New Girl: The Stereotypes That The World Believes

By Melanie DeAlmeida
Throughout many comedic series we seem to notice a constant pattern with underlying or blatant forms of stereotypes in shows. In the series New Girl, a group of six roommates with different ethnic backgrounds tend to make fun of each other and occasionally get in disputes over it. This shows humor often evokes the characters professions, sexuality, race, and gender. With all of the comments made in the episodes most of the time they are light hearted but when it comes to the characters passion for their profession things tend to get heated.

There are four roommates Nick Miller, Schmidt,and Coach, who are looking for a fourth roommate since their other roommate Winston Bishop is playing basketball overseas. Jessica day who went through the tragedy of walking in her boyfriend with another woman has had to face the struggle of finding a new place to live. She went online looking for places and soon later was chosen to live with Nick, Schmidt, and Coach.

Right as the show begins in season 1 Episode 5, Jessica’s new roommates are introduced to her best friend Cece, who is a Indian woman. Schmidt becomes infatuated with her and tries to impress her in anyway possible but as Winston is now back and introduced into the cast he also thinks that he has a chance with her. As the men compete for her attention, Winston believes he has a better chance in winning her over because Schmidt is making a fool of himself. In this episode Cece crashes at Jessica’s because she caught a glimpse of her DJ boyfriend making out with someone else in the club. She asked Jessica if she can stay in her life until she can hold her own and get her stuff out of her boyfriends apartment. Schmidt begins to make comments about his skin and ends up insulting cc and away but this cast is so open with each other that when race comes into play or their ethnic backgrounds they are confident enough to start conflict or question the other person’s comments. In a lot of other shows ,like crime episodes, we see that once race is brought up people get uncomfortable and don’t speak up for themselves and how they feel about the topic, but here we see that Cece is comfortable with questioning someone who is basically a stranger to her.

With race being an example throughout the show and Cece’s beautiful brown skin being mentioned at least a few times in each episode, making fun of professions is also done. I’m using an example from Cece yet again but the role of Nick Miller is important as well. Nick Miller is A man who seeks writing, a lot of the time his roommates would pester him asking him if we were ever finished the book that he wants to write called the Pepperwood Chronicles. It takes almost 3 seasons for him to actually sit down and write the novel, He would end up spending too much time drinking beer or working at the bar that he owns instead of chasing his dreams and most of the time his roommates would always keep pestering him and making fun of him that he would never finish the book.

Cece who is also a mode in the show, is portrayed as the typical stereotypical model who isn’t smart. In Season 2 episode 5, it’s Cece’s birthday and Jessica hadn’t spent a birthday with her in a long time since she had traveled so much for her modeling career. Cece asks Jessica to spend her birthday at the club with her model friends. Jess immediately says how she doesn’t feel comfortable and feels like she doesn’t fit in with them. Once Cece and Jessica get to the club the modeling girls are already there, dressed to the nines. The show sets the scene where the girls look like they are gossiping and talking about irrelevant drama. Cece leaves Jess with her friends for awhile to go grab drinks and mingle, since Jess is the complete opposite of these girls and quirky and goofy, she was trying to talk as if she was one of them dumbing topics down and starting conversations that weren’t interesting but interesting for them. In the clip below it shows just how much she was trying to put up with the girls and their immature antics. The girls were trying to force Jessica to keep doing this Romanian dance which actually was very controversial because it was making fun of Romanians and their culture. Jessica eventually spirals and gets so angry at them and tells them that they are the worst and that what they were doing was horrible and mean.

Throughout many more episodes in the seasons of New Girl we see how race, sexuality, professions, and stereotypes play a role in everyday conversation and television. The way that the New Girl’s producer writes out the show is important. Yes there are races sexual jokes that make a lot of people uncomfortable or stereotypes that don’t fit the reality of something but the way that they spin off as being positive is important. They sen races sexual jokes that make a lot of people uncomfortable or stereotypes that don’t fit the reality of something but the way that they speak off as being positive is important. There may be a controversial thing that was said but it’s the way that the other character takes it in and reacts towards it and here it shows that the characters are confident enough to take on the conflict straight on instead of letting the power of words overpower them but to make the other character question their actual knowledge. For instance in the episode where Jess makes fun of Cece and her friends at the end of the episode Cece gets to sick to go to set for her modeling job so Jess tried to do it for her and ends up struggling and isn’t able to do it. She had thought that it was much easier but it actually was harder and that goes with a lot of stereotypes about jobs and races they aren’t what everyone makes them to be.

2 thoughts on “New Girl: The Stereotypes That The World Believes

  1. Julia Matter- I watched many seasons of this show yet I never thought of how the jokes made are often sexual, racial or job related. I agree that it is important that the jokes are written in a positive manner. In a way, I feel that it is similar to the office, where they do not mean harm with the jokes rather they are in there for the comedic value. I think that it is important the characters in the show acknowledge that the jokes sometimes hurt their feelings, I think this is a reality check for all of the characters as well as the viewers that humor can be hurtful.

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  2. Nicole Bruso – I am a huge fan of New Girl and have also notice the constant digs the characters have towards one another’s’ careers and sometimes race. There is an episode in which Schmidt feels that Winston, who is black , does not feel as though he can express his culture around his white roommates. This leads to Schmidt stereotyping Winston as loving soul music, fried foods, and wearing ethnic clothing. Winston is very irritated by Schmidt’s ignorance and calls him out on it. He states that being black means whatever he wants it to mean. Stereotypes are not something that can identify every person of a race. In another episode, Jess is constantly put down for being a teacher by Nick’s lawyer girlfriend, Julia. Since Jess spends most of her day with children, Julia treats her like a child. Jess is very annoyed at the fact that she is not taken seriously and defends herself and her career. She states that just because she is a teacher, it does not mean she is not tough and strong. She is proud of who she is and no one can belittle that. There are constant stereotypes displayed throughout New Girl, however the characters are able to break them in a way by standing up against them.

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