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Not Really a ‘New Girl’: How Zooey Deschanel Plays the Same Character in Everything

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Zooey Deschanel is Jess on 'New Girl' (Autumn Dewilde/Fox)

Zooey Deschanel is Jess on 'New Girl' (Autumn Dewilde/Fox)

(Television Without Pity) — Zooey Deschanel is polarizing, to say the least. While 99 percent of the planet adores her and her adorable adorableness, others find her shtick irritating. But whether you love or hate her characters (there is no in-between), there's good news: She always plays the same role, so it's easy to decide to watch her in (adorable) action or avoid her like a twee plague of kittens and rainbows. Let's look at her most memorable roles and see how they align with her instantly recognizable persona.

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New Girl

Jess, "New Girl"
Quirk: Total dork who has no idea how beautiful she is, enjoys "Lord of the Rings," and making up songs about herself.
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: He's yet to be seen (or, more likely, his feelings have yet to bud), but trust us, it's only a matter of time.
Does She Wear a Sundress? Yes, when she's not wearing her PJs and crying to "Dirty Dancing."
Does She Sing? Constantly. It's the easiest way for her to express emotions.

[Check Out Photos From 'New Girl']

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Our Idiot Brother

Natalie, "Our Idiot Brother"
Quirk: A young, bisexual, aspiring stand-up comedian living in a Brooklyn loft, Natalie lives the ultimate hipster life. She even picks up odd jobs as a nude model.
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: Despite being in a committed relationship with Cindy, Natalie attracts the attention of her artist friend Christian. It's undetermined if he found that light, but she definitely got pregnant from their one-night stand.
Does She Wear a Sundress? She sure does.
Does She Sing? No, but she is onstage doing her comedy act when we first meet her.

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(500) Days of Summer

Summer Finn, "(500) Days of Summer"
Quirk: She is the exact definition of quirky.
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: Frustrated/depressed/moping artist, Tom.
Does She Wear a Sundress? Dozens of them.
Does She Sing? Yep. She covers Nancy Sinatra's "Sugar Town" at a karaoke bar.

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The Simpsons

Mary, "The Simpsons"
Quirk: As Cletus's daughter, she knows a thing or two about taking care of cows. She's particularly sweet and generous for a Spuckler child.
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: Bart -- that is, of course, until he's forced to marry her.
Does She Wear a Sundress? She's really more of an apron-over-dirty-jeans type of girl (which, to be fair, is a slack-jawed yokel's version of a sundress), but her wedding gown is simply decorated with a Confederate flag and a dead possum.
Does She Sing? No, but she does teach Bart how to milk a baby cow. It's pretty damn cute.

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Weeds

Kat, "Weeds"
Quirk: Let's see: She's a kleptomaniac sexpot from Alaska who stabbed Andy Botwin with an icicle, wrote a book about it, and is on the run from a bounty hunter named Abumchuck. And she gives something called "heart hugs."
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: Andy, for a brief time, and the young impressionable Shane. He was willing to go to South America with the damn girl.
Does She Wear a Sundress? Yes, sometimes over jeans.
Does She Sing? No, but she likes making salads and dancing to Outkast.

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Trillian, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Quirk: How's dating a two-headed alien work for you?
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: Dorky English Arthur Dent.
Does She Wear a Sundress? The futuristic space equivalent: a powder blue space suit.
Does She Sing? Not this time; she's got Earth to save.

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Elf

Jovie, "Elf"
Quirk: A shy, down-on-her-luck department store elf with a great voice but a crippling shyness.
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: Buddy. All he wants is to make her happy and treat her to the world's greatest cup of coffee.
Does She Wear a Sundress? The winter is too cold in New York City for a dress, so we have to settle for her cute elf work uniform.
Does She Sing? Um, yeah. Her voice not only charms Buddy, it also freaking gets all of New York City to believe in Santa and save Christmas.

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All the Real Girls

Noel, "All the Real Girls"
Quirk: She's an irresistible, wise-beyond-her-years virgin.
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: Paul, who is usually a total ladies' man who can't hold down a relationship.
Does She Wear a Sundress? Nah, it must not be allowed in boarding school.
Does She Sing? Maybe that school had a bad music program, too.

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Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel, the actual person
Quirk: She is indie royalty, apparently sweet as a peach in real life and one of the founders of HelloGiggles.com. She's aware of her hype and told New York magazine, "You can still be girlie and maintain your power."
Lost Person Finding the Light in Her: Besides the American public? For a while, she was dating hipster fave and "Bored to Death" star Jason Schwartzman. These days she's married to Ben Gibbard, lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service.
Does She Wear a Sundress? Often.
Does She Sing? She's in the band She & Him, who are so super-cute and are coming out with a Christmas album, which we may or may not purchase.

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