Is New Girl the New Seinfeld?

New Girl in my opinion is one of the funniest sitcoms on TV right now, but the premise seems very familiar. With one girl, three guys, and never-ending laughs, New Girl can almost be seen as the reincarnation of the beloved nineties sitcom, Seinfeld. Obviously, there are clear differences between the two shows such as time, place, and different characters of course, but there is a lot that is similar.

group

Still from New Girl, “Injured” (Season 1, Episode 15, 2012.)

One of the overarching similarities that I’ve seen are the dynamics between the characters. Like Elaine has strong relationships with Jerry, Kramer, and George, Jess is also very close with Winston, Schmidt, and Nick.  Jess’s romantic relationship with Nick in New Girl can even be seen to mirror Elaine’s past relationship with Jerry that is mentioned throughout the series. Besides the romance, Elaine and Jess have great friendships with the guys that persevere throughout the series and have made the shows so successful and funny.

Additionally, all the characters are so different but work perfectly together. Jess could not be more different than Nick and same with Jerry and Kramer. From Winston’s obsession with his cat to Elaine’s terrible dancing, all of these characters bring a different aspect to each show. While all the characters’ lives and personalities differ greatly, there is no denying that when they’re all together, it creates pure magic.

Finally, both the shows really are about these characters’ friendships and nothing more. New Girl and Seinfeld don’t revolve around a particular aspect of the characters’ lives, such as work or family, but instead focus on the relationship between these characters. While love, jobs, families, and more are woven in and out of the shows, the friendship between the characters are really what these shows are all about and make them what they are.

Seinfeld and New Girl have their differences bit in the midst of the many sitcoms that are out there today, these two share very noticeable similarities. The only question I have left to ask is, is it on purpose?

Maia Scacchi

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11 Responses to Is New Girl the New Seinfeld?

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I enjoyed your analysis of the similar character dynamics in both New Girl and Seinfeld. What stood out to me is the fact that “all the characters are so different but work perfectly together.” This point reminds me of Master of None, and the chapter detailing this seemingly artificial construction of very different characters being best friends despite their differences. Though the chapter on Master of None primarily looks at racial and cultural differences, putting together a friend group consisting of people that are all very different seems to be a common and emerging theme in sitcoms.

    -Griff O

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Great connection, I absolutely love it! I see the connection as well and I think your reasoning behind how the two share many similarities is spot on. Jess does have that same relation being the girl with all guys just like Elaine is with her group, and although New Girl possesses a slightly more structured storyline, the focus is not necessarily on the events that surround them but, just like Seinfeld, on the friendship amongst the individuals in the group that gets them through whatever situation they find themselves in. They all have their aspects as characters that annoy each other and are all very different, however, it is never something that comes between the bond this group has. I think this was FOX’s way of recreating Seinfeld in a modern way, discretely, with a slight difference and location change, but convey the same viewing experience for the reader.
    – Anthony Duran

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Those are connections I have never noticed before, but they make a lot of sense. I think a lot of shows will use structures from previously successful shows in order to create something equally successful, but often times that does not work. However, I think that New Girl did a great job of maintaining certain aspects of Seinfeld, but bringing in enough of their own to create something unique. The character connections are unmistakable with Winston and Kramer as the wildcards, Nick and George as the career disabled, Elaine and Schmidt with more self confidence than is good for them, and Jess and Jerry as the relatable stars.
    Margaret Murray

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I loved your analysis and could not agree more! I think by focusing on the relationships with the characters, and just weaving in all the other factors of life, the show is extremely realistic and provides the viewers an opportunity to relate to the show! I also think having a male dominated cast (three men in each show) and only one main female present, the shows are also successful and not ignoring or making the woman seem inferior. I would love to know if the creators of New Girl did this intentionally, and if they did it was obviously a smart move. I think New Girl is a “Seinfeld” placed in a more modern time, which makes it slightly different from Seinfeld, but still just as successful.
    -Sam Ostmann

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Everything I’ve ever heard about New Girl has related it to Seinfeld. I’ve only seen one episode of New Girl but I could still notice similarities between it and Seinfeld. I also agree with your comment that the chemistry between the characters is what drives both shows.

    Sam Bishop

  6. mediaphiles says:

    Great connections and observations about the shows. I have only seen a couple episodes from each sitcom, but I still notice similarities between the two. Not only are the plot lines similar in the sense that they are about “nothing”, but also the chemistry between the characters. Each show focuses on the dynamics of a group made up of three guys and one girl. This is an interesting dynamic, especially in comedy.

    Isabelle Jeffrey

  7. mediaphiles says:

    I totally agree with all of the points that you made it this blog post. I easily see the connection between the characters on New Girl and on Seinfeld, two iconic sitcoms that have both been successful in their own right. I always am interested in the dynamics between a group of guy friends that have a few girl friends in the mix, or even just one, which is one reason that I think New Girl is so funny. Jess is hilarious in the way that she handles the men, which is so similar to what can be seen in Seinfeld as well.

    Jane Schaefer

  8. mediaphiles says:

    Cool connection! It’s interesting that patterns emerge in sitcoms over the many years that they have run. I’m sure the writers of New Girl were inspired by Seinfeld. Maybe the similarities were not purposeful but rather subconscious!

  9. mediaphiles says:

    This was a great analysis! I am writing my paper on The Big Bang Theory and there is an element of family dynamics there as well. One interesting thing that I found in my research, and that pertains to this as well, is the economic dynamics of families in sitcoms. This pertains to The Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, and New Girl because the economic situations are extremely different; there is no breadwinner father figure, and there is no stay at home mom. Rather, these characters serve as independent individuals that depend on each other for reasons other than financial ones. To me, this makes the friendships seem more genuine, as the focus is not on a direct middle class family setting. I think that the fact that the characters are young adults is also crucial, because they are beginning to want to start their own families, which is why the focus on their parents and siblings is lessened. The focus of the show is more on individual character development rather than family growth.

    Alex Buter

  10. marymdalton says:

    Excellent post! Good pacing, compelling idea, well done!

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