Hating Zooey Deschanel Is The New Liking Zooey Deschanel

There exists three cardinal sins in the world of pop culture: There is being a white girl who uses the N-word freely in her terrible, terrible rap songs, there is being an absentee father to a Kardashian baby, and there is telling hipsters what they are supposed to like. Hipsters, zine-writers, alternative cool people all wrapped up in their sweaters made of Alpaca and smug superiority — they know what they like, and they know what they don’t. To in any way even imply that you know what is “edgy,” “alternative,” or, God forbid, “indie” is akin to telling active combat veterans you “totally know what they went through.” And when pop culture decided that Zooey Deschanel, with her forehead-devouring bangs and her sparkly little eyes, would be forced down our throats as all things just weird enough to be cute — well, the hipsters didn’t like it. They didn’t like it, and they took to their blogs, en masse, to tell you just how not into it they were.

I’ll be the first to admit that Zooey is not my cup of tea. I’ve taken a little crack at her here and there — a one-liner even appeared on this very site — but I’ve never felt the overwhelming urge to retire to the warm comfort of Microsoft Word and bleed out a 2,000 word screed on how she ruins my life. When it comes down to it, I just don’t think she’s a very good actress, and she has a shtick. I’m not big on schticky actors. I don’t, however, ascribe to her cutesy little dresses all that is wrong with modern society, the portrayal of women in the media, and the stagnation of 20-something men everywhere. And this puts me in something of a minority amongst young internet writers, as the new thing to do is, ostensibly, hate everything she does with the kind of passion usually reserved for war criminals and serial killers. She is deserving of so much umbrage, so much resentment, so much righteous indignation, I’m not sure if she doesn’t insult orphans and put cigarettes out on kittens and I’m the only one not aware of it.

Take, for example, her recent rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner at the World Series. A perfectly “meh” interpretation that showcased her monotone, not-bad-but-not-great vocals that were once so charming in Elf. She wasn’t my favorite performer, but neither are most of the people who plod through sporting events to promote their new — err, I mean, honor their country. Either way, it was alright. Cut to the next morning, though, and the blogosphere is a veritable angry mob, complete with pitchforks, torches, and effigies of be-fringed women in baby-doll dresses. That performance was not just bad, it was INSULTING TO OUR VERY COUNTRY’S HONOR AND TRADITION. One would have thought she’d taken the original copy of the Declaration of Independence, urinated on it, and sang the Soviet national anthem as she flipped off a bunch of handicapped children carrying sparklers.

And yeah, her new show is pandering and stupid — but so are ninety percent of sitcoms out these days. Since when do we have this incredible gold standard for stupid, rom-com-esque sitcoms about a bunch of twenty-somethings living in an apartment? That’s right, we don’t. We just hate Zooey Deschanel, and want to drag her through our 140-character-or-less mud. We want to act as though suddenly, a one-dimensional female character and a bunch of dopey, milquetoast guys trading lame puns is somehow an affront to our delicate sensibilities, when really, that’s pretty much the formula for any and all sitcoms since the big bang (theory). See what I did there?

Anyway, the reason we hate her is probably pretty straightforward. She’s the Uncle Sam of MPDGs, pointing at us from our screens and asking us to join in her doily-covered world of conversations with sock puppets and philosophy based on the writings of Maurice Sendak. And though this is just another shallow, boring character archetype — like all the rest we are only to happy to swallow — she insults our intelligence by parading as “different,” “indie,” “originial,” and “representing the weird girls.” And if you’re actually a girl who, like Zooey, doesn’t really know how to act around people and makes weird statements all the time — you know how very un-cute the world finds it. Essentially, Zooey’s character (and there is only one) has mild Asperger’s, but because she is very good-looking, people find it charming. The hipsters hate it because it’s co-opting and bastardizing their precious, adorable, alternative style and making it into something fake — but worse than fake, it’s being made accessible.

But just because your favorite “type” is the new one being turned into another boring, Hollywood cut-out, there’s no need to get so angry. Don’t worry, Zooey Deschanel doesn’t make your Smiths-liking girlfriend any less original, and she’s not going to come into your apartment at night and redecorate with a bunch of cutesy bullshit. Live and let live, and blog about something really offensive — like how completely inaccurate the Two Broke Girls portrayal of Williamsburg is, like, you have no idea. TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


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  • http://hysterikaren.wordpress.com/ Karen

    Now, there, you’ve captured it. Sure, she’s monotone, but there are worse things (and people) we can rave about. And that being said, I still like her the way I did when I first knew of her (which wasn’t when she was playing the Smiths-loving Summer).

  • Brandon

    you should watch “the zooey deschanel show” by noel kristi. maybe you already have. it’s gold. 

  • Guest

    ” Zooey Deschanel, with her forehead-devouring bangs and her sparkly little eyes, ”
    uhm… sparkly LITTLE eyes???? Nothing little about those eyes I’m afraid

  • http://www.facebook.com/antoniowatson Antonio Watson

    Wait, so why am I supposed to hate this person?

    • http://www.facebook.com/antoniowatson Antonio Watson

      Updating: I just saw Zooey Deschanel on The Late Late Show last night.  She’s charismatic, adorable, and does have a slightly funky voice but nothing too outlandish or annoying.  I like her.

  • Caitsherly

    friends and strangers say i’m a spitting image of Zooey and I take it as a compliment, she’s adorable and a jack of all trades. and I’d like to same i’m quite similar. Not great at anything, but good at some things. She’s a good musician, a good actress, a fashion icon to some [me] etc. Stop the hate! people have obsessed over worse [less worthy] things.

  • Elias

    accessibility is so gauche

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    “Essentially, Zooey’s character (and there is only one) has mild Asperger’s, but because she is very good-looking, people find it charming.” – Nailed it.

  • CT

    Is this real?

  • http://mrianmbelcurry.tumblr.com/ Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

    I like Zooey Deshanel in yes men. And Big Trouble. She has a website called Hello Giggles with a TC writer “Molls.” I haven’t seen the show. Hipsters are just arty bohemians but with a new name and wear certain shit. I like Zooey Deschanel.

  • A I Lipstein

    she’s beautiful

  • http://twitter.com/layzrr Matthew

    I had to google MPDG.

  • http://twitter.com/mung_beans Mung Beans

    oh man, fuck The Big Bang Theory

  • Jasmine

    maybe we all just hate zooey deschanel because ‘new girl’ is really fucking boring.

  • Anonymous

    She’s kind of a real-life Mary Sue, and it’s kind of fascinating.

  • http://twitter.com/RESEWON Theresa Won

    she’s not my cup of twee, either. 

  • Sophia

    The Big Bang Theory is awesome. New Girl is not. There’s a difference.

    • Jack

      Big Bang is a generic sitcom masquerading as “intelligent.” It’s the same schlock as every other bullshit show CBS peddles.

      • Guest

        agreed, but sheldon is still awesome.

      • Leah

        Yes, but the show is a huge hit, and it is still funny. CBS may not have the best, most well thought out shows ever, but they still appeal to the general public. The Big Bang Theory is a very successful show. It has won many awards. But, you don’t care about that because you’re too damn cool, right? Don’t try to act all superior, you twat. 

      • LavishLady

        I’m sorry but….how does it “masquerade” as being intelligent? I don’t remember anyone ever promising me that I was actually going to learn something from watching it. As several others have pointed out, it is JUST a sitcom….only so many formula(s) for that genre.
        Unless you have the NEXT BIG AMAZING IDEA for a tv show, stfu.

    • http://twitter.com/hrhment Hunter

      That comment seemed well thought out. Good Job.

  • serena

    omg so much hate. find a better story to write about other than writing hundreds upon hundreds of words just to bash.

    • Dunno man

      Did we read the same article?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jess.hurst1 Jess Hurst

    As someone whose best friend is an actual MPDG, let me say this: Zooey’s characters are boring as fuck compared to the real thing.

  • Shwax

    I liked this article as a whole: from how it rips on Zooey for legitimate reasons while also defending her against baseless criticism just because it’s the thing to do to acknowledging that her new show is awful.

    But mostly, I enjoyed this for the big bang pun and the play it made on those stupid shows.

  • Ali

    I don’t even know who this girl is. =(

  • garbagegirl

    I love her in 500 Days of Summer. Not sure in New Girl. Too much hate you got there missy.

  • Taylor

    Zooey is vastly more interesting and palpably “deep” than 98% of her Hollywood counterparts. Is the Literally The Best Thing Ever? No, but I mean, I think she’s talented and genuinely gorgeous. She’s like the polar opposite of the Kim Kardashians of the world who are talentless plastic-surgery addicts.

    • Taylor

      *is she Literally

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508371039 Rayan Khayat

    I honestly went from liking her to hating her to loving her now. I always shunned She & Him but they’re really good. New Girl sucks but she’s cute in it. There’s nothing to really hate about her.

  • Soundofhumility

    I hate Zooey Deschanel because she’s married to Ben Gibbard. And, he’s meant to be my husband.

    • Maryfaithjames

      They’re getting a divorce!!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/amseries AM Santos

      But they already separated. (Nov 1, 2011)

  • LavishLady

    I like Zooey (and her sister). I enjoy movies she’s been in (anyone remember her in The New Guy??), and I actually like her voice.

    My question is why does something have to unpopular to be respected? I know most “mainstream” content is hyped up (or just plain shitty) to a certain extent. But sometimes a show/song/movie/person is popular for a damn good reason…..its AWESOME.

    Regardless, ZD’s career is gaining momentum. So why is her success synonymous with “selling out” or, God forbid, becoming less obscure? I say, good for her.

    And yeah, New Girl is a tad boring. But fuck you, 2 Broke Girls is HILARIOUS! ;)

    • Anon

      Yeah seriously 2 broke girls is fucking funny

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