Monday, February 18, 2013

Character Appreciation Post: Winston Bishop ("New Girl")

In every show, there are some characters that are more underappreciated than others. New Girl is usually not one of those shows, mainly because of how cohesive the ensemble is and how often different sets of characters have the opportunity to share screen time with one another. But the truth is that amidst the Nick/Jess and Schmidt/CeCe and all the other crazy shenanigans, sometimes we forget about Winston Bishop. It’s not that we love him any less than we love the rest of the group – at least, that’s not how I feel. New Girl, quite frankly, is the one show where I have equal love for each character in the loft (and CeCe) and can honestly say that I don’t have a least favorite character. 

But today’s post is celebrating the wonderful, weird, amazing Winston Bishop. I was a bit disheartened, after viewing the pilot, that Damon Wayans Jr. would not be staying on the series due to his commitment to Happy Endings. But when Lamorne Morris (@LamorneMorris) joined as Winston, Nick’s old friend who had been in Latvia playing basketball for the past few years… well, I fell in love with him instantly. And truly, at the end of “Kryptonite,” I KNEW he was a special character because of how he put on a woman’s hat and stepped up to defend Jess, a woman he barely knew. And Winston just got better from that point.

My collaboration buddy, partner-in-crime, and basically soul mate Jaime and I decided that we wanted to do something together and I suggested character appreciation posts! There are so many wonderful characters on television that we don’t get a chance to celebrate as often as we should (nor do we get a chance to really celebrate the actors and actresses who portray them), so we thought this would be a great way to put our heads together and come up with some of our favorite moments that showcase some of the best characters on television. These aren’t necessarily all characters who are underappreciated, though. I think the whole point of the character appreciation series is just going to be to APPRECIATE various characters on shows who deserve our appreciation. Sounds like a plan, no?

Then let’s look at the vast array of Winston Bishop moments that both Jaime and I love, shall we?

Those guys were jerks, but I know they’re glad you’re around. […] They’re not gonna come out and say it though. Especially Nick. (“Wedding”)

I absolutely loved this scene, especially the brief one preceding it where Winston sits down and blows bubbles with Jess. This was only their second episode together, but it was really nice to see Winston be the character who seeks his female roommate out and makes sure she’s okay. Nick and Schmidt can be a bit egotistical and selfish, and often hurt Jess while trying to help themselves (and then eventually admit they were wrong... eventually). 

Winston is a great character because he genuinely cares for Jess, from the very beginning. And as we saw in “Marriage” a few weeks ago, he’s more concerned with Jess staying in the loft and being their roommate than he is with Nick – Nick Miller, a person he has known since childhood. I think it speaks volumes that Winston goes to lengths to be there for Jess.

Damn, Schmidt, in our bed? Where we shave each other? I've always loved you. You're my boo.

You were denied a cell phone because you have the credit score of a homeless ghost. (“Fancyman”)


I think this scene is one of the first that made me REALLY laugh on the show in general and also in regards to Winston’s character. He and Schmidt were both so committed to their banter and to the feelings stick that they were comedic GOLD.

There are, however, very few moments that cause me breathless laughter (the end tag of “Remedial Chaos Theory” is one of them), to the point where I am rolling around on the floor, clutching my sides. The New Girl equivalent of this moment was thanks to Winston Bishop, who sang two songs from my absolute favorite musical: Wicked. The hilarity that ensued when he sang along to the soundtrack in the car (with, unknowingly, Schmidt and CeCe in the trunk) cannot be quantified. Just… go watch this scene. Really, Lamorne Morris should win awards for singing “Popular” and “Defying Gravity.”

The other quotable moment that always comes to mind in regards to Winston is from “See Ya.” (And I am sure that, just by the title, you all know where this is headed.) When Nick ends up driving the roommates into the desert because he’s terrified to move in with Caroline, he tosses his keys into a canyon, eliciting anger and frustration from Schmidt and Winston. The former wanders around the area, searching for the lost keys and begins to stray further from his friends. When Winston expresses his concern, he utters one of the best lines ever written on the show:

Winston doesn’t just have fantastic, comedic scenes though. Sometimes he spouts sage wisdom:

Most recently, Winston was featured in an episode titled “Cooler” – one that, for all intents and purposes, is merely regarded as THE EPISODE Nick/Jess fans delighted in. After my initial state of delight, squealing, and flailing over the kiss between the two, I rewatched and was able to appreciate the Winston/Daisy story in the episode.

One of the things that Lamorne Morris really excels at is line delivery. If you listen to the way he says ANY of his most hilarious lines, you realize that it would be hard to hear any other actor say the same words and laugh as hard as you do when Morris utters them. During a rousing game of True American, Winston attempts to get past his new insecurity with talking to women through the help of Daisy. Drunk and REALLY insecure, Winston then utters the line Jaime and I text to one another on pretty much a daily basis.

Truly, Winston Bishop deserves his own appreciation post because of how flawless, hilarious, and also amazing he is. He’s sweet to Jess, hilarious in his relationships with Schmidt and Nick, and really just perfect all-around. And, if you need more convincing… here are some GIFs.

So congratulations to Winston and Lamorne for kicking off our first ever Character Appreciation Post! Throughout the coming months, Jaime and I will be teaming up to bring you some more amazing moments from our favorite television characters. And here’s how you all can help: see that comment box below? Drop the names of some deserving television characters in there. Who do YOU all think needs to have their own appreciation post next?

As always, feel free to fire away suggestions and comments. And don’t forget – follow me on Twitter (@notajenny) or subscribe to this blog for the link to my Community “Conventions of Space and Time” review on Friday!

Have a great week. :)

1 comment:

  1. Nice tribute. Lamorne Morris plays a totally unique, nuanced character. The other characters get the spotlight, but he's the one I'd hang out with.