Zooey Deschanel Fixes That Whole “9/11” Thing

In case you were wondering about the lingering traumatic effects of terrorism on the United States, well, we have exciting news for you. Zooey Deschanel and the cast of the sitcom New Girl have it got covered. Yes, America’s favorite post-modern moppet and her co-stars, whoever they are, have solved the whole “9/11” thing — presumably via continual injections of twee-ness, repackaged hipsterism, pajamas, and “adorkablity.” So, thanks for that, Zooey.

Yes, our long national nightmare is at last over. This according to New Girl executive producer Brett Baer, who gave an interview to the Writer’s Guild of America that will surely never come back to haunt or embarrass him. According to Baer, New Girl is the first “post-post-9/11 show,” so now we’re really really over the national trauma that we experienced, way back whenever it was, what was that date again? We’re post-post over it, so now we’re over even being slightly past the terrorist attacks, whenever they happened, god, who can even remember now?

Here’s Mr. Baer, expounding further on his intriguing theory:

I have a theory about this. When we tested [New Girl], after we put the pilot together, it was strange how people responded. We were all surprised by how connected people were to it during the focus group testing. I was thinking long and hard about it, and I said… “What we’ve done here is create maybe the first post-post-9/11 show.” The comedy in the past 10 years prior to our show had an edge to it. It was satirical. There was a cynicism about the comedy. What our show came along at the right time for — this weird alchemy that happened — is that we were willing for the first time to go, It’s okay to feel again.

Fan-tastic. It’s okay to feel again. …And yes, contrived situations, artfully messy hair, “sexy librarian” glasses, and the self-conscious tilt of a chin solve everything, so no need to cower in fear any more, America — and Afghanistan and Pakistan; hey, where’s that? Zooey with her quirky grin has saved us by letting us feel our feel-y feelings again, so that we can all feel the feelings that we all feel. No more sarcasm and cynical comedy, except for in this particular column, I guess! …Sweet.

So, if you’re keeping score at home, here’s the deal:


      CRISIS:                                                  ABILITY OF “NEW GIRL”
                                                                                TO HANDLE IT:

9/11; FEARS OF TERRORISM.                                             SOLVED.

BUDGET DEFICIT.                                                                   PENDING.

MAYAN CALENDER THING.                                               PENDING.

UNLIKABILITY OF MITT ROMNEY.                                 PENDING.

GLOBAL WARMING.                                                               PENDING.

KILLER BEES.                                                                            PENDING.



…So put away those posters of flags and weeping bald eagles, Americans, and go back to shopping and living your lives. For September 11th has been HANDLED, thanks to New Girl. And not a minute too soon. But hey, wait, why couldn’t other sitcoms HANDLE it before this? …What was the problem there, Scrubs? What was the deal with you failing us like that, uh, 30 Rock?

Anyway, thank you, Brett Baer, for helping us feel our feelings again — and of course, now that Zooey has solved this mess, she can focus more energy on her other side-projects, like her singing career, and making Ben Gibbard eat his heart out with regret. And also dancing with a talking iPhone, she can focus on that. Which is as it should be. Because after all, ain’t that America, for you and for me? …Ain’t that America; it’s something to see, baby.  TC mark

images – New Girl


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  • https://twitter.com/#!/Commander_Co0l Tony F.


  • Meghan

    wow. fuck him.

  • http://twitter.com/jadika Jade Thompson (@jadika)

    Oh brother.

  • Jessica

    Baer was the one who said this, so why are you so focused on Zooey?
    Not funny. Pretty dumb, actually.

  • http://beansarecool.wordpress.com Angasa

    The title made it seem like it was Zooey who made the “post-post-9/11” show remark and so, I find it misleading. Also, don’t you think there is a slight chance you’ve overreacted a bit? Especially since he’s talking about how (he thinks) people are feeling already not how the show is impacting those feelings?

  • J.

    Well that was a douche move. Seriously? Putting the nationwide trauma caused by a mega-terrorist attack parallel to the uhm “effects” of this quirky, ~*hip*~ television show? Are you fucking kidding me? It’s nice to want people to move on and forget all that emotional pain, but saying or even thinking that your show has the power to gloss over something that affected not only the entire United States, but possibly the whole world?

    Just… fuck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/oweinama Oweinama Biu


    • http://www.facebook.com/oliveramiller Oliver Miller

      I miss having the “like” button.

      • http://beautyandthepen.com Lana Peric

        I tried to like that comment but then remembered

  • Julia

    Hey, chill out guys. Baer didn’t say that the trauma was over and we’re ready to move on and 9/11 is meaningless and we don’t need to be afraid because of New Girl…that was all the writer’s extrapolation. If you look carefully at that quoted portion all he mentions is a shift in comedy style – from sarcastic and relatively dark, towards Zooey’s cheery dorky attitude. Because had New Girl come out in 2002 we probably would have ripped it apart in seconds. He did not say that everyone was healed by New Girl (no, that was our lovely writer), he just said the show was the first to appeal to a certain side in its audience that might not have been there a few years ago.

    Plus if you actually look at the interview it’s not about that at all. The quoted section was just an attempt he made (“theory” is an important keyword) to explain why New Girl was successful. Of course he’s going to sing the praises of his own show.

    • http://www.facebook.com/oliveramiller Oliver Miller

      “It’s okay to over-explain pedantically in the defense of a self-important douchebag… again.”

      • Julia

        Oops, sorry I wrote too much for you. I was directing my pedantic overexplanation to the previous commenters who didn’t see through your overdramatic and unfounded extrapolations.

      • Julia

        But at least they were kind of funny, right?

    • AARON

      haha, ruthless

  • Jane

    Based on the quote in your piece, it seems to me that he was referring to how tv comedy was affected by the national climate post 9/11, and how New Girl represents that audiences are shifting back to a type of comedy that hasn’t been seen since before 9/11. I didn’t see anywhere where he actually said that the show had healed America…

    • samantha

      I really freaking miss the like button.

  • Bree

    Wow you’re a jerk, she didn’t do anything wrong. I enjoy her looks and humor and ‘self conscious tilts of the head.’ God forbid someone be likeable.

  • SharpieLife

    Even if it’s douchey, he’s right. Get the fuck over it. I don’t see anyone still reeling on Pearl Harbor. Because 1. They’re all dead or dying 2. Yeah, we got over it and aren’t constantly reminded of it as a shifty rallying cry.

    Use the philosophy that you’re told everyday since you were a child and your scraped your knee off of that asphalt YOU GET OVER IT, GET UP AND TRY AGAIN! We’re sick of the rhetoric of Mr. Patriotic. We mourned, and it’s time to get over it an rebuild.

    • http://www.facebook.com/oliveramiller Oliver Miller

      Yes, he is right. Standard sitcom number 1,593 about a zany group of roommates made it “okay for us to feel again.” And no one remembers World War II or Pearl Harbor anymore, we have no national holidays or movies about it, you have truly nailed it.

      • riatarded

        hahahahaha Oliver you are funny! I like it! :D

  • SharpieLife

    And yes, god forbid that actually likable characters come back into style. Tired of the constant stream of shitty cold, sociopath, douchey to just be douchey(and we’re supposed to like them) pieces of shit permeating the screen. Fuck off, this article is stupid and misleading

  • http://www.facebook.com/514FMK Alex Mathews

    Parks and Rec isn’t cynical or satirical…neither is Raising Hope, nor Glee (unfortunately)…I can think of several other shows as well. I don’t understand what Mr. Baer means by post-post-9/11 comedy.

  • http://gravatar.com/cocoblogs cocoblogs

    destroy your television.

  • Tiffany

    It is unwatchable. Awful, awful show. And that’s coming from someone who watches a lot of bad T.V.

  • http://netflowers.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/new-girl-tv-series-2011-imdb/ New Girl (TV Series 2011) – IMDb « Netflowers – HOME

    […] Zooey Deschanel Fixes That Whole “9/11″ Thing (thoughtcatalog.com) […]

  • riatarded

    Oh no shit! I commented on the wrong article. Oh boy! :/

    Hmmm this is ironical but hey it was a good read and it was interesting.

  • http://gravatar.com/waicool waicool


  • http://gravatar.com/waicool waicool


  • SL

    yeah this is an example of how theory can come across super super douchey outside of the small group of people that think like you do (im a graduate humanities student–this is like the norm).

    i do see what he’s saying, and for that i have to respond “Glee.” as campy and annoying as the show may be, i think it did move away from cynicism. (30 rock, the office are entirely based on cynicism. Community, also. Probably most others. Parks and rec plays with that line just because Leslie is so damn optimistic-but she’s constantly countered by cynicism so I don’t know if it counts.)
    so. yup.

    • https://thoughtcatalog.com/ Oliver Miller

      He does have a minor debatable point that he’s making… that’s totally fucking obscured by the fact that he’s (1) talking about a crappy sitcom (2) talking about HIS OWN crappy sitcom in an arrogant way (maybe wait for someone else to praise you as the leader of the New Sincerity, rather than doing it yourself), and (3) is a douche using douche-words: “focus group,” “weird alchemy.” So yeah, fuck that guy.

  • E.M.

    Zooey’s overrated. Glad someone has the gumption to speak the truth regarding her lame, vapid television show.

  • Carla

    I don’t see why anyone’s getting their panties in a twist here. TV producers create products which they test with focus groups and then spin the results (or obfuscate them) in order to sell said product so they can continue to have roofs over their heads and money for drugs. Comments are not made to sell their product to the viewing public, but rather people in the industry. TV producers are also inherently douchey, Who gives a fuck about what Baer says? New Girl is lame, only slightly removed from the three camera sitcoms of the 90’s. So don’t watch it. Or watch it with enthusiasm. That’s all you need to do. But if you don’t watch it, they’ll stop shooting the show in my hood and parking/drinking at certain bars will be a lot more pleasant.

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