Season Analysis: Initially, Zooey Deschanel’s character was the only one defined at all on New Girl. The other regular characters eventually became consistently strong by season’s end, but there is still some work to be done before the storytelling is just as consistently strong.
“Jess & Julia”
I love Zooey Deschanel. I find her charms irresistible. I find that iPhone commercial adorable. But, I recognize that there are some people who are immune to her charms, and I even understand where these people are coming from. But I do not accept it. As far as I am concerned, such people are missing out on plenty of joy. Anyway, it seems that the writers of New Girl also recognized the existence of the Zooey haters, so they decided it was important to confront that force on their show, whose premise and initial promotion were almost entirely reliant on Zooey’s persona. In the climactic scene of “Jess & Julia,” in which Lizzy Caplan’s Julia points out to – with not-too-subtle disapproval – Zooey’s Jess her “whole thing” of cupcakes and breaking for birds and “bluebirds come and help me dress in the morning,” I thought, “Hey, I like both of these ladies! Can’t they get along?” Even though I was disappointed that there ended up a conflict between these two different personality types, I was happy that it prompted Jess (and by implication, Zooey Deschanel, and also by implication, creator Liz Meriwether) to stand up for herself, pointing out, that she does not in fact talk like Teddy Ruxpin and proving that there is indeed some toughness to her despite her intensely sunny worldview. Seriously, Zooey haters, what is your deal? She means you no harm and I do not think she means to force her personality onto the rest of the world.