One of my favorite shows on television is New Girl. For those of you not i. The cult following with me, I will give you a little background. The show features a spunky school teacher named Jess who moves into a loft with three male roommates. There are plenty of discussions to be had about the shows representation of gender, race, etc. but I would like to focus on what it says about class difference by focusing on two characters: Nick and Schmidt.
These two characters have been friends since college, and while they may live in the same place, there is very clearly a vast difference in the amount of money they make. Schmidt has a high paying corporate job while Nick is a bartender. There are plenty of jokes made about their differences in wealth, but the important thing is the reasons that are illustrated for their different situations, and what they suggest about class difference as a whole.
Right off the bat, we know that they both attended the same college, so it is made clear that neither one of them had opportunities that the other didn’t. Nick went on to law school after graduation but wound up dropping out during his final year. This is all information we gain on the first few episodes, and it automatically puts the idea in our heads that Nick is in a lower paying job because he is lazy. He had the chance to be a lawyer but he gave up at the last minute. Schmidt ,on the other hand, has had a position with his company for years, and throughout the show, we watch him make many advancements and achievements in his work. We are also made to have no sympathy for Nick in his situation because he clearly had the means to attend both college and law school, so he has no excuse for not being in a better position.
You also find out, if you watch even one episode, that Nick is incredibly ill tempered. He is constantly irrationally angry, aggressive, and blows up on somebody in almost every episode. Schmidt is much better at keeping his cool, especially in a work environment. Nick is also completely inept at anything that adults do everyday like cooking, managing money, and even maintaining his personal hygiene. He is always in a dirty shirt and jeans and often doesn’t even have clean underwear. Schmidt however, eats healthy, has a great deal of wealth, and has a closet full of suits organized not only by color, but photographed in a binder to pick out the best one for each business meeting. Schmidt paints the picture of an ideal employee while Nick has almost no desirable qualifications. Once again, we are shown that Nick’s lack of success is due to his own shortcomings.
Lazy, aggressive, unintelligent, under qualified, poor work ethic.These are all qualities often associated with the working class to explain their financial situations, all of which place all the blame solely on their shoulders rather than anything g class. None of these qualities are necessarily true about the members of the working class, but these stereotypes are incredibly common. In this show, the characters Nick and Schmidt are beat friends and even live in the exact same apartment. But these stereotypes are still clear as day and make it known that people are in certain economic positions in life have only themselves to blame.