English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: review topic 4

Makin’ Babies: A New Girl Story

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a little Schmidt in a baby carriage. Have I scared you New Girl watchers off yet? No? Good, New Girl‘s S1E21 “Kids” addresses the reality of the relationships of the characters on the show, following the Theme of the complications in love, pregnancy, and the general relationships in the show.

Cece being asked if she used birth control after missing her period S1E21

This episode runs through some relationship issues of the characters of the show. Jess has to babysit her older boyfriend’s preteen daughter, Sarah, who happens to be her student in school as well. Meanwhile, Nick is figuring out his insecurity with having a long-lasting relationship with a mature adult, and Cece must deal with the troubling thought of whether or not she is pregnant with Schmidt’s child. Of course, there is plenty of cringy drama through the episode to ruin every character’s plans, as it also serves to further the topic of the episode.

While at the beginning of the episode everything seems to be working straightforward, as Nick’s current fling girlfriend seems smarter than he is, Jess’ boyfriend’s daughter is the average curious and rude preteen, Cece is the normal rambling mess when it regards her relationship with Schmidt, and Schmidt is his average douchy self. However, this quickly changes as the complicated nature of relationships is revealed. Nick’s girlfriend is 19 and just graduated highschool, as Jess was once even her teacher. The girl that Jess is babysitting has a confusing crush on Nick. And Cece has a total emotional breakdown about possibly being pregnant with a mini-Schmidt.

Cece got her period! Yay!

The episode as a whole serves to explain the fact that relationships are beautiful but confusing by nature. Love is not simple, and it is an emotion that needs processing. Sarah thinks that she is immediately in love with Nick, while despite having a several month long relationship, Schmidt and Cece still will not acknowledge their feelings for each other, while Nick, in general, does not understand his own feelings about what he is seeking in his life in a relationship. The show is arguing throughout this entire chapter of episodes, but specifically, in S1E21 that relationships are difficult, and knowing what someone wants in life regarding love is confusing.

However, at the end of the episode, every character understands themselves and what they want better, as Sarah stops heavily crushing on Nick, Nick realises that he cannot date a 19-year-old out of highschool, and Cece is content with not being pregnant. Though even in the conclusion, Cece and Schmidt’s relationship is not secured, demonstrating again that relationships are never logical or straight, as they depend on the emotions of two people who need to work through what they want themselves. This episode is arguing that no one ever truly knows what they want, but by making mistakes, they can work through and figure out at least what they may want.

Derek and Addison? Derek and Meredith? Adisson and Mark?… It never stops being weird and confusing

The second season of Grey’s Anatomy argues about a common but very controversial theme in the entire world: Adultery. This world-wide issue (being the cause of divorce of approximately 40% of the couples in the United States) is covered in the show through three different stages:

  1. Finding out
  2. Acting
  3. Moving on

My face when I find out someone was actually capable of cheating on Derek Shepherd

For phase 1, during the first episode of season 2, Derek (the one who was cheated on) tells the story of how he caught his wife and his best friend cheating on him in his own bed. He describes the thoughts he had in that moment like “knowing what was happening and what he was about to see, but being unable to accept and recognize it”, which is a very common reaction, known as “denial”, for every human being that has had to deal with a situation like this one. The representation of this first stage is deeply important as it argues that although not everyone has the same experience, it is okay, and normal, to want to ignore the situation… basically, is something we weren’t born or prepared for.

When analyzing phase number 2, the show represents “acting out” through the fact that Derek, instead of staying to figure things out with his wife, took the decision of avoiding the situation, leaving everything behind, and simply moving to another state. Although many people would argue that ignoring the facts isn’t the right path to solve things, what the show’s really debating is that none of us are perfect, so we shouldn’t be afraid to run away or act “insanely” fast when we fear we are going to get more hurt than what we are. Additionally, running away or kicking someone out is actually one of the most common reactions human beings can have, reason why a great percentage of the audience would probably relate to the story that was being told on screen.

The last phase is, for me, the most important stage as it argues that no matter how bad a situation may seem or how destroyed you may feel, the last thing someone can lose is hope. After everything that happened, Derek was able to start moving on when he met Meredith. He described the relationship with her like “getting fresh air when he felt he was drowning”, meaning that there’s always a chance to get something better, something we deserve, and that no one should stop us from fighting for our happiness.

No caption needed. This story is way better than what Derek was living at NYC

In general, the show argues that adultery does happen, and it happens a lot, however, one shouldn’t neither feel guilty about its reaction towards the situation nor give up of finding something better in the future.




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