Zooey Deschanel’s ‘New Girl’ staying single for story sake

Good news for all those guys who think they still have a chance with Zooey Deschanel of Fox’s “New Girl” (Tuesday nights at 9).

Her character, Jess Day, isn’t going to rashly plunge into any deep, committed relationships, at least for a while.

Liz Meriweather, who created, produces and writes “New Girl,” said Tuesday that Jess will remain a little cautious despite some recent signs of a spark with her roommate Nick (Jake Johnson) and despite the fact we’ll see her with a new guy for a couple of weeks starting Tuesday.

In that Tuesday episode, titled “Thanksgiving,” we meet Paul, played by guest star Justin Long.

He’s a teacher at Jess’ school, and he is,” says Meriweather, “the female version of her. He’s the male form of adorkable. He carries around a kazoo.”

A kazoo?

“I fought for that kazoo,” says Meriweather. “You know how they say you should pick your fights. I chose to stand and fight for the kazoo.”

Jess’ three roommates, who also include Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) are a little ambivalent about this.

“I think they’re happy she’s in a relationship, but they’re also a little worried for her,” says Meriweather. “And they’re worried that this guy might be hanging around all the time.”

This being a sitcom and all, there’s naturally a scene where they all get together to get acquainted Tuesday. Of course, that turns into a disaster.

Jess has invited Paul for Thanksgiving dinner, thinking it will be warm family fun. Heh, heh.

“There are some surprises,” says Meriweather, one of which is “a turkey in the dryer. If you’ve always wanted to see a turkey in the dryer, be sure to tune in.”

Paul is still scheduled to stick around for a couple more episodes, though Meriweather doesn’t suggest that will set up a round of competition with Nick.

Nick and Jess did share a tender moment at the end of last week’s episode, but Meriweather warns not to read too much into that, at least yet.

“Where they are in their lives now, it’s not the right time for either of them,” says Meriweather. “The show is really more about male and female friendships, and that’s what they need to work on first.”

As if to underscore that point, Meriweather says she put elements of herself into all four of the roommates.

She sometimes walks around singing like Jess, she says, and she sometimes hides under a hooded sweatshirt, like Nick.

Unlike Winston, however, she adds, “I did not play NBA basketball.”

In the larger TV picture, Meriweather says she’s been gratified to see the number of new sitcoms this season with prominent female characters.

“I love them all,” she says. “And I love that all the characters are so different. People sometimes think there’s just one kind of ‘female comedy.’

“So I’m really happy to be part of this. Whatever it is.”

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