As I tune in to the 4th season of Fox’s New Girl, I can’t help but compare it to Friends. It’s the same premise: a group of twenty/thirty-somethings navigating single life together, but the similarities don’t end there. The New York group had an impossibly big and trendy apartment in the heart of the city. Jess and her three lovable roommates share an impossibly big and hip apartment in Los Angeles. Romance brews between main characters and long-time friends; Ross and Rachel and Monica and Chandler on Friends and Jess and Nick on New Girl. Season 2 marks the beginnings of the first inter-group relationships for Ross and Rachel and for Nick and Jess. The Friends crew hangs out at the Central Perk coffee shop, where Rachel works at one point. Clyde’s Bar is the regular meeting place on New Girl where Nick, and now Cece, are employed. Many jokes revolved around Monica Gellar being fat as a teen. Schmidt was also on the hefty side when he was in college and it is referred to often with humor. The Rachel hairdo was all the rage in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I’m sure hairstylists nowadays get requests for bangs like Zooey Deschanel’s. Quirky games abound in both series. “True American” is a strange drinking game played by the New Girl crew. On Friends, the roommates go head to head in a trivia battle where the winners get the better apartment. Another episode focuses on Joey’s upcoming audition for a weird game show called Bamboozled. Jess is a grade school teacher. Ross taught at the New York University. There is no comparable Marcel the monkey, but Winston does have an odd, if not creepy, relationship with his cat, Fergusen.
The resemblances are many, but both shows are good in their own rights. New Girl may not become the mega hit that was Friends. They made this formula hugely popular, paving the way for future shows like New Girl. And who knows if New Girl will have the ability to sustain the longevity that Friends did. But, if you are nostalgic for some Friends-like comedy, I suggest you give New Girl a try.
Photo Source: 20th Television