How Did ‘New Woman’ Change into a Netflix Lifeboat?

Netflix apparently has New Woman on the mind. On Monday, Enterprise Insider reported that the flailing streaming service has pinned Elizabeth Meriwether’s sitcom to a imaginative and prescient board, writing in inside paperwork that its programmers would like to greenlight one other New Woman–esque comedy collection.

In response to a number of paperwork from the trade’s high companies shared with Insider, Netflix is actively in search of out “large, broad tales that may be instructed on a finances” that additionally comprise a “hook” and distinct perspective—collection that emulate Netflix originals Emily in Paris and By no means Have I Ever. However maybe extra tellingly, the paperwork additionally cite New Woman—a broadcast present whose seven seasons all now stream completely on Netflix.

Most of the well-liked sitcoms that after drew subscribers to Netflix’s library have since left for different platforms: Buddies for HBO Max, The Workplace for Peacock, and—this fall—Schitt’s Creek for Hulu. However New Woman, the quintessential hangout present with a unusual edge, has been a tried-and-true title for the streamer since 2013. The collection stars Zooey Deschanel as Jess, who rebounds from a breakup by shifting right into a loft with a gaggle of male roommates she met on Craigslist. What seems like the beginning of a true-crime plot is made charming by the charisma of stated roommates—fumbling Nick (Jake Johnson), nerdy Winston (Lamorne Morris), and womanizing Schmidt (Max Greenfield), who will finally fall for Jess’s elusive pal, Cece (Hannah Simone). Damon Wayans Jr.’s Coach, who left after the present’s first episode for the short-lived however adored ABC sitcom Pleased Endings earlier than returning to the loft in season three, rounds out the solid.

After wrapping its 146-episode run in 2018, New Woman’s legacy was established as a consolation present for youthful millennials and members of Gen-Z. However what was as soon as a well-regarded sitcom morphed into a necessary rewatch in March 2020. On the pandemic’s onset, a flurry of essays about New Woman’s bingeability circulated on-line. Viewers celebrated Jess and Nick’s well-executed will they, gained’t they romance, the gang’s rowdy consuming sport True American, and the unhazardous male friendships on the present’s heart. In a time when many traditional exhibits are being reconsidered for his or her problematic themes, it appears New Woman has aged remarkably nicely. (Though like its most blatant forebear, Buddies, the present can’t resist placing one among its actors in a fats swimsuit for some adolescent flashbacks.)

New Woman’s resurgence has led to a strong presence for the present on TikTok, the place the collection’ hashtag has greater than 2.5 billion views—and spurred iHeartRadio to launch a rewatch podcast, Welcome to Our Present, hosted by Deschanel, Morris, and Simone. In 2020, the collection turned one of many yr’s most streamed titles, in keeping with Nielsen. All of this knowledge is probably going candy music to Netflix, who has pivoted away from half-hour dramedies equivalent to Grasp of None, as famous in Insider’s reporting, and towards the kinds of exhibits streamers name “elevated broadcast.”

As New Woman was ending in 2018, some argued that it represented a dying breed of network-TV comedy. Vulture’s Jesse David Fox referred to as the present “simpler” than the office comedies it as soon as shared airwaves with, together with 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. It was “low stakes, low idea, pretty episodic—whereas sustaining a degree of comedy that also appealed to urbane, nerdy, pop-culture-savvy varieties,” he wrote. In the identical piece, Fox in contrast the collection to skinny denims—a as soon as sizzling development that the zeitgeist had shirked in favor of cable and streaming.

Practically 5 years later, although, community tv and streaming appear to be much less differentiated than they as soon as had been. Broadcast networks like ABC make the most of next-day streams to spice up the visibility of recent exhibits like Abbott Elementary. In the meantime, streamers like Netflix are hoping to carry onto subscribers by greenlighting content material that hits the identical candy spot as exhibits like New Woman.

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