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PopWatch Confessional: The popular thing you just don't get

Another fall, another TV season… another year of people telling me that I just have to start watching New Girl.

“It’s gotten so much better since the pilot!” they’ll say. “Everyone is funny now, not just Schmidt — and it handles the will they/won’t they romance better than any other sitcom — and Zooey Deschanel’s wardrobe is adorable!

All that may be true. But every time I give New Girl another chance — and at this point, I’ve watched at least three or four episodes — I’m left totally cold by it.

Objectively, I should love this show: It’s a fast-paced, goofy comedy aimed squarely at my demographic. (I’m a 20-something female city dweller who enjoys wordplay and sleeveless A-line dresses.) It’s also one of the few comedies on TV created and run by a woman, which wins it automatic points in my book. Yet whenever I fire up an episode of New Girl, the show fails to resonate with me. I don’t laugh at its jokes; I don’t identify with its characters; I don’t swoon when Nick and Jess make goo-goo eyes at each other. It’s not that I think the series is bad, per se — I just think it’s not for me.

Which got me thinking: In the back of everyone’s mind, there must be some extremely popular, critically acclaimed TV show, movie, musical artist, etc. that they know they should like — but can’t seem to get into. EW’s staff has more examples:

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Zooey Deschanel talks trembling at early auditions, sexism, and writing a letter to 'Vogue' at 17 -- VIDEO

This month, the MAKERS site, an initiative by PBS and AOL celebrating the pioneering contributions by women over the last 50 years with video interviews describing their own journeys, shines the spotlight on Women in Hollywood. On Sept. 12, New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel joins the ranks of those profiled, and we’ve got a sneak peek at her interview now. Watch it below.

She shares the letter she wrote to Vogue about an article titled “America’s Beauty Ideal” when she was 17: “I don’t think any woman should have to feel as if she needs to shove herself into an ‘ideal’ to be beautiful. Beauty should be something that is celebrated and something that is enjoyable, not something that people should feel uncomfortable about achieving… ” She speaks about sexism: “It’s sexist to think that somebody can’t act in a girly way or speak the way I want to speak or to assume that I’m not a strong and intelligent woman because of my appearance.” And she talks about what drew her to New Girl, which returns for its third season Sept. 17: “It was so refreshing to get to do a role that is sorta the clown. That was something that I could always do but never had the chance to do because, you know, you’re playing someone’s girlfriend or friend who’s shaking their finger and normal.”

She also opens up about her entry into acting — driving herself to auditions after school when she first got her license and shaking because she was so terrified.
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EWwys voting is on! Races are close -- like 10 votes close

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Yes, it’s the weekend, which means you should have plenty of time to scroll through the nominees for the 6th Annual EWwy Awards, which honor the Emmy-snubbed, and vote for your favorites. As I’m typing this, 10 votes separate first and second place in one category; 46 votes in another, and 194 votes in a third. You could be the difference between someone having to explain why they have a tiny statue of a black gold sheep on their mantle and someone not having that pleasure.  Vote now!
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Aziz Ansari wants 'Scandal' to crossover with 'Parks and Recreation': Here are 5 other crossovers we want to see

Odds are, if you’re a television lover, you have more than one favorite show. And sometimes, you might get to thinking about what it would be like if those worlds collided. And while most of the time, it doesn’t work — Mad Men and The Carrie Diaries?! — there are a few instances where things just might click. For Aziz Ansari, that moment involved an intense binge-watching session of Scandal and dreaming about being in the presence of the woman-in-white, Ms. Olivia Pope.

“I’m such a big fan of the show,” Ansari told the LA Times. “I watched it in a few days. I was obsessed with Oliva and Fitz. I was obsessed with the voting card thing. I was obsessed with the weird naked fight. I was obsessed with everything.”

So how does he think a crossover between Scandal and Parks and Recreation would work? “I secretly believe they are in the same universe. I think Harrison and Tom are college roommates and they used to have an R & B group together called … Too Much is Not E-Nuff. We have to shoot that, the crossover episode. It’s really simple: There’s some sort of issue that Leslie needs to deal with, and then Tom’s like, ‘Duh, lemme call my guy’ and then it’s like boom, boom, boom, glitter, glitter, glitter, Pope & Associates magically appear. Ann who? It’s Knope and Olivia Pope now.”

We don’t hate this idea. Leslie does have a few things that could be “handled.” And seeing the perfectly dressed Harrison in any sort of R & B outfit would just be heavenly. And this got us thinking: What other shows would we love to see collide?

Here are a few crossovers we dreamed up:
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Fall TV Wish List: Where should 'New Girl' go next?

Here at EW, Fall TV Wish List is a new weekly series in which our TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen weigh in on what they hope the coming season will bring for some of their favorite shows. This week: Fox’s New Girl, which premieres its third season on Sept. 17 at 9 p.m.

WHERE WE LEFT OFF
At the end of season 2, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) got their big, John Hughes-finale moment and made out in a parking lot to the strains of a dramatic love song; Cece (Hannah Simone) dumped Shivrang (Satya Bhabha) at the altar; Elizabeth (Merritt Wever) and Cece forced Schmidt (Max Greenfield) to choose between them; and poor, lonely Taylor Swift ran off with her sweet Shivvy so she’d never have to cry into her journal again.

WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT LAST SEASON
Melissa: So many things. Great physical comedy. One-liners that capture Schmidt’s “bromain” so well, you could screen-print them on a freshly ironed muscle tank top. (The best: “They make shoes for your penis. They’re called pants.”) The very funny “Virgins” episode, which added depth to characters that don’t normally get much screen time (Lamorne Morris’ Winston!) and finally — finally — gave us that elevator-door-jammingly urgent hook-up between Nick and Jess. Also: Nick’s tortured face when that random Asian man cuddles him. Elizabeth embarrassing Schmidt with her favorite kitten t-shirt. And all the other times that this self-aware show acknowledged that even fans of cuteness can only take so much of it before they cringe.
Jeff: What Melissa said. New Girl continued to be a welcome guest in the TV queue, thanks mostly to the comic chemistry and camaraderie of the cast. It feels like the actors can tackle anything the writers throw at them, from zombie Woody Allen impressions and to hallucinatory wrestling matches with invisible trolls. Episodes like “Halloween” and “Virgins” brilliantly synthesized slapstick, cracked-ribald laugh lines (“It was like a wind-sock on a windless day”), and character-driven storytelling. And the Jess-Nick hook-up was well-mounted (so to speak) and almost everything I hoped it would be (sorry). What Max Greenfield was to the show in season 1, Jake Johnson was to the show in season 2: an inspired breakout performance that deserved an Emmy nod. Robbed!

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Pop Culture Pet Peeve: Your apartment is too big

Plenty of things are unrealistic about television: No iconic moment in my life has ever been accompanied by Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Can Happen,” despite how much I wish it were. But the perpetual tiny-but-annoying quirk that most shows are guilty of is the unemployed twentysomething with a fabulous apartment. I’m onto you, Girls: No matter how much junk you throw around in Marnie and Hannah’s onetime-shared living space, it doesn’t hide the fact that they’ve got a ton of room. I live in New York City; I know you’re lying to me.

This isn’t anything new, of course. The go-to example is usually Carrie Bradshaw and her ridiculous Manhattan apartment with its gorgeous walk-in closet full on Manolos when her only source of explained income was a weekly newspaper column. But while everyone loves some good 1998 nostalgia (the Friends’ West Village apartments are another egregious example), the trend of the unbelievably large home isn’t fading away. READ FULL STORY

Season Finale Round-Up: Our TV critics on 'The Office,' 'Bates Motel,' 'Doctor Who,' 'Arrow,' 'Nashville' and more

‘Tis the season to end the TV season. A time of apocalyptic cliffhangers, teary eyed goodbyes, and of course, angry runaway wedding-crashing badgers. Speaking of spoilers: There will be a lot of them in our critical assessment of the year’s most notable finales so far, from The Office to Nashville to one not-so-happy Happy Endings. If your DVR cue is clogged with deferred climaxes… well, you should get that checked out, because it sounds painful. You should also not read everything that follows this colon: READ FULL STORY

EW's Morning Bite: And the best sound bite from last night is...

Submitted by Bk: 

 “I don’t think the badger’s actually rabid. I think he’s just kind of a d–k.”

–Jess (Zooey Deschanel) on New Girl

Check out the rest of your picks for Tuesday, May 14 and come back tonight to share your pick for best bite!

Read more:
‘New Girl’ season finale react: Always a Bridesmaids
‘The Mindy Project’ finale react: Definitely, Mindy!
‘So You Think You Can Dance’ recap: Expect the Unexpected

'New Girl' season finale: Always a Bridesmaid!

It’s closing time, Newbies. Hard to believe 25 episodes have come and gone this quickly. But as a wise man once said, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” What that means for Jess, Nick, Schmidt, Winston, Cece, Schivrang, and… Taylor Swift? Well, you’ll just have to click through. Fair warning for everyone who hasn’t seen tonight’s episode: Stop now because there are SPOILERS AHEAD! READ FULL STORY

'New Girl' star Jake Johnson takes the EW Pop Culture Personality Test -- VIDEO

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Tonight’s New Girl finale sees a definitive conclusion to the will-they-won’t-they saga between Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson). “They come to a point where they’re at a crossroads together,” Johnson recently told EW, “and they address it and do something about it.” After last week’s episode, when Jess’s opinionated father (Rob Reiner) returned and put a wrench in the almost-couple’s relationship, there are a lot of questions to answer: “Yes, they’ve got a thing together; yeah, they like each other a lot, and there’s chemistry,” says Johnson, “but is that enough to try dating? Or are they not ready and not the right match?” He teases, “It all comes together at the wedding.”

Before that, though, Johnson sat down to take EW’s Pop Culture Personality Test. Between talking Michael Jackson jackets and Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, he shared a traumatic childhood memory involving an Oliver Stone film. Click through to find out which film scarred him for life, then scroll down to find out how Johnson’s research for the finale led him to compare a chart-topping boy band to prison inmates.

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