After the show largely disappointed in Season 3, New Girl's Season 4 premiere was a surprisingly entertaining improvement. The jokes were funny, the plot wasn't shattering any conventions but it did the trick, and all of the characters actually seemed like themselves for the first time in ages. But one more thing became evident in "The Last Wedding," and you may want to sit down for this one: Zooey Deschanel seems to be growing out her trademark bangs. This is not a drill.
She's pulling the center split, swipe to the side move. I've seen that move. I've done that move — albeit without the assistance of FOX's best and brightest hair and makeup designers, who made it look pretty cute. Yep, sure as every middle schooler has awkwardly tried to bobby pin overlong bangs to either side making a halfhearted attempt at a center part, the girl who made bangs a part of her cultural identity is growing them out.
There's been reason to fear this for a while. In 2013, Deschanel appeared on a red carpet with her bangs pushed back. She barely looked like herself, and pairing it with some bad makeup didn't help — she ran back to her more recognizable style immediately. But when it comes to Jessica Day, the makeover is more surprising. Even Jess' flashback self wears thick-rimmed black glasses and has long hair with bangs. But after last season's disastrous relationship with Nick Miller, maybe Jess is ready for a change. She hasn't been wearing her glasses as frequently onscreen, and we can now see her forehead for the first time in four seasons.
Jess and Nick still have to live together in order for the show to, you know, exist, and the writers can't make big changes to how their characters behave because it would disrupt the chemistry of the group. There aren't many options for them to explore to give Jess a post-breakup update. So while it may seem kind of minor, why not give the character a literal makeover if she also needs a character makeover? Jess has come a long way from the "adorkable," too quirky to function, singing out loud girl from the pilot. Now, her constant rewatching of Dirty Dancing would feel extremely out of place. She's still sensitive and a little weird, but they've toughened her up.
So to mark how far her character's come, it's fair game to change Jess' look. It might better fit her new attitude, even though it'll be extremely hard to get used to seeing the New Girl without bangs, glasses, and adorkability. Now I guess it's time for the zeitgeist to leave bangs behind, too. Between this and the death of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, it's gotten a whole lot harder to write a twee female character in an indie romantic comedy.
Images: Patrick McElhenney, Greg Gayne/FOX; Giphy (2)