Prospectus: Nonverbal Communication and Jess Essay

Submitted By pettyjor
Words: 2058
Pages: 9

Jordan Petty, Erik Lauritzen, Walker Hills, Ian Dean, Paul Barish
D. Chimovitz
COM125 Block 6:30-8:30
November 19, 2013
“New Girl We chose the television show “New Girl” because of its striking similarities to our group. The chosen episode is from the first season called “The Landlord” which originally aired February 7th, 2012, soon into the first season of the show. The various characters of the show are for the most part intended to be comical, but also real-life representations of all types of modern people. There is Schmidt, who is very concerned with his self-image and very modern, taking on a more house wife type of role for the roommates cooking, cleaning, and decorating. Winston is a has-been athlete past his career who used to live with the men before, and is just returning. Nick is the cynical, heartbroken handyman who “fixes” anything that needs it in the apartment in his own way and is very emotionally vulnerable after his breakup with his longtime girlfriend. Jess is the newest roommate who moved in after a bad breakup with her boyfriend as well, and is overall a quirky character. She sings wherever she goes, assumes the best of people, and is kind of ditzy to adult life. Their complementary relationships in the show all contribute to the adjustment of living with different people gender-wise, culturally, and emotionally. The realistic sense of the show for the modern audience is centered on a college audience or just having graduated. Schmidt, Jess, and Nick are all in the workforce and Winston is not, but the show does not truly focus on their jobs as much as their roles in making the housing situation work. This is what made “New Girl” such a good choice for this project, because it is entirely about interactions in the group and how they adapt to and resolve conflict as new situations arise. In our chosen episode one of the large themes is trust. It presents itself as optimistic and pessimistic outlooks in Jess and Nick, but the entirety of their conflict is based around the fact that people cannot be trusted to Nick, and are inherently good and can be trusted by Jess. Jess has seen behavior that could be deemed not trustworthy, in the episode it cuts back to when Jess was a girl. A windowless van pulls up and offers her candy, which she happily says yes to, and the man’s grandma is in the back of the van because she made too much candy! This would be a situation that would be deemed non trustworthy by our standards, but because she trusted him, got a confirming response, and did not act with precepts, the behavior continued and Jess has a positive outlook on life and perhaps misguided trust in others. Nick on the other hand cuts back to his childhood when he finds five dollars on the sidewalk, holds it up and says, “Look out college, here I come!”, and quickly gets it taken and pushed into the bushes by a jogger. This single event disconfirmed Nick’s trust in strangers. Nick is most pessimistic towards strangers, but he even asks Jess, “How did you live on your own this long?”, and discounts her feelings and her way of thinking. The entire discussion of trust is engaged by the road raged truck driver with a gun who becomes very aggressive when they both want the same parking space. Nick tries apologizing and giving in, giving him the parking space, but Jess tries reasoning and kindness which works and makes the man leave. You could say that even with such a brief character interaction, the man did not know how to channel his anger to react proactively instead of reactively, and there may be even more deep seated reasons, such as childhood abuse, previously nonassertive behaviors bottling up, or vulnerability. Jess tries to handle the conflict by exchanging perceptions, where even though it is limited, she tries to describe, express, specify, and note behavioral outcomes with her emotions and hand gestures. Later, Jess is trying to convince the guys of their landlord’s good nature;