From the very first episode, New Girl has a clear and direct focus on the experiences of a modern, young, single female in a typical US city. As a result of the main character Jess living in an apartment with three males, the show quickly establishes the relationship between the two genders as a focal point of both the story and comedy of the show.
While the main cast (pictured above) has only one more male than female, the focus of the show on Jess’ life shifts the spread of the show closer to the experiences of young women. As demonstrated in the pilot, the struggle of Jess moving in with Schmidt, Nick, and Winston is analogous to her struggle to regain her independence after ending a long and committed relationship. Thus, the writers’ attention to Jess’ life concentrates the spread of gender representation towards the female experience, regardless of the physical representation of gender with actors.
While the show explores the relationship between males and females, and while there are a few jokes made about Cece and Winston’s races, there is very little intersectionality. Despite the various ethnicities of the cast members, their typical, middle-class, heterosexual lives leaves little room for the show to explore or show more complex struggles with identity. However, though the characters may be limited to only heterosexual gender relationships, the extensive exploration of this facet still gives the show depth in its writing and humor.
The cast and writing of New Girl dives into the humor and conversations that commonly arises between straight males and females to which the majority of the TV-viewing demographic can relate. Though the limited diversity of the main cast may not reflect a deep exploration of intersectional minorities, the light tone of the show ultimately demonstrates a focus on comedy and story-telling over social commentary.
Netflix. “New Girl S1:E1 ‘Pilot’.” Online Video Clip. Netflix. Netflix, 2018. Web. 16 October 2018.