I may have written this in the past, I know I’ve told people this before as well but I believe that I am the closest thing to a real life Schmidt from New Girl. And this may be me just being a narcissist, which he is also, trying to relate myself to one of my fave TV characters played masterfully by Max Greenfield, but hear me out. He’s Jewish, I’m Chinese – same thing. He was fat right up until he left school – so was I. He was a theater kid, hello?? While in school we were communications students. And now we as adults are both working in advertising/marketing agencies where we work predominantly with women. He has a weird thirst for knowledge of Japan, as do I. We are both the flamboyant one in our male friend groups. We both are bad at lying, are people pleasers, and we let our intrusive thoughts win – we let our balls hang. It’s a marvel how none of my housemates ever imposed a douchebag jar on me.
But even through all the funniness, the style, and the flamboyance, in reality there’s just this shy fat kid who is clearly doing all of this as a defensive mechanism to feel loved and accepted. I think that’s what makes him such an endearing character. Even if at times he says some pretty outlandish things about women or about how he’s a bit of an elitist, the audience is smart enough to realize that he doesn’t really mean what he says. That’s just how well of a written character he is. Even his roommates/friends realize that Schmidt really is a good guy, whenever he says inappropriate things.
And in all the madness of Schmidt, he really does have incredibly likable traits. One of the traits that I find very endearing is that he’s unwilling to give up on things. Partly because he’s trying to appease everyone but you know that when it comes to taking care of Nick or Cece, he’s balls to the wall. Him on his wedding day? Him trying to convince Cece’s mother to accept him? Him trying to date two women at the same time because he can’t let go of either of the – oh wait never mind the last one. As a toxic people pleaser myself, I sometimes do think that I probably need to be a little more resilient for my own goals, like he is. Sometimes I’m too concerned about making others happy that I feel like I’m giving up something that I want. In a way maybe I need to be more Schmidty.