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A Case Study In Hotness: TV's New "It" Girl Edition

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | September 9, 2011 |

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | September 9, 2011 |

Introduction and Purpose

You asked for it! (No one asked for it.) It’s the return of Science Friday! We’re pulling out the pipettes and firing up the bunsen burners for another Case Study in Hotness. Contrary to popular belief, we here in the Scientific Community don’t spend every waking moment up to our elbows in petrie dishes and technical manuals. Scientists are people too! We, like you, enjoy relaxing at the end of a long day of dissection with a little TV. So it is with glad hearts that we welcome the return of network television, but it’s with an impartial and scientific eye that we examine the new offerings on the schedule. We will endeavor today to answer a question that has been plaguing the Scientific Community: Which new “It” girl will be more sitcombustible this television season?

A side by side comparison of the physical beauty of two actresses will yield concrete and empirical conclusions about their ability to steam up our goggles. Don’t question our methodology, it’s science.

Fig. 1: Okay, sure, the rest of us are confused why you’ve chosen to downgrade from lucrative and viable film careers to television but, hey, if you want to strike a “My Future’s So Bright I Need Oversized Shades” pose, who are we to argue?

1. Zooey Deschanel a.k.a. The “New Girl”
2. Kat Dennings a.k.a. One of “Two Broke Girls”

We here in the Scientific Community firmly believe that physical beauty cannot and should not be influenced by cultural trends and fads. This is not the Sociology Department. (*cough* pseudo-scientists *cough*) To test this theory, we asked our specimens to invade the Highly Scientific Costume Closet and style themselves in non-contemporary fashion.

Fig. 2: Splashy!

Ms. Deschanel has chosen to attire herself in a 40s style swimming costume. Pay close attention, Junior Scientists, to the way in which the specimen has chosen to accentuate certain aspects. Jutting a slim, boyish hip to give the impression of a curve and pursing the Labium superius and Labium inferius to simulate a sexually desirable pout. Points for effort and contortion, but the overall affect is more cute than hot.

Fig. 3: Purrrrfect.

Oh my, given her voluptuous, Hendrixian frame, it’s no surprise that Ms. Dennings opted for the clingy fashion of the 1960s. No need to accentuate pout or curve, this specimen chooses instead to focus on strong, alluring eye contact. Full marks for lusciousness.

Given the apparent pulchritude of both specimens, the Scientific Community was curious how we, the discerning and intelligent television audience, could be expected to buy them as that highly recognizable archetype, The Hapless Single Female. (Other notable females of that species include Mary Tyler Moore, Marlo Thomas, Calista Flockhart and, of course, Renee Zellwegger.) We asked the specimens to revisit the Highly Scientific Costume Closet so we might examine how effectively their new television wardrobes would obscure their superhuman beauty.

Fig. 4: Ahh, not so mellow yellow.

Well done, “Two Broke Girls” costumers. The offensive Mustard Yellow (Citrine? Goldenrod?) and garish jewelry is so glaring that it almost obscures the alluring scorch of Ms. Dennings.

Fig. 5: Spectacular

Oh, well done! Glasses! That’ll do it every time! The Scientific Community is completely convinced that the lovely and engaging Ms. Deschanel will be completely unlucky in both life and love. (The Scientific Community is joking. It’s a new thing we’re trying.)

As is our custom in these Case Studies, we asked the specimens to interact with a member of the opposite sex. We asked Ms. Deschanel and Ms. Dennings to choose their partners out of The Highly Scientific Closet Of Popular Male Actors. The males have been locked in there for awhile (it’s for SCIENCE) so we, the Scientific Community, apologize for their unhygienic state.

Fig. 6: Let’s inject some levity into the proceedings.

Well chosen, Ms. Deschanel. Full marks for adorable male, adorable pose and adorable coat. We still think this specimen does not have a proper handle on the “hot” concept, but we’re willing to let it slide.

Fig. 7: Hotness cancer.

Well. You’ve done it now, Ms. Dennings. We, the Scientific Community can’t even look at you. No, no, don’t try to present. Nothing can save you, not even prominent mammaries. Once you’ve touched the Pattinson, you’ll never be clean again.


Deschanel wins it by a Gordon-Levitt. We’ve enjoyed ourselves here today in The Highly Scientific Lab of Hotness. Both specimens have asked to leave you with a song. Who are we to deny them?

Joanna Robinson tries really hard to keep them straight. Olivia Thirlby? Emmy Rossum? Katy Perry?

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