New Girl begins on Channel 4 tonight, with its kooky heroine headlining the Los Angeles-set. But why do men find Zooey Deschanel so captivating?
As handy as it is, you don’t use 4OD that often, do you? That’s not a slur on Channel 4’s quality of broadcasting, which is superior to the dross on BBC and, most infamously, ITV, but all the good telly (ie. American TV) is on Sky Atlantic. It was useful at uni when command of the telly wasn’t your given right, so stumbling in to bed in the early hours of Saturday morning to be accompanied by Peep Show was convenient.
Recently though you may have used it to watch a new American show prior to it airing. It’s not the network premiere of Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empireor the latest Curb Your Enthusiasmseries, but something called New Girl. Its IMDb description states that, ‘After a bad break-up, Jess, an offbeat young woman, moves into an apartment loft with three single men. Although they find her behaviour very unusual, the men support her - most of the time.’
So why are you watching it? Because it has Zooey Deschanel in it. And it’s doubtful that you’re the only one whose knee has jerked to use this excuse to view something which sounds frankly, generic.
There’s always been something about Zooey since 2003’s Elf, where she was blonde and sang in the shower. Retrospectively, despite the supporting role, the film is an unwitting vehicle for her own kooky brand, exhibiting the aforementioned qualities to the point that she’s given two separate numbers.
But she has almost always plumped for indie roles, with forays into the A-list stratosphere sporadic. It makes her endearing because, although many will beg to differ, she seems to have no pretensions. Old-fashioned, rocking long dark hair with bangs whilst playing uncommon roles, her earthy adeptness as both a singer and an actress draws much esteem.
Men seem to be bedazzled by Deschanel because she’s such an atypical woman. She’s beautiful, with sky blue eyes, a Snow White complexion and a sucker for retro chic. But she doesn’t boast the glamour of Charlize Theron, the sultriness of Megan Fox or the seductiveness of Emma Stone, yet Deschanel arguably boasts more admirers. Oddly, they seem generic in contrast.
A sweet if unspectacular song, it nevertheless boasts Zooey’s Golden Age vocals and she’s smiling at you whilst wearing a tiara.
In our lucid delusion her quirkiness and imperfections (crooked teeth, 1960s haircut, knobby knees, cockroach-shaped splotch on her neck, the way she smacks her lips before she talks, the way she sounds when she laughs) make her remotely attainable. Especially since she recently separated from her husband, Death Cab for Cutie frontman, Benjamin Gibbard.
Definitive too of course, is her portrayal as the object of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s affections in (500) Days of Summer. From a male perspective, the film is a chick-flick that’s not bad to like (see also Mean Girls) because it is the antithesis of the rom-com. As cheesy as its tagline is (‘This is not a love story. It is a story about love.’), it’s right. And this is chiefly thanks to the bitchy capriciousness of Deschanel as the eponymous Summer.
One scene consists of Gordon-Levitt’s Tom attending a party at her apartment, when the screen splits into two to illustrate ‘Expectations’ and ‘Reality’ from his perspective. The latter takes a cruel turn and although the majority of men would not have experienced such a similar scenario, it feels very empathetic. Stripping you of your masculinity and rendering you helplessly effeminate, Deschanel’s Summer resembles that girl which every bloke has known. Especially you, ***** *****.
Lyrically too she makes us all dewy-eyed. Knowing that New Year’s Eve can be anti-climactic, the prospect of staying in and playing her What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?duet with Gordon-Levitt on a loop was melancholically appealing. A sweet if unspectacular song, it nevertheless boasts Zooey’s Golden Age vocals and she’s smiling at you whilst wearing a tiara.
New Girl’s pilot smacked of unimaginative fare and lacked genuine laughs, but it is frothy Friday night telly filliped by its star, who will surely up the ratings. With the 10th episode of the series about to air Stateside, reviews of the preceding nine have been positive, which suggests that potential has been built upon the foundations of its opener.
On its debut, Zooey cavorts with a pillow shielding her naked curves in the opening two minutes to grab your attention immediately, when ironically as enticing as that is, her ‘adorkable’ nature is more pleasing. And now it’s on-demand.
New Girl premieres tonight on Channel 4 at 8:30pm.
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