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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).

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Marjorie Ingall says:

Schmidt is my favorite TV Jew.  It’s never smart to overanalyze funny, but I think he’s a real departure from typical portrayals of Jewish men on TV. He’s not an old-school Seinfeldian nebbish, nerd sidekick or sensitive unmanly soul. He’s a buff douche who is an idiot but also book-smart (witness his killer, roommate-shaming trivia champ status). And under all the bravado he’s insecure and loving…and Jewishly way more clueful than most purported TV Jews. Last episode when he thought Cece might be pregnant, and he put his head on her (flat) belly and murmured “I will name you Mordecai… Abraham… Menachem Mendel Schneerson.” That was some high-quality in-crowd Jewmor right there.

6224163015 says:

Dispite the claim that Jews control Holywood, how often do you see an admirable Jew on TV.
The heroic lawyers are never Jews. A Jewish lawyer is a shyster. Always. The only heroic Jew on TV, and possibly the only positive portrayal, is Ziva David on NCIS. And she’s an ex Mossad assassin. And played (very well) by an Hispanic actress. The fellow in New Girl may be funny, I don’t find the show worth my time. But would you want to actually know him? Have your daughter/sister date/marry him? Are there any Jews on TV in the last 10 years you admired?


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Network Jews: Schmidt From ‘New Girl’ on Fox

This week in Jewcy, our partner site

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