A lot has changed since December 2011. Rihanna made a collaboration with Chris Brown, Beyoncé had a baby, Katy Perry got divorced and Adele won a million Grammys. While I haven’t gone through any shifts so grandiose as those, I did develop a new television outlook over the last few months. In December, I wrote about how a number of lady-centric shows, especially Zooey Deschanel’s New Girl, disappointed me. At the time, New Girl tried too hard to achieve quirkiness, and its main character seemed shallow and absurd. But now, months later, I have a retraction to make: New Girl has evolved into a decent, funny program, and I’ve taken to watching it on a weekly basis.
When I was first introduced to Jess Day, the show’s main character, I was thoroughly unimpressed. She was just another twee, manic pixie dream girl with no real depth, whose main purpose was to perform random, kooky antics. It was disappointing, because the show’s male characters were the only relatable (and funny) ones. Jess was just a strange being who floated onto my TV screen and couldn’t perform simple life functions.
I wasn’t unique in my view: at the beginning, critics ragged on New Girl for the exact same reasons. But thankfully, unlike many shows, the writers have listened to the critique. And slowly Jess has morphed from an untouchable dream creature into a real human being. No longer does her humor come from being a non-functioning adult. We’re now treated to humorous views of Jess’ normal life situations like work, friendships and dating, and to the complicated emotions that come with all three. Her sex life is even discussed on a regular basis, which is refreshing in the sense that we’re no longer watching someone who seems quirkily innocent and un-relatable.
Sure, Jess still has her odd, somewhat obnoxious moments, like the sing-along (complete with guitar) that she treats her students to. But for every strange instance of quirk, there have gradually been more scenes of wit, and I’ve found myself laughing out loud during every recent episode. I’ll allow for some weak moments if Deschanel can keep up the great ones.