Alright, listen, I'm not sitting here claiming that I had this idea first, or that I'm the only one who has ever been in this position, but I am SICK of TV shows glorifying my (former) lifestyle. It was just not the pretty, hilarious picture the big Hollywood Studio machine makes it out to be. But I will be the bigger person here, and I have decided to try and get into the show The New Girl.
This is certainly not the first show that has aggrandized the "one female living with men" situation. I watched the show My Boys, and though it was cancelled, it at least made an effort to bring some elements of reality to it. I liked that show. It was pretty funny, and not just in the cliched "Boys are smelly and girls are wimps" kind of way. So I appreciated that.
Anyhoozle, so now I feel obligated to support The New Girl, starring the alt-heroine Zooey Deschanel. So far, she's the bumbling, awkward kind of gal I think I can relate to. Although she is FAR too cute and adorable to be capable of handling typical male behavior. (Oooh, but the guys on the show have something called a "Douchebag Jar" so that's very funny.)
The problem with these shows - these of the "lone girl who's living with tons of guys" genre - is that they make the whole scenario positively flawless. Note: Guys are NOT capable of appreciating the quiet eccentricities of, say, a girl's pampering night. They don't come home and get all adorably uncomfortable when you have a face mask on. They scream bloody murder, ask what happened to your face, and then ignore you until you're made up again. They don't sidle up to you and have a touching conversation about inner beauty while they smear the goop on their own face. THEY DON'T DO THAT.
And while it's not news that guys can be stinky and messy, it's certainly not that simple. Mostly because girls - spoiler alert! - are stinky and messy too. We just aren't as, um, PROUD of it.
It's also very important to note that men who live with other men will never seek out the opinion of the lone girl. They'll have the other guys wax their backs, they'll tell the other guys about their dates and ask their advice, (clothing advice is the only possibility), and they'll never EVER be all open and helpful when a girl comes to THEM for relationship advice. Realistically, it's more like a girl has to aggressively jump into the guys' business, and pull them into hers. It's a process, people.
At best, when a girl moves in with a frat-load of boys, the only thing that happens at first is Moderate Tolerance on everyone's part. The girl stays out of their guy's nights, and the guys avoid her Book Club at all costs. There are no cute hugs, no overly-friendly long glances across the stove, no hilarious jokes. It's a dog-eat-dog world in there, and the girl is the one with catnip pants. Meaning: Your average guy will have no interest in chasing around the girl to get to know her. Unless she's Elle MacPherson when she moved in with Joey on Friends. But let's keep it real, none of us is Elle MacPherson. For the most part, guys will just be busy peeing in whatever area they'd like to mark (metaphorically speaking...mostly) and balking at the amount of hair products in the bathroom.
So far the show is pretty predictable. Poor, sad, adorably clueless girl moves in with three guys who are cliches of guys. But then just now, the scene came (already!) when the girl with glasses is suddenly H.O.T. and all the guys stop and tell her how great she looks. Again, NORMAL GUYS DON'T DO THIS. They'll be like "Whoa, you have all that eye makeup on!" or "Are you, like, going somewhere or something? And if you are, can you pick up a case of beer on your way back?"
Oh, oh, oh! Flaw #4 in the show! One of the guy roommates just gave up the opportunity to see his ex-girlfriend who he still loves because - awwww! - he has to go check up on his brand new girl roommate because she got stood up. Then all the guys rescue her from the humiliation of sitting alone at a restaurant (Knights in Shining Armor? As if!), and their bond strengthens. They say things to her like "The guy is a jerk. We care about you. We like you. Don't cry!" and....OMG. No, this is not happening. The three guys SING THE DIRTY DANCING SONG TO HER IN THE RESTAURANT.
And what?! Then they all go home and WATCH DIRTY DANCING together?! Oh h-to-the-ell no.
Well that was horribly disappointing. I have a feeling that girls everywhere will start to be all "I need to move in with guys!! They are SOOOOO awesome and funny!" But I feel completely qualified to say that Yes, living with the right guys can be awesome and funny. However, you have to work really hard because as a girl, it's primarily up to you. You can't nag. You can't be hyper-sensitive. You have to learn how to dish out clever insults, and you have to have a healthy interest in sports, reality TV, and constant competitions. Without these things, the only way you're getting in with the guys is to either be super-hot, or frequently invite over your super-hot girlfriends for pillow fights and too much wine. Sorry, but them's the rules.
I sooooo wanted to like this show. And I will probably watch it again because I'm not overly-judgmental like that, but so far I'm not impressed with the level of commitment to reality of The New Girl. It's the Melrose Place of inter-gender living situations. Wholly unrealistic, yet insanely desirable.
Anyhoozle, thanks for letting me set the record straight. Being a girl and living with guys is not for the weak. It's only for a very, very lucky - yet small - group of girls that I am proud to count myself a member of.