Why I Love New Girl's Nowhere Man, Nick Miller
Ah, if only these words did not have to be written down, and instead I could proclaim them loudly to the man himself, as we stood in his brightly lit LA loft, before launching into a celebratory game of 'True American'.
Unfortunately, they do, and I can’t. So instead I am going to tell you guys just why New Girls’ Nick Miller is one of the most relatable comedic characters possibly ever, why is he the personification of the term: ‘a loveable rogue’, and why I am in love with him so.
Having dutifully abstained from watching New Girl for the first two and a half years after it was first aired, this February I cracked - and by God, I’m glad I did. My main reason for holding out, as I am sure is true for many others, was basically because I had watched '500 Days of Summer', a film that made me want to repeatedly slam Zooey Deschanel’s head into a brick wall until she apologised for saying stuff like: “You weren't wrong, Tom. You were just wrong about me,” and “There's no such thing as love, it's fantasy” in her stupid whimsical voice. I vowed that, for the sake of my sanity, it was probably best if I never saw her wide-eyed, animated face again, and thus, the mysterious Stateside sitcom 'New Girl' was very much off limits.
However, in a moment of extreme boredom (and because abstinence has never been one of my strong points), I found myself earlier this year watching the first episode ...and I’m not exaggerating when I say I do believe it’s pure comedy gold. The sitcom is set in the aforementioned LA loft, and, in a nutshell is about schoolteacher Jess (Zooey Deschanel) finding an apartment on Craigslist and moving in with the three men who live there: camp, Jewish, wannabe player Schmidt, the weird, ex-Latvian basketball player Winston, and Nick – the imaginary love of my life.
Viewers can largely be divided by their preference for one of these three male characters (have a look at the Winston Bishop Appreciation Blog if you are bored/unemployed/sad), but personally, I feel that Nick Miller wins out every time. He’s our Everyday Man, a salt of the earth type guy who is the definition of a man-child, and who can make you laugh whilst simultaneously making your heart bleed.
Nick dropped out of law school with three semesters to go and now works in a bar. He doesn’t have health insurance, has such a low credit rating that he is not allowed to get a contract phone and carries his money around in a plastic bag rather than a wallet. In the episode “Fancyman Part 1” Nick accompanies Jess to a party held by the rich parent of one of her pupils, where he comes across a very nice home office. We are then treated to a scene of an increasingly hysterical Nick shouting stuff like: “I want to sit at that desk and veto a law… this desk makes me feel sexually proficient for the first time in my life. It smells like leather. Teddy Roosevelt! Wistfulness!”
Nick makes you feel better about your own life, either because you sympathise with him, or because you recognise that you, too, were once languishing in the twilight zone between being a fully blown adult (age-wise, at least) and actually acting like one. He doesn’t like commitment, and at any sniff of adult life or responsibility he has a tendency to instantaneously regress and begin acting like a teenager. Oh, and he gets drunk – a lot.
Nick says out loud the stuff that you usually mutter under your breath or just keep safely locked in the inner-sanctum of your own mind. Like when he doesn’t want to go out: “I want to go in my room and do weird stuff on my computer”, or when he goes to a posh restaurant: “This place is fancy and I don’t know which fork to use to kill myself”, or when he just wants to know the answer to a very straightforward question: “Do you want to have sex with me? Yes or no!” And yes Nick, it is perfectly fine to watch TV all day. And listen to Cotton Eye Joe in your car.
Nick is a grumpy old man stuck in a 30-something’s body, with the mentality of an 18-year-old boy. If you haven't seen the show, I hope that’s all making sense to you. In his own words Nick is “not a successful adult”, but how many of us really are? At a time when many of us have had to move back to the old parental abode, or are desperately trying to persuade ourselves that we really do love this admin job, it’s nice to know we’re not alone, and that there are other (albeit fictional) people who are also taking a temporary pause from real life.
And that is why I am in love with Nick Miller.