Network Jews: Schmidt From ‘New Girl’ on Fox
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In the school of earnest-loser comedy, we find many teachers. They fancy themselves learned and possess the kindly impulse to impart their wisdom onto any and all poor, unenlightened saps who will stand to listen. In the Fox sitcom New Girl, then, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) is an unholy rabbi. The hair-product-gooping, driving-moccasin-wearing, word-over-pronouncer preaches to a congregation of incredulous roommates, who are as sure of their own idiosyncrasies as they are of his utter douchiness—for which they make him pay, in a jar. And when Schmidt’s conviction fails to impress, he turns inward, to the recesses of his Jewish fat-kid past, to affirm the worth of his words.
On his 29th birthday, as he sits on a school bus-turned-party mobile, inquiring about the career of a male stripper hired mistakenly by the titular new girl, Jess (Zooey Deschanel), the (thankfully, clothed) gentleman asks Schmidt to describe his persona.
“Luxury. Dessert. I’m a warrior poet, man.”
So he says—and enthusiastically asserts—despite persistent repudiation by his friends. They may be willing to stock a party bus with Schmidt’s beloved kosher yogurt and chug bro juice in his honor, but they roll their eyes as he presumes to be a “Los Angeles baller” with a high production value online dating video to prove it (which he purportedly posted to his JDate profile).