In the episode of New Girl titled “Secrets” (S1E19), the theme of the story is very clearly about the consequences of keeping secrets from close and dear friends. The main focus of the episode is on the fact that Cece and Nick, Jess’ best friend and roommate, have been romantically involved form months without telling her about their relationship. When Jess’ other roommate Winston discovers this relationship, news quickly spreads to the small group of friends and infuriates Jess over the betrayal of the supposedly open friendship she has with Cece. However, ultimately Jess comes to understand that Cece was trying to hide from her own emotions and subsequently forgives her.
While Jess’ initially responds to the situation with anger, the reason for which she forgives her best friend demonstrates the complexity behind the seemingly ill-intentioned decision to keep a secret from friends. By saving the revelation of Cece’s obliviousness to her own emotions until the last few minutes of the show, the show emphasizes to the viewers that the primary source of Cece’s secret stems from insecurity rather than some disdain for Jess. Therefore, the way in which the general arc of the plot for this episode accentuates this theme demonstrates the care taken in the narrative to substantiate and support the exploration of secret-keeping among the friends in the show.
Within the greater context of the entire show, this episode is yet another facet of the intricate interactions that friends often have with one another. In an attempt to create believable characters in a believable reality, such an exploration of this common problem among friends further develops Jess, Winston, Nick, Schmidt, and Cece into real people and not just characters in a sitcom. While not a grandiose commentary on the problems in society, the characters and their struggles in New Girl still relate to the daily lives, problems, and relationships of real people one secret at a time.
Netflix. “New Girl S1:E19 ‘Secrets’.” Online Video Clip. Netflix. Netflix, 2018. Web. 25 September 2018.