Since “New Girl” arrived on Netflix, it has been binge-watched by millions of viewers who have pretty similar feelings about the show: it is amazing. With the perfect combination of ‘90s sweetness (think Full House hugs and lessons learned) and smart, witty banter (think The Office without the dryness) this show really knocks audiences off their feet with comedy.
“New Girl” follows a story of Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) who finds herself moving into a loft apartment with three rather different men. Two of these men, Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) and Schmidt (Max Greenfield), have been buddies since they were college roommates. In fact, several episodes flashback to their college days where we get to learn more about the Nick’s coolness and Schmidt’s crazy. These flashbacks however, operate rather differently than other flashbacks in the show. They offer insight into the men’s characters and give the audience an opportunity to meet different versions of people they have known for a long time. For some, it may even bring about a sense of nostalgia that makes you consider going back to college for the parties, the beer and ladies.
Breath of Fresh Air
“New Girl” is a traditional comedy with standard story arcs, natural commercial breaks, and formulaic dialogue. Because this show follows many of the rules created for TV comedies, there is little room for breaths of fresh air throughout each episode. However, college Nick and Schmidt change the seams of the show and give it a new flair and shape that keeps audience members tied to the edge of their seats. Each time the show cuts away to a college Nick and Schmidt moment, whether it’s Schmidt’s first time having sex or Nick’s famous Beer Teet, “New Girl” provides viewers with a more robust understanding of Nick and Schmidt and a healthier dosage of hilarity. It turns the tables of a has-been episode to become something even brighter and more comedic.
It is also hilarious to mention how completely inseparable Nick and Schmidt are going back to their college meet-cute. As adults, they rely heavily on each other to make healthy decisions. But as college students, they helped each other become men and discover their places in the world. They had a truly successful relationship that blossomed into their adult lives.
Nick Is a Complex Guy
It is also worth exploring the level of complexity Nick gains each time the show cuts away to college him. Nick is the quintessential clown boy of the show. He does things that the audience questions. He says things that make little to no sense and he is a huge-hearted lover who we all can’t seem to stop adoring.
Nick Miller really makes the show for many people. He is a character so unlike the others, so unique in his own weirdness, that we instantly fall in love with him. College Nick, who is quite similar in all of these regards, also has an additional layer of complexity that even grown-up Nick can’t offer.
Nick Miller isn’t just the funny guy who doesn’t have a real job and doesn’t really take care of himself. He is all of these things, an educated college graduate, and a passer of the California state bar exam. Without this important background knowledge, it would be all too easy to simply brush him off as a non-essential character, when in reality, he makes the cogs of the wheel turn.
Schmidt Used to Be Fat & It’s Important
Schmidt is another complex character who appears completely understated on screen. His dramatic, lively and often insane, bachelor lifestyle is apparent, though what we see little of are the actual obstacles Schmidt had to face in order to gain all of the success he has now. In college, Schmidt was about 100 pounds heavier, had no game with the girls, and certainly didn’t take himself or his abilities seriously. Fat Schmidt became his identity and the way he understood his future.
Moving on past college, Schmidt starts to shed not only weight, but his prior conceptions of what his weight meant for his life. In college, Schmidt was often weak-minded (he once tried to suffocate himself with his own hands) and delusional (he lied about getting ladies in high school). He was able to shed this delusion after college when he also shed his weight and became more popular with the opposite sex. This experience then shapes his upbringing in the show until he finally marries his model ex-girlfriend and best friend to Jessica, Cece. Had Schmidt not started as the chubby, loveable big boy, he may never have become the ridiculous and charming Schmidt we know and love.
The Time Is Now
As “New Girl” slowly winds down and gets ready for an end, fans are wishing for the train to keep chugging. The best way to refuel: a spinoff. Nick and Schmidt in their college days offered some of the highest points of comedy in the series and would surely continue the trend of laughter. Should they get the chance to continue to make America smile, they will certainly become some of the funniest boys to star on TV since Beavis and Butthead.