Last year everyone fell in love with Zooey Deschanel on New Girl. I already knew Zooey Deschanel was great. I fell in love with Liz Meriwether. Meriwether created New Girl, and she and Zooey were making goo goo eyes with each other on stage at their Television Critics Association presentation.
I spoke with Meriwether last year and followed her on Twitter year round. I even earned a reply when I tweeted that the episode “Bad in Bed” was the episode of New Girl I’d waited my whole life for. She said, “Me too.” Meriwether was hanging out at this year’s Fox party too so I caught up with her for some exclusive New Girl season two scoop, and it was like picking up right where Twitter left off.
Liz Meriwether: That it’s the best show of all time?
Fanhattan: Well, yeah, I’ve tweeted you one episode was the episode I was waiting my whole life for.
LM: Oh yes! Yes, thank you.
Fanhattan: So I was wondering, I live by myself. Am I missing all sorts of wacky adventures I could have with roommates?
LM: Just get on Craigslist. You will have a wacky adventure. I don’t know if it’ll be like our show but you will have a wacky adventure. I feel like it’s always great to have people around because even if you hate them, something interesting is going to happen. We’re all so alone and isolated these days with our computers, it’s good to have friends, even if they are annoying. Even if they’re like Schmidt.
Fanhattan: I still go out and associate with people, but I don’t have to deal with their…
LM: You don’t have to live with them, yeah. But I think something changes when you live with them because you have to see every side of them and that can be interesting. Not just the sides that they present to people in public. Even though I’m so happy I don’t have roommates anymore, I kind of miss it. I kind of miss coming home to weird clothes on the ground, weird people in my apartment.
Fanhattan: So after putting 24 episodes of the show on the air and getting a great reception, do you get this feeling of, “Wow, people get me?”
LM: [Laughs] No. I mean, it’s great. I try to just think about the show. It doesn’t feel like me. It doesn’t feel like totally just me anymore. It feels like a lot of different people so it’s really a good feeling. I don’t want to abuse that.
Fanhattan: Maybe I’m assuming too much about you, but where I’m coming from is very few people get me so it’s really special when someone does. I would imagine maybe you had that feeling and finally you made a show that’s your personality and everyone got it.
LM: Yeah, it does feel really good but I genuinely feel like it isn’t totally mine anymore and I think that’s really good. I think it’s good that it’s a lot of people.
Fanhattan: It seemed seamless to us, but was it hard to find a groove after Winston replaced Coach in the pilot?
LM: It was hard but I think we learned a lot about what we needed from that character. I feel excited about him for this season because I didn’t really think that we got to really explore his character this past season because we were still trying to create a character that was different than Coach and recasting and all that. So I’m excited for what we’re doing this season. We’re going to meet his family. We’re meeting his sister, who’s playing for the WNBA which is exciting, and he has to deal with that. It’s a good thing that we had a character that we didn’t fully delve into last year and now we get to. That’s exciting.
Fanhattan: How does it feel to have a second season?
LM: It’s been really good because you sort of have all the jitters of “are people going to get me,” like “are people going to get the show? Is it going to stay on the air? Is it going to work?” All that is lessened and you get to focus on the work and focus on the stories and characters, and that’s really nice. Some of the putting a show on the air stuff is not as intense this year which is really good.
Fanhattan: What is coming up?
LM: In the premiere, Jess gets fired from her teaching job so she’s kind of dealing with that for the first nine episodes, just figuring out what to do with her life and who she is, if she really wants to keep teaching and what that means. She’s a little unhinged which I think is great. It’s great to meet her at this place where her whole life is kind of in flux again which is really exciting. She needed to go a little unhinged I think.
Fanhattan: What shows do you enjoy?
LM: I just watched Episodes which I really thought was hilarious. I love those two actors from Green Wing, the BBC show which I loved. I’m a little behind on my TV by the way. I really watch everything. I watch Parks and Rec and The Office and 30 Rock and Girls, all those shows. I love TV. Also Homeland I’m obsessed with.
Fanhattan: So not just comedies, everything?
LM: Yeah, I try to watch as much as I can. I think everything informs everything else so I try to watch a lot of stuff. I’m trying to think of anything weird but I can’t.
Fanhattan: What do you know about being a show runner now that you didn’t before?
LM: It’s good. I feel like I can calm down a little more. Not everything is an emergency, you know what I mean? You’re able to understand when something’s an emergency and when something’s not. It’s what I’ve heard having a second child is like. I’ve heard that with a second child you’re not as running to the emergency room every time that he’s coughing.
Fanhattan: Do you have a first child?
LM: I mean our season, our first season. So I feel like this season I’m already a little more calm about it.
Fanhattan: Will you still tweet with me?
LM: I will of course tweet with you. I can’t wait. Thank you.