A Discussion Of Fox’s ‘Quirky’ Zooey Deschanel Vehicle New Girl

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Like we told you yesterday, FOX has decided to visit the pilot episode of its sitcom New Girl upon the internet-going public early, making it available for free download via iTunes a full two weeks before it premieres on television. Despite knowing there was no way it was going to be any good at all, Liana and I decided to give it a chance and watch it. As they used to say on a show that was actually funny but got canceled to make room for more travesties like this, we've made a huge mistake.

Liana Maeby: So, this show: I was predisposed to hate it because I read the script and was not impressed, and, like, ugh Zooey, but man! It was that bad?

Jamie Peck: I was shocked how bad it was. SHOCKED.

Liana Maeby: A decade ago there was a movie PARODYING the whole pretty girl hidden by glasses thing. So how is that the premise of a network sitcom in 2011?!

Jamie Peck: I don't think she is presented as a pretty girl hidden by glasses, so much as her “weird and wacky” personality.

Liana Maeby: But there was totally that: glasses off, now she's hot scene. She took them off to put on the black dress and go on her date!

Liana Maeby: And all the boys were like, “Whoooa.”

Jamie Peck: Oh yeah! And then she did a “weird” spaz dance and they were like “eeew.”

Liana Maeby: So this show was created by Liz Merriwether who's part of Diablo Cody's “Fempire.” Do you remember that NYT article? The thing that made me crawl under my bed and whimper for a week straight?

Jamie Peck: I think I blocked it out of my memory.

Liana Maeby: Oh, it's very upsetting.

Liana Maeby: Quirky women writing quirky women content! And taking over the world, with quirk!

Jamie Peck: there is not an emoticon frowny enough to express my displeasure at this.

Liana Maeby: >8-(

Jamie Peck: Not even close. I would not mind the quirk so much if it was amusing…or if she seemed like anything approaching a real human being.

Liana Maeby: Every character was such an archetype, though. I just don't understand what it's a show about, exactly.

Jamie Peck: There was the athletic and masculine black man…

Liana Maeby: NAMED COACH!

Liana Maeby: And the stupid finance guy or whatever with his “douchebag jar.”

Jamie Peck: I kind of liked the dbag jar

Jamie Peck: most douchebaggery on sitcoms goes unremarked

Liana Maeby: I feel like maybe if that punchline weren't the only purpose of having that character, then maybe?

Jamie Peck: mmm fair

Liana Maeby: I like the other dude.

Jamie Peck: the sad sack bartender? yes

Jamie Peck: he reminds me of charlie day

Liana Maeby: But they don't have enough sexual tension for that to be a thing that carries the show.

Jamie Peck: can we talk about how painful to watch it was when finance bro starts trying to seduce the hot model friend with peppermint tea?

Liana Maeby: Oh god. I believe I zipped my head into my hoodie at that point.

Liana Maeby: (Because I am sooo quirky.)

Liana Maeby: But like: people do not behave that way!

Jamie Peck: he refers to her boobs at “party hats”!

Liana Maeby: So upsetting.

Liana Maeby: I'm going to start refering to party hats as “boobs.”

Jamie Peck: Time for fun, everyone put your boobs on top of your heads!

Jamie Peck: I mean, there's a way to be totally outlandish in service of entertainment, like on 30 Rock, or Parks and Rec.

Liana Maeby: Right, but there are jokes there. Not just: sterotype, let's laugh at it. Which was 100% every single joke in this show.

Jamie Peck: “Hot girl is hot” is NOT A JOKE.

Jamie Peck: I think most of the jokes boil down to “___ guy/girl is [ ___ again] LOL!”

Jamie Peck: Women be crying!

Liana Maeby: Men don't understand feelings!

Liana Maeby: Dirty Dancing, AMIRITE LADIES?

Jamie Peck: Question: do the women writing this stuff think it's funny?

Jamie Peck: Or do they think the only way to succeed in THE PATRIARCHY is to play by its dumb rules?

Liana Maeby: I think that they have enough of the vague structure of what jokes are that they must? I mean, I have a hard time believing that a writer would willfully dumb down her material to the point that it's embarrassing. I just don't understand how anyone thought that this was an interesting premise at all.

Jamie Peck: Look at all the fights Roseanne had with her producers! Maybe it's their fault.

Liana Maeby: It's probably partially the fault of execs, yes! It always is.

Liana Maeby: Women lives in an apartment with male roommates? Cool, that was all of college for me. Not TV-worthy!

Jamie Peck: Aaaw, I miss my college roomie. [I go off on a tangent about my college roomie, who was/is a semi-professional magician who would practice his delightful tricks all the time, snuck one of our inside jokes into the magazine he worked at, and is now getting a PhD in physics.]

Liana Maeby: I love him!

Liana Maeby: He should be on this show, not: dude who's a personal trainer and is therefore loud, kinda.

Jamie Peck: Truth is stranger than fiction.

Jamie Peck: Do you think we're offended by the fake quirk because it attempts to “speak” to us?

Liana Maeby: I think that is perhaps part of it. However, I'd take over-the-top Juno dialogue over this crap any day.

Liana Maeby: Because at least that's trying to do something. Other than: girls's gonna dance, we're going to laugh.

Jamie Peck: There was some clever wordplay! Juno was a regular wordsmith compared to this one.

Liana Maeby: It's true! And there was none of that here. Not for one line. There was not one single solid joke in the entire pilot.

Jamie Peck: I kept waiting to laugh…or titter?

Liana Maeby: Get out my party hat?

Jamie Peck: but I never had the occasion to. NO PARTY HATS FOR U, NEW GIRL.

Liana Maeby: I wonder, where does the show go from here? If the pilot was that boring, what is episode two, and then episode 26?!

Jamie Peck: They gradually come to love and depend on each other. Err, I mean the show gets canceled.

Liana Maeby: I think the problem is that Zooey's character doesn't have any real obstacles to overcome. Here's why:

Liana Maeby: Her main obstacle, as presented by the show, is her own quirkiness. However, we as an audience are actually meant to find that quirkiness charming.

Liana Maeby: So where's the tension?

Liana Maeby: In my head, after watching that dumb show.

Jamie Peck: BOOM.