Written by: Lacey Worsham
When comparing these two sitcoms-one that lasted for ten seasons and came to define a certain generational group, and one that started seven years later with an undecided impact- it is interesting to note their major similarities and differences. For some, Friends came to define the 90s and it is not hard to see the ways in which New Girl creators attempted to recapture and reintroduce the magic of Friends in a modern way.
Both of these sitcoms are centered around the apartments in which the characters live and the one outside place where they all seem to continuously gather (Central Perk and Nick’s Bar). They also focus on romances that take place within the friend group and the way this affects the group dynamic as a whole. Much of this changing dynamic is what adds the expected and beloved humor to both shows. The biggest message of both shows, however, is the valuable idea that your friends truly can become your family. As Relevant Magazine states, by showcasing difficult or awkward relationships with their real family members, the characters in both sitcoms are demonstrating to viewers that it doesn’t matter where you come from as long you find a group you can wholeheartedly fit into.
Although these overwhelming similarities can lead us to believe that New Girl truly is just a rendition of Friends, we must pay attention to the differences as well. It is obvious that New Girl attempted to relate to a larger group of people by including two characters of color, Cece and Winston. Did this truly succeed though? The character of Cece seems to be solely supported through her relationship with Schmidt (the white male). Winston also is continually set on the back-burner while the episodes often focus on the romances between other characters. Both of these characters are mainly supporting roles and in general, New Girl will have to add more characters and story lines to keep the show interesting and relatable. Friends was able to successfully accomplish this, which led to its high popularity and long runtime. We will have to wait and see if New Girl will suffer from its similarity to Friends, or if it will come out on top.