New Girl

Season 3 Episode 4:

The Captain

Schmidt sets out to sabotage Jess and Nick's relationship.
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About New Girl:

New Girl features a 30-year-old teacher named Jessica ‘Jess’ Day, who finds out her boyfriend has cheated on her. On impulse, she answers an ad to become flatmates with three guys named Schmidt, Nick, and Coach. Coach moves out the next episode and is replaced by Winston, an old friend of Nick. The series has these four become close friends, as well as deal with various relationships and job changes. 

Show creators have described Jess as a character who, in another sitcom, would be a side character instead of the protagonist. She is bubbly, a self-professed dork and optimistic despite her circumstances. Jess can be compared to a toned-down Phoebe from Friends, in that she’s weird, but entertaining. There are plenty of scenes where she has been embarrassing, such as the ‘thoughts and feelings stick’ she tries to use on Nick or breaking into song randomly in many scenes. This wackiness continues in her relationships with her flatmates, who also have their own weird habits. 

At the beginning, Nick is a bartender. In season 2, Nick writes a novel called Z Is for Zombie. Winston describes it as ‘the worst thing [he] has ever read in his entire life.’ Eventually, he becomes a fully-fledged author and even goes on a European book tour. He and Jess become romantically involved. Even though they break up, they eventually get back together. Their relationship is touching, starting off as friends to a love that even after breaking up continues. They emphasise individuality in a relationship, taking time to grow in terms of career and experience, before finding one another again. 

Schmidt wasn’t always the guy we see in the series. He used to be uncool, obese, and a loser. When we see him, he is the hot and rich douchebag. In fact, one of the running gags of this show is the douchebag jar. Anytime Schmidt does or says something inappropriate or misogynistic, he must put money in the douchebag jar. As we learn more about him, we see him subtly put his own trauma aside to change into a loveable man. We root for him as his friendship with Jess grows and his relationship with her best friend CeCe becomes serious.

Winston, the third flatmate, goes through a similar transformation. He realises every job has been controlled by others and chosen by others. He drastically enters a new field of work, becoming a police officer, as that is his choice. Winston becomes more independent as the series goes on, adjusting to life without his basketball career to later on become a detective of the LAPD.

Throughout all its characters, including the beautiful best friend CeCe, we see a common theme. Each character takes control of their choices. CeCe looks past her beauty, regaining her own autonomy. Schmidt deals with his trauma and becomes the man CeCe wants him to be. Nick and Winston take control of who they want to be, career wise. Jess eventually finds love again. 

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