Chicks & Dicks kinda sounds like something that would have Schmidt contributing to the Douchebag Jar. And yet that was the series we almost tuned into every Tuesday night.
Admittedly, it was always a placeholder, insists New Girl creator, writer and director Liz Meriwether, who told Glamour in 2018, "I knew [Chicks & Dicks] wouldn't remain, but there's so many pilots during any given pilot season that it's nice to have a title that catches people's attention."
And it does quite succinctly summarize her brainchild, inspired from her years "of bouncing from Craigslist sublet to Craigslist sublet" in Los Angeles: A heightened, yet, not all that unrealistic look at a group of twentysomethings living in a loft and trying to get their s--t together.
"It came from me kind of looking around my life and realizing a lot of my friends were guys and me just feeling like, 'Why?'" Meriwether explained to E! News. "They're guys who have been my friends since I was 17. I go to them for really specific things that I don't go to my girlfriends for. It kind of just got me thinking about a sort of wish fulfillment situation where I get to live with my guy friends and they get to tell me what to do, like not to call him and not to wear that."
In an L.A.-area loft, she paired her so-called adorkable lead (more on that later), handbell-playing, pink wine-drinking recently dumped teacher Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) with a collection of still-figuring-it-out men (Max Greenfield's pretentious, yet, lovable Schmidt, Jake Johnson's endearingly hapless Nick Miller, Lamorne Morris' sweet, loyal Winston and Damon Wayans Jr.'s self-assured personal trainer Coach).
Throw in a supportive best friend (Hannah Simone's CeCe), a drinking game no one quite understands but everyone wants to try and a seemingly endless supply of quotable one-liners ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? No, a summer's day is not a bitch") and you've got the show E! News dubbed the best new release of the 2011 fall slate.
Some 10 million viewers tuned in for the Sept. 20, 2011 premiere making it the night's No. 1 show. And though the series' viewership petered out by its 2018 finale, they still delivered the perfect happy endings for their lovable crew.
And with a new fanbase stumbling into the loft during quarantine, the door isn't totally shut on a reunion.
"I feel like people can relate to that sense of camaraderie," Morris recently told E! News. "During the quarantine especially, you're at home probably with roommates or with family, so with New Girl, one of the things that people really enjoyed about the show was our chemistry with each other, but [also] how each character reminded them of someone that they knew, someone that they lived with. I hear it all the time, 'Oh, my cousin's exactly like Schmidt. Winston is me.' So when you're sitting at home and you're kinda forced to be in your house watching television, you kinda want something to either help you laugh or at least something that's relatable. I think New Girl did that for a lot of people."
Plus, he added, "You're gonna sit your ass on that couch, you better watch something good. And damn it, New Girl is great."
Unlike Winston's pranking abilities, that take is dead-on. Join us in reflecting on seven seasons because, really, what else are you going to do? As a wise man once said, "The economy stinks, bees are dying, and movies are pretty much all sequels now."
—With reporting by Spencer Lubitz