With people stuck in their homes during the pandemic, many turned to the comforting arms of the show New Girl. The sitcom ran on Fox from 2011-2018, and people are still finding reasons to love the loft gang, particularly the Internet’s Boyfriend Nick Miller (Jake Johnson). The main cast — Zooey Deschanel, Johnson, Lamorne Morris, Max Greenfield, and Hannah Simone — and creator Elizabeth Meriwether reunited via Zoom for Variety‘s Virtual TV Festival, discussing the impact of the show, how the characters would have handled quarantine, and whether or not a reunion special was in their future.
So, how would Jess, Nick, Schmidt, Winston, and CeCe have managed during the coronavirus pandemic? “Our show was essentially about five people who never left their house and all hung out together, so I think our characters would actually be pretty happy just hanging out,” Meriwether said. “But then somebody would die maybe. Probably Damon [Wayans Jr.] would die.” The group agreed that the Type-A Schmidt would have taken over and enforced an extremely strict cleaning regimen, while Nick would have impulse-bought all of the wrong things in an attempt to prepare.
“Winston is selling homemade toilet paper on Etsy. Artisanal,” Deschanel quipped. “I would imagine there’s some weird Schmidt/Cece sex thing with various N95 masks, but then we would end up cutting it,” Meriwether added. This launched a discussion about how television has changed since they started the show a decade ago, with Deschanel sharing a hilarious story about FCC standards. “I remember we weren’t allowed to say the word ‘penis’ more than once, and I was like, ‘what’s the difference between saying it once and saying it three times?'” Deschanel said. However, Meriwether admitted that those regulations often forced them to be funnier, like Schmidt’s infamous meeting with a lesbian OB/GYN for sex tips. “Some of that stuff actually ends up helping comedy,” she said. “I think some restraints force you to be creative.”
As to whether or not there would be a New Girl reunion episode in the near future, Meriwether would prefer to have the dust settle a bit first, considering the fact that they’d only been off the air for three years. “I think we need a little more water under the bridge is what I’ll say, but yeah,” Meriwether said. “When it feels right, when the universe says it’s time, I will be there with my little tippy-tap computer writing stuff.”