I’ve been looking forward to writing this one. Today let’s discuss the writing style of New Girl following the 9th episode of season one: “The 23rd”. Episode 9 having a plot line centered around Christmas proves to be the most emotionally provocative episode yet. While at an office Christmas party, the gang finds themselves confronting their internal/external conflicts. This results in an emotional rollercoaster that is powered by subtle but powerful dialogue which we will dive into now! (Prepare for all the feels)
Throughout episode 9 there are 4 main struggles going on.
- Jess isn’t in love with Paul and he is (news that is revealed to Paul by a clumsy Nick)
- Schmidt is sick of being used around the office for his body
- Winston does not feel a sense of belonging in the world of conventional jobs
- Cece is dating a jerk
Each of these struggles are relatable but still difficult making them more impactful on the audience. In order to capitalize on these pressing issues the writers of the show use certain tactics to amplify the emotional connection between audience and character. For example, almost all dialogue in this show is shared in an intimate setting between two characters. (3 in the case of Jess, Paul, and Nick)
The writers leave lots of silences between dialogue to let the words resonate with the viewer. There is also no narrator, which is expected with New Girl, but this leaves the watcher without a specific point from which to view these conflicts. A lack of narrator decreases biased viewpoints on the issues and increases the reality of the situation.
The episode concludes with the gang coming together to make, a now single, Jess feel better. They all run around a fancy street early in the morning yelling to get them to turn their Christmas lights on. One by one the lights come on and Jess, along with the gang, are filled with joy. A honestly heart warming scene that brought me pre holiday joy.
One of the writers of this episode, Nick Adams, is also the writer of “How to make friends with Black People” a book on bridging racial gaps in society. Through this process I’m sure he wrote about many interpersonal connections and struggles, similar to the ones portrayed on this episode of New Girl.
In conclusion, the writers of New Girl, like their writing, are subtly good, aspects such as silence, lack of narrator and setting contribute to sympathy of the viewer, and I am now in the Christmas spirit!