Thursday, January 6 2022

In the popular sitcom New Girl, Nick Miller’s character writes a zombie novel with a remarkable number of similarities to the Twilight series.

In the early seasons of New girl, Nick Miller writes a zombie novel with a remarkable number of similarities to the dusk series. Created by Elizabeth Meriwether, New girl was a sitcom that aired on Fox from 2011 to 2018, centered around the dynamic between an eclectic group of roommates in their 30s sharing a loft in Los Angeles. In the pilot episode, bubbly teacher Jessica “Jess” Day (Zooey Deschanel) moves into the apartment with lazy bartender Nick Miller (Jake Johnson), marketing associate Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and arrogant personal trainer Coach. (Damon Wayans Jr.), who was replaced by Winston Bishop (Lamorne Morris) in the second episode. Although the show was canceled after a brief seventh season, New girl has enjoyed continued streaming success on Netflix.

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Besides being a bartender who dropped out of law school, Nick is an aspiring writer, though he often lacks the motivation and dedication to complete his projects. Towards the end of the series, Nick finally manages to write a young adult detective story loosely based on his own alter ego, Julius Pepperwood. Nick adopts the character of this Chicago detective to go undercover in a writing class taught by Jess in New girl season two episode, “Pepperwood”. In the first seasons of the series, Nick also speaks often about a zombie novel he’s working on, although the season two episode, “Eggs, reveals his procrastination tendency.”


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When Nick meets Jess’s dad, Bob (played by Rob Reiner) in the New girl Season two episode, “Parents,” he shares details about his zombie writing project, revealing similarities to another popular book series. As Nick describes the story elements of his novel, Bob recognizes a resemblance to the The Twilight Saga, a popular series of books written by Stephenie Meyer. Although Nick initially rejects any connection between the two, it turns out that he has very little knowledge of the vampire-led fantasy series.


Nick New Girl

Although Nick’s book is about zombies, he is adamant that this is a “relationship story.” The love story at the center of the tale is between a zombie and a human character named Carol, who Nick believes could potentially be made into a movie. It sounds like the vampire-human love story at the center of dusk, which was adapted into a hugely successful film in 2008. The books and films in the sequel are also references to Nick’s zombie novel, which he reveals to also contain a love triangle. Dusk: New Moon features a love triangle between vampire and werewolf, who vie for the attention of the human protagonist throughout the second book in the series. Even Nick is surprised by the news that dusk has a werewolf because his novel also contains a wolf character.


As Nick begins to recognize the commonalities between his novel and the popular young adult series, he wonders which city dusk takes place in. By discovering that, like his own novel, dusk takes place in Seattle, he simply replies that “whoever wrote this is smart.” Nick’s total ignorance dusk is a joke about his character’s ignorance of pop culture, but is also proof that he didn’t intentionally emulate the bestselling book series. It may also be a reference to a 2014 lawsuit filed by Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold claiming the premise of New girl was a scam of a script for a similar TV series. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed by the judge, a ruling which showed Elizabeth Meriwether was no more familiar with the similar series than Nick was with the dusk franchise.


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