Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, I watch New Girl. No, my girlfriend does not force me to. I genuinely like the show, and it’s probably the only half-hour comedy outside of NBC’s Thursday night or FX that’s worth a damn. It’s consistently funny, and Zooey Deschanel is just too adorable. No, it’ s not Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or Dexter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t like it all the same.
Now let’s get this out of the way: Winston is black. Yes, I know this. This also has ZERO bearing on what I’m about to discuss, even if it looks a little weird that he’s the one circled above and I’m labeling him the “odd man out.”
Simply put, the show is great because it has great characters. Jess, Nick, Cece and especially Schmidt are all very unique and very distinctive personalities, and they play well off each other. Then there’s Winston. Originally, there was a macho man character named “Coach” who was in the pilot, but his other show got picked up for a second season so they subbed in Winston instead. The problem with Winston is that I’ve never seen a character so disconnected from the main show before. It’s like if in Friends, five of them always had funny plotlines together, but Ross was just off on his own each week doing nothing that related to the group.
This week’s episode for example was probably the most egregious. Jess was put in charge of babysitting her new boyfriend’s daughter, who just happened to fall in love with Nick. Meanwhile, Cece stormed around the apartment thinking that she was pregnant with Schmidt’s baby, as he speculated what kind of bone structure a Jewish-Indian baby might have. The problems overlapped and it was all around hilarious chaos.
So where was Winston? He was driving his boss around in three, twenty second long scenes, acting out a loose parody of Fear and Loathing as his boss came down from a drug trip. And this happens ALL the time. He’s constantly given plotlines that have literally nothing to do with the main show, and he doesn’t feel like he belongs in the least. His personality isn’t developed enough because of this, nor is his relationship with the other roommates.
New Girl is one of the best shows on TV, but it really needs to fix its Winston problems. He’s like an extra appendage that just sort hangs there without a specific purpose. Hopefully we’ll see him included more, or the character replaced altogether. I might almost prefer the second option frankly.