Thinking Inside the Box: New Girl

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I loathe myself for even slightly liking Zooey Deschanel. Or more precisely, her character Jess in the US hit series, New Girl. Jess is a ‘quirky’ character who breaks into song on a regular basis. Seriously? Do people even really do that? Apparently so.

Urbandictionary.com defines the quirky genome as being “different…in a good way”. I don’t believe it. I’ve been called quirky before and I can categorically confirm that it was code. Code for “you’re a nice girl, but…weird”. I don’t care how good a singer Deschanel may or may not be; if I wanted to watch an animated musical, bursting at the seams with song and dance I’d watch a Disney DVD. I’d even fork out to see a West End show since everything’s a musical now, even Legally Blonde.

Having a visceral outburst like that just seems ridiculous – can’t people control themselves? Despite myself, this is exactly where my initial abhorrence of New Girl fell flat on its face…whilst at the cinema. The trailer to The Woman in Black had simply looked like a slightly eerier version of Harry Potter. I didn’t think I had anything to be frightened of until I found myself screaming in terror when Mr. Radcliffe popped open a bottle. That part wasn’t even preceded by corpses rising out of muddy swamps, rocking chairs moving of their own accord or ghoulish veiled faces shrieking. It was just a bottle being opened.

I’ll be frank: during those 95 minutes I came close to tears in something mildly short of total petrification. How it’s a 12A is beyond me since it transformed me, in the front, ruining the film for everyone else by whimpering every five minutes – the girl that I usually find myself scowling at on the way out. At one point my friend even asked if I needed to leave the cinema. It’s official: the lyrically spontaneous Jess might be infuriatingly in your face, but she knows it. I, on the other hand, am just a 20-year-old who clearly gets sucked into a storyline far too easily.

On a different note, New Girl is the first thing that E4 have broadcast that could even come close to being a potential replacement for Friends. Attempted substitutes have emerged over the past few months in the forms of How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, and Happy Endings yet none have ticked the replacement category box. They fit the ‘lives in an apartment with a green door and strangely spacious living area’ bill, but all reek of producers trying to imitate Friends and failing miserably.

I was a huge Friends fan-girl. I never bought the DVDs – and never had to thanks to those beloved Channel Four reruns – but I had the Scene It! board game, the quiz book, the unagi. When asked to describe my favourite TV show in a GCSE French exam, I’m fairly certain that phrases such as “the characters are very amusing” and “I hope to live in New York and drink coffee out of huge mugs when I grow up” would have featured. And now I’ve betrayed my 15-year-old self by even admitting that another programme could possibly replace the void.

It’s hard, because New Girl is technicolour. Not grayscale, not black and white, not monochrome or pastel. Outright technicolour glory that couldn’t be Instagrammed to any greater effect. As a proud Android owner, I don’t even have the Instagram app. In many ways I’m glad. It’s a great deal of time that I won’t be spending looking at other people’s ‘arty’ photos of babies/coffee mugs/beaches/Crocs. Then again, how else am I meant to show off the splendour of the neon green origami penguin I made, last week, to the world? Zooey uses Instagram. I bet Jess would too. Looks I’ve got some major reconsiderations to undertake.

Image – Channel4