I have warmed tremendously to ‘New Girl’ since it first started. In the beginning I watched because I have a weird fascination for funny girls with big eyes that may or may not be reminiscent of Anime characters, like Mila Kunis, Emma Stone and Zooey Deschanel. I had seen Zooey in a few movies and enjoyed her quirky and adorkable mannerisms and really wasn’t surprised when she got her own comedy on television. But if I came for the Zooey, I stayed for the Schmidt.
I watch way too much stuff for one person and have a weird almost encyclopedic memory of character actors and where I have seen people before, but I can honestly say I don’t think that I ever had seen Max Greenfield until his character Schmidt appeared on New Girl. The premise of the show is that school teacher Jess (Zooey Deschanel) breaks up with a complete drip of a boyfriend and goes on Craigslist to find a place to live and ends up in a loft with 3 guys, Nick, Schmidt and Coach…..weird side note, Coach gets replaced awfully quick by a previous roommate Winston, which leads me to believe either the audiences didn’t respond to Coach or the actor didn’t work out…..anyway Winston is way better. These 4 characters are super different from each other and the quirks and oddness of each of them is in a way funny, but all of them are topped by Schmidt.
Over pronouncing words, working in an all female marketing office and starting off the second season with a broken “male body part” is just a few of the Schmidt-isms that have made the viewers of this show fall in love with him, as well as the break up-back together relationship he has with Jess’ bestie Cece. Making numerous references to how much he loves the finer things in life and his Jewish heritage makes for some great comedy compared to the other housemates. And his complete narcissism is actually quite endearing compared to some other ways that type of character has been played, like Steve Carell’s Michael Scott who is just annoying ( I know the “Office-devotees will not like this one, but that show is a snore-fest of a-holes).
Wearing a high-cut male kimono that makes his roommates wildly uncomfortable is totally acceptable to Schmidt and I can actually see a guy like him enjoying both the fashion forward aspect of it as well as the discomfort he is putting out there. All this being said there are 2 outstanding aspects of this character, the past obesity and the Douchebag jar. In flashbacks to when he met and was roomies with Nick in college, Schmidt was obese, and those flashback montages are worth the price of admission all due to the humour and joy that Max Greenfield plays fat Schmidt, also a little mystery is that we do not know his first name, you know it’s just going to be something totally odd, like when we learned Kramers first name is Cosmo on Seinfeld. But it is the invention of the Douchebag jar that makes me love Schmidt, imagine being such a guy that your roomies make you pay into a fund every time you are a jerk, and then imagine being so aware of what you are doing and saying that you don’t even break conversation to put said money in the jar. That is the essence of Schmidt……you don’t know why you love him, don’t know why you keep him around but he is generally your favourite person in the room to hang with. What are your thoughts? Do you like New Girl; is Schmidt and annoying or endearing character? Tweet me at erinl_clarke