Good Versus Evil: ‘New Girl’ Gets Philosophical

By John Popham

May 19, 2022

2013 Winter TCA Tour - Day 5
Photo: Getty Images

Are people essentially good? Or are they inherently evil?

Zooey Deschanel’s "Jess” channels her inner Greek philosopher for a New Girl episode full of deep philosophical questions and a creepy (or maybe misunderstood) landlord.

Deschanel revisits her with role with former castmates Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone on their podcast Welcome to Our Show.

In the season one episode, “The Landlord,” "Jess” is on a mission to prove to her roommate “Nick” that all people are good on the inside. Her cynical roommate, however, couldn’t disagree more.

“The cold open is very different than most cold opens on the show,” said Deschanel. “It starts this argument about if people are inherently good or inherently bad.”

To demonstrate she’s right, “Jess” puts up with a lot of crazy behavior from total strangers, including her building’s lonely landlord. The argument between her and “Nick” gets so wild, they get in a game of chicken with the oblivious property owner who thinks the two are trying to seduce him.

The three actors also share that Bruce Willis was almost cast as the episode’s titular proprietor, but the show’s producers never heard back from his agents. Instead, the role went to Jeff Kober, who took a break from his role as “Jacob Hale Jr.” on Sons of Anarchy to play the unsettling building manager "Remy."

To hear Deschanel, Simone, and Morris breakdown the entire episode, as well as their opinions on good vs evil, check out "The Landlord" on Welcome to Our Show, the weekly New Girl rewatch podcast and can be found on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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