A proponent of polka dots, fake eyelashes, and crooning with a ukelele on YouTube, it’s no surprise that Zooey Deschanel quickly became the media’s favorite person to hate. When her critics wrote her off as an indie sex symbol and paragon of cutesy hipsterism, we went along with them without objection. We readily hated her in (500) Days of Summer, for her proximity to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but most of all for her wishy-washy character, Summer. And we tired of seeing Deschanel in sweet-singing girlfriend roles opposite funny men like Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell. And when she did take the lead in the zippy sitcom New Girl, it seemed (at first) that she was just extending the same ditzy doll character we’re so used to seeing her play. Since reading Amanda Hess’ Slate article in defense of the actress, however, we’re beginning to think we’ve been unfair to Zooey. Here, we look back at some of her most redeeming moments.
Zooey loves making a fool out of herself
Last year’s Emmy Awards saw Deschanel play off her critics and poke a little fun at herself in Jimmy Kimmel’s absurd opener, feigning her “I can’t believe I won” face, along with Mindy Kaling, Christina Hendricks, Lena Dunham, and Kathy Bates. And though she didn’t win anything, we wish she had, just so we could see her pull that face again.