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Portrait of a Friendship: Jess and CeCe in NEW GIRL

In this occasional series, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore writes about girlhood friendships as they are depicted in pieces of art – film, fiction, photography, etc. 

I wasn’t really a Zooey Deschanel fan before the show New Girl came on the TV- all that it-girl twee-ness was a bit much for me. And I’ll admit that this season I’ve found it to be less hilariously funny than the first two, but I still chuckle now and then. What keeps me coming back for more? Schmidt’s odd zingers, yes, but even more than that, the friendship between Deschanel’s character, Jess – a neurotic, funny school teacher – and her best friend from middle school, CeCe – now a fashion model. That Jess is adorable and twee, and that CeCe is a gorgeous Amazon, doesn’t really matter to either of them, because they met when they were ugly ducklings (Jess, of the hefty, dorky variety; CeCe of the too-tall variety), and so- as it is with so many of us who meet at that age- they understand and love each other’s rawest, most unpalatable natures. I applaud show creator Elizabeth Meriwether for keeping this best friendship alive and at the center of the series. Yes, both women sleep with (and love) various men in the show, but in many ways, the central relationship- the heartbeat of the show- is the loyal love between Jess and CeCe, which, in spite of the laughs and hijinks, raises the show to a whole different level of honesty.

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