Thursday, February 16, 2012

New to New Girl

Before completing the reading on Zooey Deschanel and New Girl, I had watched half of one episode, so I really had no opinions either way on the show. After reading the articles, I gathered some conflicting view points, and I wasn't sure which side I should agree with. So, I decided to watch an episode on Hulu to gain further insight. I chose the episode "Naked" mentioned in one of the articles, and I thought it was hilarious. I thought there were several great characters that each brought something different to the show. However, I could still find bits and pieces of both arguments that were made. From the first article, they made a point that the show relied on themes of "Big Boys teaching the Little Girl how to be a "woman."" In the article "Is New Girl Secretly Feminist?", they talk about how Jess is heavily infantilized. I thought these were interesting points that tie back into the impossible beauty standards placed upon women. Women are supposed to be youthful and innocent, and the fact that Jess can't say the word 'penis' really highlights that. Also, in the interview with Liz Meriwether, she mentions that Fox totally supported having the unique, odd, quirky, etc. girl as the lead to the show, but how odd is she really? As mentioned in "Is New Girl Secretly Feminist?", weird or not, she's still a "hipster goddess." In the first article, they point out that she is "clearly attractive by Hollywood standards." Perhaps this is why Fox supports Jess' character so much?

On the other hand, I felt that Jess was a very independent girl who gave just as much back to the boys as they gave her. While the guys were trying to help her with her awkward run in with Nick, she was trying to help Nick with his situation as well. Maybe it's from my limited knowledge about the show, but it seems like Jess definitely does her own thing, and she I'm not sure she should be so heavily criticized for being cute. I feel that Meriwether makes a valid point when she states, "That people equate being girlie with being nonthreatening... I mean, I can't think of a more blatant example of playing into exactly the thing we're trying to fight against." To me Jess seems confident and comfortable in her own skin, and what's wrong with that?

Tonight, I remain undecided, but hopefully tomorrow after watching some more clips and having a discussion I will be able to form a better opinion of which side I'm on.

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