FILM & TV

THE REAL REEL | New Girl’s Last Season Review

The Show Leaves Us With Some Good Hetero-Fluff

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The show wrapped up in a baby sloth adorable, Portland rain predictable, have your cake and eat it too kind of way.

Well it has been 7 seasons and New Girl is saying sayonara. I get the feeling they are saying "bye on a high" (they are still getting high ratings), leaving us before we can leave them. Either way, I will miss this show and I think lots of heterosexual progressives will as well.

If you are a woman partnered with a straight male who hasn't checked this show out, I'm guessing it's because of its feminine title. Only straight men extremely secure with their masculinity dare to watch. The others ask their lady partners, "Who wants to watch a show called New Girl? Well I do, along with another 2.96 million viewers, so the joke's on them. Of course, I have a few issues with the extreme heteronormative world they have created, but this show is doing more than a few things right.

For one, this show is one of the rare shows on TV that has a very multiracial cast. There are six main characters left on the show and four of them are in interracial relationships. While only two of the four characters are of color, the third one is a Jew and many of the smaller characters like " Coach" (played by Damon Wayans) are African American.

There are several shows on TV about "race" but this show is not. It just includes a diverse cast and refreshingly depicts people of color in non-stereotypical roles. For example, Cece's character is Indian and has a career in the fashion industry and is married to Jewish Schmidt. Winston's character is Black and is a devoted, highly sensitive cat lover, who happens to be a police officer and is married to a white female police officer. Both characters of color avoid the traditional stereotypes of scary/strong/sexy/violent Black man, and observant studious homemaker Indian Woman. While this show still takes place in a very "white world," it's a world many middle and upper class people of color are likely familiar with. (In fact, likely most upper-class people of color in America have to travel to mostly white spaces for work, school, housing, etc.).

New Girl also kind of crushes it with respect to gender. I say "kind of" because the two main gals on the show and all of the small character gals on the show are very hetero, girly, etc. However, the straight character, Jess, played by the infamous Zooey Deschanel is the "kittens whiskers" so to speak. She is assertive, self-aware, unique, vulnerable, and a "girls girl" in all of the ways.

While her character spends most of her time building people up, solving their ridiculous relationship issues, and focusing on hilarious event planning, she doesn't fall prey to the needing to be totally sexy or totally gross to get laughs. She gets to be silly, neurotic, and a little gross at times. Cece (played by Hannah Simone) could have stayed the ditzy sexy former model but they transitioned her to the beautiful and professional career woman with a husband and daughter at home. Cece does a great job of portraying an extremely loving mother, who knows she has no business staying at home and belongs in a professional setting…guilt-free. Working moms everywhere thank you Cece.

I love the way they do "straight men." The men on this show cry, feel, care for children and animals, and truly enjoy intimate friendships, beyond high fives and sports viewing parties. All that being said…all the characters wind up married, and with a glimpse into their future, happily procreating many many times…which is FINE. Kids are fine (I own a couple). BUT...could any of their characters stayed happy without them? The show wrapped up in a baby sloth adorable, Portland rain predictable, have your cake and eat it to kind of way. Which again, is FINE. It's fine to be the show that's always happy…it just wasn't a very quirky ending. It did leave you feeling satisfied and complete though, neat and tidy…just how Schmidt would want.

Keeping It Real

Rachel


By Rachel Hall, Rachel has a Masters in Cultural Gender Studies, is a writer, a personal coach, and even though she is very very fun (just ask her three-year-old daughter) due to her academic inclinations, always the pooper at the party. She works with all kinds of people to improve their ability to work with all kinds of people. She can often be found hiding from her two children in her laundry room. More about her on her website.


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