Jake Johnson says New Girl 'fell off a cliff' at one point

New Girl heartthrob Nick Miller may have set the standard for real-life relationships for many, but Jake Johnson didn't always feel that love. In new interview with Bustle, actor says New Girl This prompted some fierce criticism after "falling off a cliff" after the first few seasons.

The Fox series premiered in 2011 to critical acclaim and high ratings. "Season one was a blast, and season two was a blast," Johnson recalls to Bustle. However, it didn't take long for Hollywood to change its mind.

“The town thought it was cool, and I was young and still cared about what the town thought,” he said. "All of a sudden you're like, 'Man, I got invited to the Golden Globes!' and we're all like, 'Man, that amazing actor just said they saw it!' And then our show goes off a cliff, and all these people No one likes it anymore."

Hannah Simone, Ramon Morris, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield and Zooey Deschanel in the New Girl series finale. Fox/Fox Image Collection/Getty Images

Johnson did not specify why he believed the series failed. Some fans believe New Girl "jumped the shark" after lead character Jesse returned from "jury duty" (aka Zooey Deschanel's maternity leave), while others believe the show didn't get bad.

Responding to critics

Despite this shift in opinion, New Girl continued to air for five more seasons. As a result, despite its enduring popularity, Johnson came under attack from critics and cartoonists, for whom the show became a target.

"Now, when I go to a cool party, the comedians will be funny and they'll laugh at 'New Girl,' " he said. "It's like, 'Oh, Schmitty and Nick, what are you doing now?' You have to say, 'You're like an alternative comedian, you have a cool beard, and this show is not a cool dude Show. Okay.'"

Jake Johnson in "New Girl." Fox/Fox Image Collection/Getty Images

Experiencing criticism over the last few seasons of "New Girl" has left Johnson wanting to address the issue, especially when it comes to anonymous social media trolls making more harmful and personal comments. So he did start sending private messages to those trolls in response.

"'If you see me, you're going to punch me in the face,' what does that mean?" he remembers asking. "I would say, 'Steve, my question to you is, why are you continuing to watch? ... You have a lot of options, like you run down the street and you take the corner on the right, Just to find my stuff. They'll actually start writing back like, 'I never thought you'd read it.'"

Their surprisingly honest responses allowed Johnson to connect with them in an impactful way, saying each DM exchange "always ended with something beautiful and humane."