Magazine article Variety

When Friends Become Family

Magazine article Variety

When Friends Become Family

Article excerpt

While meeting new roommates on Craigslist may not be the ideal apartment-hunting tactic, for Jessica Day, it was the best decision she ever made. Since moving into her L.A. loft five years ago, the quirky, sweet lead of Fox's "New Girl," played by Zooey Deschanel, has led the show to a landmark 100 episodes.

"It's a huge accomplishment," says Deschanel, who dropped everything, including developing her own project, to take on the role of Jess. "I loved the script," she says, "I loved the character and I was like 'I don't want anyone else to play her.' "

Fresh off success with the 2011 film "No Strings Attached," "New Girl" creator Liz Meriwether never considered that the show could continue for five years. "I always sort of thought (it) was this small, weird show about a bunch of people who aren't doing a very good job at life," she says. "The idea of 100 episodes is amazing."

Originally titled "Chicks & Dicks," "New Girl" follows the antics that ensue when Jess moves in with three single men after her boyfriend cheats on her.

For the cast's leads, it was easy to fall for the show, which stood out from the crowd with its unique perspectives on being young and single and finding family among friends.

"I remember feeling like this pilot had a real shot," says Max Greenfield, who stars as Schmidt, the player with a heart of gold. The actor praises Meriwether's pilot script as "one of the best."

"It just felt like the best movie you'd ever read," adds Hannah Simone, who was drawn to Meriwether's creation of best girlfriends in Jess and her own character Cece, who bond without being rivals. "Seeing that Liz could see what's funny in that, as opposed to the obvious funny of two girls fighting over a guy, felt authentic. I thought 'That's the kind of model I want to play on TV. That's what I want to represent.' "

In fact, it was Meriwether's skill at blending comedy and honesty that encouraged Brett Baer and Dave Finkel to sign on to help lead the show after three seasons on Showtime's "United States of Tara." The duo became executive producers and co-showrunners alongside Meriwether.

"(Liz) has an ability to be very hilarious and also very human, sometimes within the same word," says Finkel.

"It was a real freshness ... the central character that is Jess," adds Baer. "You could see immediately that centering a show around her, and what these guys (brought) to her life, was kind of special."

"New Girl" debuted to a lofty 10.28 million viewers in the fall of 2011, and still boasts a loyal audience who have fallen in love with the characters, something that Deschanel says is a mark of what makes the show special. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.