In Defense of 10 Divisive TV Characters We Love

When people hate on a TV character we love, it’s hard not to take it personally. At the same time, we’ve been swayed from the haters’ side on many occasions. For instance, we wrote off New Girl after the mere sight of the “adorkable” tagline, until a sworn fan urged us to give it a shot. We tuned in and were delighted to learn that the show — and Deschanel’s Jess Day — were nothing like what we expected. With Season 2 premiering tonight, we couldn’t help but think how it was just last year that we were rolling our eyes without even giving the girl a shot. So we’ve gathered a few thoughts in defense of Jess, as well as a few other TV characters who tend to receive a lot of flack, but who we believe to be pretty great.

New Girl: Jess Day

As it turned out, New Girl wasn’t just about Zooey Deschanel doing cute manic pixie things as her male roommates fawned. Don’t get us wrong, Deschanel’s Jess is still very weird, but her humanity (like when she destroys her student’s science project or has real, insane fights with her best friends) prevents her from becoming the cute glasses-wearing-girl archetype. Plus, she’s a general lover of women, even those who hook up with her boyfriend (see: “I haven’t talked to him since he cheated on me with that ho! Actually, that’s not fair. She might be a really nice ho”).

At the same time, the girl’s got backbone, as she demonstrated in her thinly veiled “defense of girliness” speech to Nick’s then-girlfriend Julia. In the speech, as you might remember, Jess admits her own judgments (“I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person”) while arguing that inner strength is what’s important. So, as long as the Kermit voices stay in check, we consider this chick A-OK. (To be honest, in terms of characters going off the rails, we’re more concerned about Schmidt at the moment!)