The Zooey Deschanel phenomenon

By : Marina Gephart

In a world where lounge music never went out of style, where 60’s shag bangs and day-dresses make up the only acceptable outward appearance, and where singing and dancing serve as a form of therapy, Zooey Deschanel is queen. Luckily for Deschanel—an actress and singer appearing in Elf, (500) Days of Summer, Yes Man, The Happening, and the offbeat comedy Our Idiot Brother among many other films— the U.S. is completely infatuated with her brand of awkward quirkiness. Not to mention, her Portland-based, indie rock duo She and Him is all over alternative radio stations across the country.

Her latest venture is the very popular show New Girl, about a young woman named Jess Day, who after having a nasty breakup with her boyfriend, goes out on her own seeking independence. Coincidentally, the plot seems to carry over into her real life: Deschanel recently divorced her husband, Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard, and serves as a producer, composer, writer, and lead in the show.

Prior to New Girl, Deschanel carried an almost cult following, and it seemed that everybody who knew who she was loved her. Even Perez Hilton, who mercilessly embarrasses and shames celebrities, expressed his positive feelings for her in many blogs, one even titled “We LOVE Zooey Deschanel” which describes her as being “so cute and [having] such a wonderful voice”.

New Girl gave hungry fans a chance to watch her on a regular basis and due to the placement of the show—after Glee on Fox, a popular show and network— it brought in lots of new Zooey fans as well. According to, the pilot and second episode of the show were the top-rated shows on their air dates. The show continued from September through May in its first season and is now set to return for a second season.

Essentially, Zooey Deschanel has brought back sitcom-comedy in a world of mindless reality shows, and her hard work is paying off. Be aware of the second season in the late summer for a good laugh.