A love letter to ‘New Girl’ as it departs from Netflix

The iconic show is leaving the streaming service, and fans are not happy.


Aaliya Luthra

After finding a home on Netflix after debuting on Fox in 2011, “New Girl” will be leaving the streaming service. (Illustration by Aaliya Luthra)

Julia Diorio, Contributing Writer

Last month, Netflix announced that “New Girl,” the cult classic TV sitcom that follows a quirky schoolteacher and her three roommates, would be leaving the platform on April 9. Although it’s relocating to Hulu and Peacock on April 17, fans of the series have long been accustomed to its place on the popular streaming service. Netflix subscribers everywhere are mourning the loss of characters Jess, Nick, Schmidt, Winston and Cece. 

“New Girl” originally aired on FOX in 2011 and follows teacher Jessica Day, also known as Jess, after she moves into a Los Angeles loft with bartender Nick, marketing associate Schmidt and personal trainer Coach. Together, they created an “adorkable” sitcom for the 2010s, dealing with everything from a Prince cameo to learning to grieve a parent. 

The loveable comedic drama that was nearly 20% improvised each episode showcases natural chemistry between actors. As the show progresses, you start to find Jess a little less annoying, grow to love Nick and crave the chance to tell Schmidt that it’s not always the end of the world if you can’t find your driving moccasins. 

While the show was already a huge success on the air, it grew miles in popularity once it was added to Netflix. It has become one of the platform’s most popular shows and has been nominated for five Golden Globes and five Emmys. The show’s ever-evolving rotation of guest stars, from Taylor Swift to Brenda Song, helps create a repertoire of memorable moments in all of its seasons.

Although “New Girl” is known for its comedy — and deservedly so — there’s also something to be said for its plot. The characters go through relationship ups and downs, career mishaps and overall emotional breakdowns that are all relatable to the show’s many viewers. The show’s direction creates a natural flow for conversations between characters rooted in improvisation.

The series wouldn’t be the same without True American, the drinking game often played by its characters and the catalyst for many of its comedic highs. While no one is really quite sure what the rules of the game are — or how each character could possibly remember so much from their high school U.S. history class — the chaotic and impulsive nature of the game creates some hilarious moments. 

The creators focus primarily on developing the show’s characters rather than on plot structure, relying on the characters’ personalities and the actors’ improvisation skills to drive the story. The idea was to create a story with the quirky side character as the protagonist, something that Zooey Deschanel, who plays Jess, seems to have been born to do.

A part of the show’s appeal is the tremendous growth the characters go through, and watching as they learn to let go of their youth and become mature adults. This is seen in Nick as he follows his dream of becoming a bestselling author and in Cece as she finds a new career in bartending after years as a model. Schmidt makes a fantastic stay-at-home dad, and Winston finds love in his best friend and partner in the police force, Aly. 

“New Girl” combines everything sitcom fans love about classics like “Friends” and “Seinfeld” with more modern themes and character experiences, making it a go-to for crashing on the couch at the end of a long day. Above all else, the show’s consistent ability to make fans laugh, relatability and charming cast of characters will be sincerely missed by Netflix viewers.

Contact Julia Diorio at [email protected].