SPOILERS AHEAD FOR NEW GIRL!
The quirky American sitcom New Girl, which aired from 2011 until its final season in 2018, has been consistently praised for its offbeat charm and unique take on the romantic-comedy television genre. Starring Zooey Deschanel in the leading role as an upbeat school teacher named Jess, the television show takes a different, refreshing spin on the ideas of modern romance and friendships. Although New Girl took its final bow two whole years ago, the show to this day still remains one of my go-tos when I’m looking for something to brighten my day – with its final episode remaining one of my favourite finales ever due to its perfect sense of closure.
New Girl begins with the introduction of young, innocent teacher Jess whose life has recently been turned upside-down when she discovers the horrifying truth that her boyfriend of six years has been cheating on her. This discovery leads Jess, on a whim, to move into a flat in the middle of Los Angeles with three strangers, all men, of whom she met on the internet. The pilot started the show in a brilliant way, introducing the wit and wisdom of her new flatmates as well as guiding the audience towards what could be expected of the show: a rejuvenating blend of comedy and sensitivity.
The show has always been one of my favourites for a wealth of reasons, but the main reason I pop on an episode of New Girl is due to the fresh, but subtle, perspective the show gives on the modern issue of toxic masculinity. The three flatmates of whom Jess shares a flat consist of Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris). The three men, although differing in their lifestyles, all share an ability to explore and express their emotions, breaking stereotypical expectations of masculinity.
The finale of New Girl perfectly encapsulated the show’s progression in a simple, but effective way. Throughout the sitcom, the one thing that never changed was the importance of the flat – known as ‘the loft’ – in the lives of those who lived/frequented there. The episode began with the revelation of an eviction notice, and then in true New Girl style, was certainly not short of some twists and turns.
Over the 7 years it had been on air, the on-off relationship of characters Jess and Nick had been an integral character arc, which in the final season had come to an outcome of the two being in a happy relationship. With the couple together, and then being evicted soon, Jess forced the idea of a ‘reminiscing session’ upon the group to go back over their time together. For the audience, this was an important part of the journey of the show, as this would really be the end of New Girl, guiding the audience to a conclusion through visual references to favourite past episodes.
The episode ends in the most New Girl way possible, with an incredible twist that matches up to the show’s quirky persona. The eviction notice, posted under the door of ‘the loft’ is discovered to be a final prank set by Winston. The prank is only revealed when the group have finally said their goodbyes – perfectly ending not only this chapter in the character’s lives but the New Girl as a TV show.
The finale could certainly be deemed tear-jerking through its neat conclusion of the friendships and relationships explored throughout the show, as well as perfectly fitting to the quirky performances by the cast and the witty writing of Elizabeth Meriwether amongst many others.
New Girl is available to watch on Netflix UK.