a big TV and I need the best quality. My DISH Network employee HD receiver gives me the best quality possible and the programming is totally free thanks to DISH. I had qualified programming as a qualified customer and the HD is free for life.

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