The thing about watching Zooey Deschanel is that she is always Zooey Deschanel. Sure, her character's name changes from Trillian (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) to Summer (500 Days of Summer) to Jessica, which is her current character on New Girl.
But Jessica is still Deschanel, a quirky, friendly character whose life is a
string of awkward moments and being the buoyant, if a bit reserved, expectation
of the modern 20-something. Her new life post-breakup is spent with a group of
roommates, two living varying degrees of success in their legal careers—the
equally heartbroken Nick who didn't graduate from law school and now tends bar,
alongside a self-professed ladies' man who did graduate and works at a firm
dominated by women that he tends to annoy. Lazy Winston rounds out the
roommates, a fellow who is smart but uninspired after returning from Latvia
just two episodes into the show.
Deschanel says she helps coordinate the fashion of her character, a telling aspect of her career. She makes sure her characters are, well, her. This is good for fans of her style, and agitating for those who dislike her blend of seemingly forced cheeriness and sudden deadpan moments. All told, she is an accurate representation of what most teens and 20-somethings in hipster-driven urban areas mold their personalities around, and what small-town teens aspire to be when they leave home for those hipster-driven urban areas.
Her well-developed corner on the quirky hipster chic market qualifies Deschanel to be Jess on New Girl, and makes it interesting TV for those who want to watch shows that look and feel like their lives (assuming their trials and tribulations take 30 minutes apiece). This show is to a demographic of 18–30 men and women in the 2010s what Seinfeld was to that demographic in the 1990s—displaying the minutiae of modern life works, so long as that minutiae resonates with its viewers.
This is must-see cable TV so long as the viewer can relate to the material. Those who couldn't care less about the romantic foibles of a bunch of young professionals are not going to miss much. New Girl is ranking well with journalists who watched the pilot and are keeping tabs on the show in its first season, so be sure to tune in and form an opinion while the show is still fresh; it has the makings of a run similar to The Office, a show that proved comedies are often at their finest in the early years.