Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Girl 1.18: "Fancyman (Part 2)"

“No, he’s not a lawyer, but he does have a law degree, a business degree, and a Masters in agriculture. He’s kind of like a degree collector.”

“Fancyman (Part 2)” wasn’t quite as good as the previous week’s part 1, but it was still most definitely a quality episode of television. Mostly I think it didn’t quite rise to the level of the previous episode because there wasn’t quite as much of Nick yelling random stuff. Which is always funny. I guess if they went to that well all the time, though, it wouldn’t be quite so hilarious. But I think I’ll always laugh at Jake Johnson yelling random funny things. He’s so good at it. Despite not quite being up to the standards of part 1, there were still plenty of really funny moments, and I laughed a lot. And really that’s what I ask of an episode of New Girl. This show is so plugged into my brain that it’s really hard for me to not laugh multiple times per episode. It’s gotten to the point where I just enjoy hanging out with these crazy folks for half an hour every Tuesday night. I think this is the one show I’m really going to miss over the summer.

While this episode is billed as a “part 2,” there are definitely some elements that distinguish it as its own, distinct episode. One of those elements is Dirk, Nick’s friend who is working on his PhD in poetry. He’s played by Martin Starr, aka Roman on the short-lived Starz sitcom Party Down. The PhD in poetry is Roman’s third advanced degree, and the roommates all think he’s rather obnoxious. They don’t like him. The episode itself begins at the loft, where Jess is telling the guys (and Dirk) about her rather disastrous first date with Russell. Well, maybe it wasn’t quite a disaster, but it was certainly awkward. In a flashback we see her telling Russell about how all guys her own age are really after is “her gold.” Russell gives her a hug and pats her on the back. See? Awkward! Winston asks Schmidt if he can borrow Schmidt’s car (aka “the Manbulance”) to take Shelby to the airport. She’s going to a bachelorette party. Winston already had a second set of keys to the car, but he gets Schmidt’s permission to use it by wondering aloud if it could hold all of Shelby’s luggage.

Much of this episode is about the characters ironing out issues with their romantic relationships. When Cece arrives, Dirk hypothesizes that she’s the boss in her relationship and her boyfriend (whomever he may be) is her “sexcratery.” Naturally, this makes Schmidt very unhappy. He retreats to his room to do “work” for much of the rest of the episode. That work just happens to be fitting the names of his coworkers into the lyrics of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” for an upcoming staff retreat, but it’s work nonetheless. Cece really wants sex, but Schmidt keeps blowing her off, trying to assert some control in the relationship. Meanwhile, when seeing Shelby off at the airport, Winston makes the mistake of saying that some “space” will be good for them while Shelby is away. He thought he was saying this to make Shelby happy, but it actually pisses her off.

Jess tells Cece about her bad first date with Russell, and Cece advises Jess to call Russell to ask for another date. Cece thinks Russell wants a grown woman who knows what she wants because he’s a man, not a boy (like Schmidt, Winston, and Nick). The second date, however, isn’t any better than the first. Jess and Russell are at a nice restaurant for dinner. Jess is trying to act extra mature by talking about the Beatles and doctor’s appointments, but it just gets awkward. Then, all of a sudden, Russell gets a phone call. He rushes off, leaving Jess at the restaurant with way more cash than she needs for the cab fare home. I guess he felt a bit guilty for leaving her there.

Nick and Winston decide to go to Dirk’s poetry lecture at a nearby university. After the lecture, college girls are fawning all over Dirk, and Dirk tries to convince Nick that he should give college girls a try. Nick seems a little skeptical. Dirk also convinces Winston that Shelby is going to use her newfound “space” to have sex with other people while she’s at the bachelorette party in Mexico. Worried that Shelby is going to cheat, Winston runs off to call her. This is quite funny, as Winston yells “get out of my way, bookworms!” while barreling through a crowd of college students. Meanwhile, back at the loft, Cece appears in Schmidt’s room yet again, this time dressed in a secretary outfit. The outfit does nothing to turn Schmidt on, but he does agree to sex if it can happen in “fantasy location number three.” Meanwhile, Winston is leaving a message for Shelby, sees there are no immediate flights to Mexico, and pretends to ask Schmidt’s permission to borrow the car. As Winston hops in the Manbulance, we learn that it just happens to be fantasy location number three. Winston doesn’t know that, though. Yet.

We next see an afterparty for Dirk’s lecture at the loft. No school I’ve attended has ever had lecture afterparties quite like this but whatever. Dirk thinks Nick should try to date college girls just like he does. He tries to help Nick find his “hook” to make the college girls interested. The hook turns out to be that he can get the kiddies drunk “professionally” (because he’s a bartender). Two college girls in particular are especially impressed by this. Jess arrives home to see the party still hopping. She’s still pissed about what happened with Russell, so she goes a little off the deep end. She sort of vacillates between acting like a college kid (by smashing a beer cup on Nick’s forehead, for instance) and just being angry at Russell. Russell eventually shows up at the loft too, and he sees Jess partying. Jess is embarrassed, so she runs into a closet to hide.

Russell says he wants to talk to Jess alone, but he ends up in a car with Jess, Nick, Dirk, and two college girls Dirk and Nick picked up. Nick tells Russell that Jess is one of the good ones, then he runs off to puke. Jess and Russell do finally have their talk. It turns out Russell was nervous because he hadn’t dated in a long time, and the phone call was about his daughter having an asthma attack. Jess says Nick was right and wise when he said she should give Russell a chance. Of course she says this as Nick is outside screaming about puking. Seriously, just have Jake Johnson yell random stuff, and you’ve got comedy gold. Jess and Russell start making out as Nick starts yelling some more because he can’t find the car (he’s facing the wrong direction).

On his way to Mexico, Winston is totally rocking out to “Defying Gravity.” It never ceases to amaze me just how plugged in “New Girl” is to my brain. I definitely like to belt some tunes, sometimes musicals, while driving, and “Defying Gravity” is definitely a song I love. It’s even more hilarious when Lamorne Morris tries to sing it, though. Shelby calls Winston as he’s driving. She missed him so she went back to the loft. Winston turns around (after singing some “Popular”). At the border, a border security agent finds Schmidt and Cece in the back of the car. Winston’s face at this moment is hilarious, and when the officer asks him to explain the naked people in the trunk of his car, he simply says, “No one can explain that!” Cece and Schmidt want Winston to keep their secret, but Winston is too shocked to commit to secrecy just yet. This revelation has thrown off his perspective to such an extent that he thinks “stop” signs must now mean “go.”

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