by: Addison Bell
Everyone knows who she is. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t. Her sitcom “New Girl” debuted this Fall and its success has landed it a full season of episodes. In October, she performed the National Anthem at the World Series (she has been criticized for leaving early, but everyone knew that the Cardinals were going to win, so no big). Her band She & Him, co-founded with M. Ward, just released a holiday album, which debuted at #12 on the Billboard 200. Last Wednesday, she was nominated for a Grammy for the song “So Long” from Winnie the Pooh.
Yes, Zooey Deschanel is everywhere and is making a name for herself. But at what cost?
With the launch of New Girl, many are saying that Zooey’s cuteness is getting old. She’s too quirky, too awkward, too indie-mainstream. Another popular claim is that Zooey is the quintessential Manic Pixie Dream Girl (or MPDG). Film critic Nathan Rabin describes the MPDG as a “bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”  Examples of MPDGs are Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown, Natalie Portman in Garden State, Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, and, of course, Zooey in (500) Days of Summer.
Maybe people have legitimate arguments, but they’re clearly wrong. First, Zooey’s cuteness will never get old. That’s like saying Julia Roberts’ smile will get ugly. Second, Zooey is awkward and a little weird. But so are you and I (just think about the last conversation you had with a crush). Thirdly, Zooey may well be indeed a MPDG, but riddle me this: Annie Hall is one of the most beloved characters in the history of cinema, so what’s so bad about being a MPDG?
I think there are other reasons why people hate Zooey. Of course, few will really admit it, because hating her is like hating a puppy.
The following is a list of reasons explaining why people hate Zooey Deschanel:
She Ended Up With Buddy
No one knew whom Zooey was when Elf came out in 2003. But she stole hearts during the shower scene in which she and Will Ferrell sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (by the way, read the lyrics to the song—you’ll never be able to listen to it again).
Millions of people watch Elf every holiday season. Why? Because everyone wants to be Buddy. They also secretly despise Zooey because her character ends up with him. Who doesn’t want to end up in the North Pole? Who doesn’t want to work for Santa? It’s the perfect job. Think of the benefits! And Zooey stole it from us. Sure, maybe not a lot of people want to have sex with Will Ferrel, but that’s not the point.
She Kidnapped Shane
In season two of Weeds, Andy’s ex-girlfriend, Kat (Zooey), shows up at the Botwin house. We find out that Andy practically ran away from Kat after he stepped on her Spirit Turtle. One reason why people hated Zooey after her stint on “Weeds” is because she steals the spotlight. For example:
Kat: Are you attracting lesbian vampires?
Kat: Cat having a nose bleed? Big red? Shark week? Aunt Ruby in town?
Nancy: Are you asking me if I’m having my period?
Kat: We’re cycling together! Isn’t that cool?
Clever writing? Yes. Brilliant deliverance? Of course. I’m sure several Weeds fans were annoyed with her character, but she was hella funny.
But then Shane (Nancy’s son), who is infatuated with Kat, runs away with her. People were probably like, “That bitch kidnapped a little kid!” False claim. Shane is a brat. Yeah, he lost his dad and his mom isn’t really there for him. But he had it coming. How about the fact that Kat is being hunted down by an Alaskian bounty hunter? Forget the kid, let’s see that action.
Winter Passing Made Us Want to Slit Our Wrists
Not many people know about this indie sleeper, co-starring Will Ferrel and Ed Harris. Probably because Zooey does not fulfill MPDG standards in it. When I watched it, I stayed in bed for a week because it made me that depressed. Everyone is so used to a happy-go-lucky Zooey, a Zooey that people picture running through a field of daises. Her cuteness is basically an anti-depressant.
Not in this film. Zooey plays Reese, a gloomy girl who smashes her knuckles in drawers, sleeps around and drowns a kitten. Yes. Zooey drowns a kitten. Talk about throwing people over the edge.
Seeing Zooey depressed and being a snarky bitch is liking discovering that Minnie Mouse was secretly cheating on Mickey with Goofy or finding out that Donald went to rehab for a drug addiction or watching Pluto being put down. It’s too much to handle. A lot of people were probably outraged when they watched Winter Passing — because they expected Zooey to fall in love Will Ferrel and sing a jazz number. Not the case. Sneaky, Zooey. Sneaky.
She Made Us Hate Our Sister
In Almost Famous, William’s big sister, Anita (Zooey), is responsible for his journey. When her overbearing mother pushes her over the edge, Anita leaves and becomes a stewardess. But before she goes, she gives William her records, which include Simon and Garfunkle (her mother confiscates it), Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, and the Who’s Tommy. She also says to William, “Listen to Tommy with a burning candle, and you’ll see your entire future.” Of course, William follows his big sister’s instructions and travels with the band Stillwater.
When people watched this movie, they became angry — because they never had Anita as a sister. Did your sister ever give you vinyl gems? Did your sister ever say “feck you” to your mom and become a stewardess? I didn’t think so. Everyone thought they had the best sister in the world, but then they saw Almost Famous.
Zooey Broke Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Heart
In (500) Days of Summer, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls madly in love with Summer. Throughout the course of the film, we see the rise and fall of their relationship. Summer ends things with Tom over pancakes (she even goes as far as comparing them to Sid and Nancy, Summer being Sid). Even as Tom walks away, Summer yells, “You’re sill my best friend!” Lies. Tom becomes miserable, doesn’t get out of bed and loses his job. Depressing? Yes. Realistic. Definitely.
A girl breaks a guy’s heart. Big deal. The problem, however, is that Joseph is hot. Correction: hott. Girls (and boys) cannot handle seeing such hottness being dismantled by a cute girl. One minute, he’s singing Hall & Oates in the park, and the next he’s eating from a can (don’t judge, we’ve all been there).
At one point, Summer says, “There is no such thing as love. It’s a fantasy.” This is reason number as one as to why people hate Zooey Deschanel: they want fantasy. I’m sure hundreds of viewers really wanted Summer and Tom to end up at the end — because hundreds of people still believe in happy endings. But Summer proves that there is no such thing. This is why some people view Summer as Satan. A Satan who loves the Smiths, holding hands in IKEA, loves the word “penis” and shower sex. Tom didn’t even stand a chance.
You can hate Zooey for a lot of reasons. She broke your heart, made you relapse with your depression. Or she stole your dream job, made you realize that you really do have a shitty sister. You probably think that Zooey is out to destroy you.
But the number one reason why people hate Zooey Deschanel is because they will never be her. In Almost Famous, she says, “One day you will be cool.” False. You will never be as cool as Zooey. She has exceeded cool and has gone on to something higher, something more superior. So put away your vinyl, your vintage clothing and stop taking Polaroid pictures. There is nothing you can do except dream. So dream on, friend. Dream on.
Addison Bell is a senior at DePaul University where he is studying English Literature. He is the President of Oxfam DePaul and volunteers with Oxfam America, an organization dedicated to ending world hunger, poverty, and social injustice. Follow Jacob on Twitter @boy_1904 and on Tumblr: colourmegreenwich.tumblr.com.
 The Onion A.V. Club composed a list of 16 MPDGs. http://www.avclub.com/articles/wild-things-16-films-featuring-manic-pixie-dream-g,2407/