When it was announced that Megan Fox would be filling in for Zooey Deschanel in Season 5 of New Girl, many fans were surprised. Yet although Fox is known primarily for her roles in action blockbusters like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Transformers Franchise, she has quite a lot of comedy experience. One of her first breakout roles was on the sitcom Hope & Faith, and she has also starred in a few SNL sketches.
So far so good: Megan Fox is clearly a good fit for the sitcom. She'll be playing Reagan, a "straight shooting pharmaceutical rep" who has some romantic history with Cece. And this is where the story gets interesting...
Sparks Fly Between Cece & Reagan
In recent interviews, both Megan Fox and Hannah Simone have commented on Reagan and Cece's relationship.
It turns out the two were girlfriends once upon a time, which establishes Cece as bisexual. This is obviously fantastic, to have a long running character be confirmed as queer, although it's a shame Cece has never expressed attraction to women before. But it seems as though Reagan's arrival is quite revelatory, as Hannah Simone commented to TVLine.
"The first episode that they wrote for Megan revealed that my character and her character had a bit of a romantic past. By the end of that first episode, they’re in the shower together. So yes, her character definitely shakes things up."
It's going to be interesting to see why Cece and Reagan would do something so intimate as shower together, especially considering Cece just got engaged to Schmidt (who is uncomfortable with Cece's old flame coming into their lives).
And here's the rub: although New Girl Season 5 will feature not one, but two bisexual women (hooray!), it already looks like their relationship exists primarily to titillate the audience.
Will Reagan's Sexuality Be Fetishized?
There's definitely a danger here of pre-judging the situation. Megan Fox's first episode has yet to be aired, and it's possible that in order to promote the show, all the interviews have focused on the sexy element of Cece and Reagan's relationship.
"We really were in the shower, and they really were dumping buckets and buckets of water on us, and we were just trying to hold on and get through it … I lived out every heterosexual man’s dream." - Hannah Simone, US magazine.
On its own, this wouldn't be too much of a problem: exes often stir things up when they return, and it's possible Reagan wants to rekindle something with Cece. But although Megan Fox (who is openly bisexual) has confirmed Reagan is bi, it looks like the character's sights are set mainly on men.
"The thing that I need [Nick and Winston] to decide on is who's going to have sex with me tonight."
TVLine reports that Reagan will "have her sights set on Nick" which honestly, seems a little repetitive considering she's Jessica's replacement. Is this to cause friction between the two women when Jess returns? Again, it's too early to tell. And it's possible that Reagan will also express attraction to women, and maybe get a female love interest.
Obviously, as she's bisexual there's the potential for both to happen. But it seems a shame to introduce a queer character to the show, only to fall back on relationships we've seen before. And the worst thing would be if her bisexuality only exists for her one shower scene with Cece, to satisfy the "heterosexual man's dream".
Having said that, Elizabeth Merriweather is a great showrunner. The past seasons of New Girl have been fantastic, featuring very positive portrayals of gender and sexuality. So Season 5 could go either way: by introducing a queer element to the show, New Girl could be a success for bisexual representation... or we could get another example of female characters whose bisexuality is mainly for viewer titillation. Here's hoping Reagan falls under the former category.