Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Girl 1.02: "Kryptonite"

“That’s the wizard? He’s wearing a scrunchie.”

“Kryptonite” was a decent follow-up to the very funny pilot episode of “New Girl.” My one significant problem with the episode was how helpless Jess seemed to be for much of it. She did truly stand up for herself by the end of the episode, though, which significantly redeemed the plot in my eyes. A girl can be quirky without letting people walk all over her and needing three guys to rescue her. Because I’m so far behind in my blogging, though (a 22.5 hour a week job, 12 hour a week graduate assistantship, and 12 credits of classes will do that to a girl), I have the luxury of knowing that the next episode is amazing, so I can gloss over the less-than-stellar aspects of this one and enjoy the good stuff that is there. Like Schmidt agreeing to watch “Curly Sue” with Jess. Or the fact that a plant is what finally gets Jess to stand up for herself.

The episode opens with Jess trying to leave for work (she’s an elementary school teacher) when Schmidt stops her. He’s expecting to bring a lady home that night and wants to know where he looks sexiest in his room. Jess decides to have some fun with the rather ridiculous request, having Schmidt keep circling around the room to all his different posing possibilities. Nick joins in the fun too. This is all set-up to introduce the B storyline of the episode. There’s a new roommate in the apartment. Winston has returned from playing basketball in Latvia and kicked Coach (who was subleasing) out. And Schmidt is concerned that Winston is going to want his old room back, which is the largest room in the apartment and the room Schmidt is currently occupying.

Jess is anxious to meet Winston, and she barges into his room while he’s still trying to sleep off a hangover. And when he asks who she is, she sings her name. In one really, really long note. This I thought was a bit overkill with the Jess quirkiness. To her credit, though, Jess has enough self-awareness to know she needs to apologize, which she does. Jess has bigger problems than getting off on the wrong foot with Winston, though. She is in serious need of clothing, because all her stuff is still at her cheating ex-boyfriend Spencer’s house. Schmidt offers to let her go through his “lost and found” of stuff women have left behind when they spend the night. While Jess is looking through the box, Schmidt asks if Winston has mentioned wanting his old room back. Jess hasn’t heard anything about it.

The guys are playing some basketball in the living room, and Jess happily joins in, boasting about how she was good in basketball back in school as the ball bounces dangerously high. Predictably, the basketball breaks the big screen TV. The TV belongs to Nick, and he’s upset because it’s the only pricey possession he has. Jess says she has a nice TV that they could potentially use, but it’s at Spencers. The guys start goading her into talking to Spencer to get her stuff back. While the boys have a meal at a diner and talk about whether or not the “top dog” needs the biggest room in the apartment, Jess meets up with Spencer in a park. Spencer is a massive tool and manages to get Jess to drive his new girlfriend to the airport.

Jess finds herself in a pawn shop, trying to buy a really crappy TV, but she doesn’t have as much money as the shopkeeper is asking for. She tries to walk out with the TV anyway, but it’s bolted down, so that doesn’t work so well. Cece brings Jess back to the apartment and admonishes the guys for doing “her job” in trying to get Jess to talk to Spencer. The guys handle the situation just fine, though. Nick gets Jess amped up to finally confront Spencer and get her stuff back by essentially being her punching bag. After Jess punches the pillow Nick is holding a few times, Jess is ready to go. But she wants Cece and the guys to come with her.

Jess’ resolve has worn a bit when the gang finally arrives at Spencer’s house. She has to drive around the block a few times (about two few many for the joke to still be funny) to get up the courage again. Schmidt and Winston use the opportunity to talk about the “top dog” silliness some more. It could have been an interesting plotline if it weren’t for the “top dog” douchiness. Speaking of, where was Schmidt’s Douchebag Jar in this episode? He definitely needed to make use of it a couple times?

Anyway, after Jess pulls up to the house and gets out of the car, she sees Spencer. He says some empty, sweet things, and she starts to hug him. Then she sees that the potted plant by the door has died. This is the final straw. She is really pissed that Spencer didn’t water the plant like she asked him too, and she throws a full-on tantrum, barging into the house to get her stuff. She comes back out carrying a massive pile of stuff, including a rather precariously balanced television. For some reason, the rest of the gang doesn’t pile out of the car to help until the last second. Jess sees that Spencer has stooped so low that he’s wearing one of her t-shirts, and in her rage, she drops the TV. Nick and Schmidt finally decide to truly back Jess up. They put on some of her hats that have fallen to the ground and basically tell Spencer that it’s over and he needs to stay away from Jess. Spencer thinks the guys are tools, but Jess gives a big speech about how she loves them, and it motivates Winston to put a hat on, too. Then Schmidt slaps Spencer, declaring that “Schmidt happens.” Which was probably the funniest moment of the episode.

Back at the apartment, Winston says that after the stand-off with Spencer, he finally respects Schmidt. In gratitude, Schmidt offers Winston the big room. It’s hard to tell if Winston planned this or not, but either way, he’s happy. Jess and Nick fix up her TV with some duct tape- it looks worse for wear, but it still works. Everyone piles on the couch, and Jess says she has some DVDs they can watch, although most are 80s chick flicks. This makes the guys all get up and decide they should go to a bar. Then, in yet another of the funniest moments of the episode, Schmidt comes back and says he’d be up for watching “Curly Sue.”

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