Category Archives: New Girl

New Girl – Keaton (S3, Ep 6)

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New Girl found its footing again, by using a crazy circumstance (not as crazy as Winston) to highlight the emotional depth of these characters.

Schmidt, who hasn’t been at the top of his game, has had a fake pen pal relationship with Michael Keaton all of his life.  After his mom created this alias, Nick took over in college and it’s helped Schmidt through some tough times.  This lead to some great comic moments, including Jess’s Batman impression, Nick getting into character, and Schmidt flashbacks/story time.  But the heart to heart between Nick and Schmidt was a true winner.  It wasn’t the best we’ve ever seen, but it got back to basics pretty well.

The characters were all working together towards one goal and that made a huge difference.  Especially when the primary objective is positive, like helping Schmidt.  Jess and Nick were involved in a plot that didn’t focus on their dating life.  They just “were” and it worked well.

Other thoughts:

  • Winston’s Truman Show bit didn’t really work for me, but singing the puzzling song to pumpkin carving was a nice throw back.
  • This reminds me of how good season one’s Thanksgiving episode was two years ago.
  • Hopefully Schmidt’s move will facilitate a Coach comeback!

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

New Girl – The Box (S3, Ep 5)

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I don’t think I understood this episode.  I mean, I understand what the purpose of it was for each of the characters (except Winston), but in the end it didn’t make sense.

Schmidt: So, Schmidt was trying to figure out if he was a good person or not? Then tried to become a good person? Then he tried to get somebody to tell him he was a good person? Then was beat up by a Bar Mitzvah class?  He was more obnoxious than funny. Most of the jewish references were funny, but Schmidt’s unfunny douche side came out in this episode.  I needed the jar for this one. Fortunately that doesn’t happen very often because it’s isn’t pleasant to watch.  And can somebody explain to me the ending?  So Winston, after a pretty normal episode, bought a candelabra to find a genie and ends up insincerely gifting it to Schmidt?  That made this plot line way worse.  I guess it’s a transition period for Schmidt, but at least make it more believable, funny, or well rounded.

Jess and Nick: I really liked the the start of the premise, but this story line reminded us of how afraid of reality Nick is in a big way.  It’s intention was to show us that Nick and Jess’s affection for each other can handle the most fundamental of issues, but I think it did the opposite.  It made me question, again, why Jess is with Nick and how long can it actually last.  The story went from funny to concerning, especially when Nick started to toss Jess’s bags out the window.  Can you imagine throwing your significant other’s accessories out the window while staying in a loving relationship? Oh boy.  The sentiment of him opening a checking account and her fighting the $8.00 processing fee was nice, but something was wrong with this episode scenario overall to even get to that point.  I don’t think I could get past just how irresponsible Nick is on a legal level, regardless of what we know about him up until this point.

Other thoughts:

  • When the bum with purses is your highlight, you’ve done something wrong.
  • “What are you trying to knit a mansion?”
  • A wasted John Lovitz cameo.
  • Every single one of Nick’s incorrect and confusing sayings were pretty great.
  • Again, poor Winston, just background with no story of his own, capped off with a ‘crazy town’ moment.
  • The mall sequence was pretty funny with the best going to Nick’s photo shoot.

The characters are too disconnected at this point.  The show works best when the four loft mates are all on the same page.  The plots have been too individual now that they’re breaking off into separate groups. It’s been an uneven season, so hopefully it can settle down in the next few weeks.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

New Girl – The Captain (S3, Ep4)

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That was great, perfectly balanced, and funny episode of New Girl.  By just having the four roommates interacting in the loft, the show went back to sitcom basics and it paid off in spade(d)s.  To start, it was nice to see the Jess and Nick relationship from the outside eyes of Winston and Schmidt, if only for a moment.

Winston: I feel as if they justified his crazy a little bit this week, as we saw some of his rational side creep through.  He is reacting to being a third wheel and trying to be ignorant of what is going on in the loft with Nick and Jess.  Winston, putting all of his energy into getting his cat laid, was pretty funny this week.  It was nice to see him transition into the loft meeting leader, reminding us that he may still be the most sane person there.

Nick and Jess: Their scenes together were perfect this week.  They seemed to hold more weight than just ‘funny’.  What seemed to just be Schmidt getting into their heads became more.  I love the revelation that sharing feelings can feel good and boy does Nick fall into it.  It just worked.  Seeing them happy doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the show.  I also love cellos, Nick.

Schmidt: Schmidt, the douche, was fun to watch this week.  His sadness, taken out on the loft couple, leading him to attempt to make amends is a good first step.  Will he still try and break up Nick and Jess? Who knows, but let hope he will stay unhappy about it for a little while longer.

Other thoughts:

  • All of The Captain reactions were pretty amazing.
  • Highlight of the “helping Nick” montage? Papa Smurf.
  • I could watch Nick not be able to share his feelings all day long.
  • Winston, although still crazy, is always fun to watch.  His ignorance to how sexual he sounded was pretty great.
  • Let’s hope the writers can keep the Nick and Jess combo fresh.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

New Girl – Double Date (S3, Ep3)

NEW GIRL:  Cece (Hannah Simone, L) has a surprise for Schmidt (Max Greenfield, R) in the "Double Date" episode of NEW GIRL airing Tuesday, Oct. 1 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  Also pictured: Zooey Deschanel, second from L and Jake Johnson, second from R.  ©2013 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr: Patrick Wymore/FOX

Last night New Girl did something I wasn’t expecting and I cannot wait for whatever may unfurl to present itself.  When we look back on this season, this may be the episode we pin point as the ‘made it’ or ‘broke it’ moment.

I kept saying that if they can’t squeeze enough comedy out of the Schmidt/Cece/Elizabeth triangle, they should abort the clichéd plot immediately.  Well, the writers got their jokes in and then turned the tables on Jess, Nick, and us.

After finding out about Schmidt’s dating shenanigans, Nick attempts to keep the information a secret.  As we know, Nick can’t keep a secret to save his life, so Jess finds out and threatens to tell Cece if Schmidt doesn’t.  This then leads to one of the most emotionally charged moments of the series to date.

But first, my weekly rant on the craziness of Winston.  WINSTON LITERALLY IS GETTING CRAZIER AND CRAZIER!!!!  Talking to the cat was cute and as funny as the community table schtick was, it all still highlighted the bucket of crazy that is now Winston.  Maybe there is a long-term joke working here in relation to all of the crazy coming out when he’s single. Maybe the crew has to find him a new girlfriend or Coach comes back and they have to choose between the two roommates because Winston is out of control.  Whatever the point of his craziness is, just laughs or something more, Lamorne Morris is a joy to watch.

Now back to you, Schmidt.  He made an unforgivable mistake and handled it tragically.  The thing is, on any other show he would get caught, other characters would hate him for a hot minute, and then everything would be back to normal.  This is not going to be the case here.  After the excellent scene between the heart broken Cece and the genuinely sorry Schmidt, declarations are made that can’t be repealed.   Schmidt, believing that he could have fixed everything on his terms, feels betrayed by his roommates after Cece calls Elizabeth.  I’m glad it didn’t end cleanly, so when Schmidt declares that he is going to do everything in is power to break up Jess and Nick, I got excited.  I’m excited for what’s to come.  I’m pumped to see Schmidt become the hilarious bad guy.  I’m interested to see how the writers handle this roommate dynamic change.  Jess and Nick now have a permanent obstacle that we can be emotionally engaged in.   This is New Girl keeping it fresh and for me, the true season premiere, assuming they can make it all work.

Other thoughts:

  • I find it interesting that Schmidt worded it as “cheating on Cece with Elizabeth,” as opposed to “dating both girls.”  Did he feel that the first scenario was more accurate to his situation?
  •  It’s funny.  What Schmidt did was awful, but do you think that Jess reacted too harshly immediately.  At least in terms of immediately putting all that pressure on Schmidt?
  • The excuses that Schmidt conveys to Cece are prefect for a conversation of that intensity.  Are they true? Maybe. Maybe not. But, they are 100% something that somebody would say in that situation to try and save face and pass the blame.
  • Nick dancing in a motorcycle helmet will always make me happy.
  • The ending list that Nick and Jess make was pretty amazing.  And yes, the moon landing may not have been real and horses are from space.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

New Girl – Nerd (S3, Ep2)

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Was this episode a step forward from the premiere? Yes. Does the show still need work to get back to season 2 form? Yes.

Since when is Winston’s default crazy?  Last week he was puzzle crazy.  This week he’s a homicidal maniac.  Are we supposed to believe that Winston once held a position as a mentally stable ‘man-ny’?  Lamorne Morris’ character has grown a lot since they decided to make his character more than “not-Coach,” but let’s get back to that middle ground, shall we?  Thankfully they ended that storyline by giving Winston a backbone so he could break up with the cheating Daisy and retain her cat (albeit forcefully).

Nick and Jess aren’t interesting as a couple if there isn’t a true obstacle they need to surmount. That’s part of the reason why Jim and Pam on “The Office” became so stale.  The “cool teacher” plot had a lot of promise, but eventually fell flat and was forgettable.  Try again writers.

Schmidt’s shenanigans need to stop.  They are old, cliche, and unfunny.  The writers are trying to stretch mileage out of a cringe inducing plotline (and not the good type of cringing).  There’s so much depth and humor in a situation where they both find out and deal with it.  It’s only been two episodes and this approach is not working. Cece doesn’t seem like the same strong character we’ve known her to be the past few seasons, so that’s a little out of place too.

Still, New Girl makes me laugh on a regular basis.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

New Girl – All In (S3, Ep1)

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Jess, Schmidt, and Winston attempting to bail out Nick.

It’s more like St-All Out. (Yea, I tried too hard. I get that.)

Last night’s New Girl Premiere had some great one-liners and “slapsticky” moments, but that’s about it. From most shows that would be fine, but, as we know, New Girl is better than that, usually.

I believed, once upon a time, that Jess and Nick as a couple would destroy the show. The solid chemistry between Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson is apparent, but many of the “could they be closer?” moments have felt ultra forced. The writers and actors have handled this relationship so well, that they convinced me it’s going to work. From their first kiss up until the season two finale, it’s been pitch perfect and adds to the show’s overall dynamic, as opposed to killing it.

The season three premiere feels like a bad prologue or a “missing episode.” Jess and Nick in Mexico never really pays off—nor is it funny. Nick running into “international waters” was probably the most rewarding of the plot. ‘All In’ (TITLE OF THE EPISODE ALERT!) was something we learned at the end of season 2 and yet here it is, being pounded into my head. I respect the fact that the show is eradicating the idea of Nick and Jess as a fling only relationship. With a history of being ruiners, the two “like birds” fear their self-destructive natures, so the intention behind the extended vacation was grounded, but it still seemed like everybody was running in place. The act of stalling their return to the apartment felt like that for the audience too: the act of stalling the start of season 3.

The same can be said for Schmidt and his love decision, which, in my world, should have been the A plot, as it had more to work with overall. While ‘trying to juggle two girls in order to salvage everybody’s feelings’ is typical sitcom plot, the scenario is a very Schmidt move. In a better, well structured episode, this plot could have been played out from beginning to end and been milked for all the laughs it’s worth. So if this is going to be a multi-episode plotline, it better have different layers or it’s going to get old fast.

(Let’s face it: as an audience, we know that Hannah Simone is a cast regular and Merritt Weaver is not, so, writers, get the laughs you can get and move on.)

Now Winston… Oh Winston. What have they done to you? I look at the plotless plot they gave to Winston this week and shake my head. Yes, Winston is more of a character now than since day two, but he just keeps getting crazier and more insane based on what the writers randomly give him weekly. He’s crazy intense with pranks and an insane person with puzzling? The thing is, on paper it seems silly, but Lamorne Morris makes it work just enough. His puzzle outrageousness is enjoyably way over the top, so sadly it had to finish with a lazy pay off (half assembling Nick’s passport). Yet, singing to the puzzle pieces was a highlight of this episode. And can somebody tell me what being color blind has to do with seeing shapes? This new character trait’s only purpose was to set up Schmidt’s, “If you think those shoes are brown, what color do you think you are?” (Which was funny.)

Some other highlights:

  • “I needed your underwear… to sew into my underwear.” I was a fan of the Winston/Schmidt/Cece scene in which Cece leaves disgusted with Winston because in a messy, sub-par episode, it was a comic bright spot. What’s the over under for Cece actually still thinking that Winston is a pervert this season? .5? I’ll take the under.
  • “Puzzling, Winston is about to do some puzzling.”
  • Merritt Weaver had very little to do here. Hopefully they use her effectively before the guest run is over.
  •  The Schmidt Mexican money train was predicable, but good for a laugh or two. Especially: “That’s for you to send your kids to college, or for you to send some fun up your nose.”

I am excited to see Jess and Nick function as a real couple in the apartment and can’t wait for this season to really get going. It’s only one messy episode, so I clearly still have faith in the writing staff.  Let’s just not make this a habit.

 

Keep On Watchin’!

-Bryan