Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Girl 2.01: "Re-launch"

“I panicked and I grabbed the hat. I should have grabbed the yoyo or the slap bracelet, and now all I have is this stupid hat.”

I think of all the returning shows this season, “New Girl” was the one I was most excited for, and it definitely did not disappoint. They keep bringing the quirk and the jokes that feel like they were especially written for me (or any still single ladies born within a couple of years of me), and the characters (with the occasional exception of Winston, but at least they hang a lantern on that) all have really defined, unique viewpoints. We begin the new season with Jess having a major life change thrown in her lap (one I’ve never had to deal with, thank goodness…knock on wood). It looks like we’ll be continuing to follow the roommates on their journeys to truly grow up, and I think that’s always fruitful material for television. Anyway, I think this was a really strong episode for just about everybody but Winston, which is a more than perfectly acceptable way to start things off. Winston will have his day. He always does.

Right from the opening scene, I could see that in its second season, “New Girl” was going to continue to be the show I love. It’s a weekday morning, and Jess wakes up late for a meeting with Tonya, the drug addict assistant principal at her school. She’s thwarted at every turn on her attempt to get to school quickly. First, Nick is already in the shower, (and singing awesome early 90’s hip hop song “Groove is in the Heart”), then Schmidt needs help with his “shower diaper” (his penis is still broken and in a cast). That second part was just plain silly, but as for the first part, I’m always a sucker for 90’s music. Anyway, the big meeting is so Tonya can tell Jess that she’s been laid off. Apparently they needed to lay off 10% of their non-tenured staff, and that 10% is Jess. Jess is kind of stunned, so when Tonya allows her to choose something from the lost and found box as consolation, she picks a little fascinator hat and a pair of tacky plastic sunglasses.

Back at the loft, Schmidt is jubilant because his penis cast has finally come off. He puts the cast right on the kitchen table, which is just plain disgusting. I’m so glad this broken penis storyline is now officially over. “New Girl” is better than that. Anyway, Schmidt wants to celebrate his newfound freedom with a “rebranding” event (always the marketing major). The theme is secret, but the other guys all guess that it will be “danger.” And they would be right. Nick agrees to bartend for the shindig, but he doesn’t want to make the fruity drinks that Winston likes. Reason one is because Winston gets really strange when he drinks them. Reason two is basically because Nick wants to make more manly, grown-up drinks now. He goes into a very “Fancyman” monologue about it. While the details are being discussed, Jess arrives back home and announces the layoff. The guys immediately want to fix the fact that Jess is sad. Jess, however is trying to put on a brave face and repeatedly insists that she wants no pity.

When we next see Jess, she’s slumming it and appearing to enjoy it. She’s in scrubby clothes and spending her days surfing the internet. She keeps assuring the guys that she really is okay. She also has a rather adorable conversation with Nick about how he’s usually grumpy and mean to her, and he needs to stop being so nice. Jess then asks Schmidt if he can offer her some sort of job related to planning the re-launch party, and Schmidt offers to let her be a shot girl. Nick tries to intervene, saying that Jess doesn’t have the “right kind of hotness” to be a shot girl. While it comes from a good place (Nick further explains that Jess has a more wholesome kind of hotness), this really pisses Jess off and makes her more determined to take Schmidt up on his offer.

Jess shows up to the party dressed in an old fashioned (maybe 1950’s era?) swimsuit and the consolation prize fascinator. Nick throws away the fascinator. The other shot girl is on the older end of the spectrum and has a PhD (awesome commentary on the state of our economy). Schmidt is very happy with the party, and he tells Nick that he has something up his sleeve regarding Cece. Nick says that never works, and a flashback to fake vomiting college Schmidt proves it. Winston shows up with the ingredients for fruity drinks (which forces Nick to break his vow not to make fruity drinks), and Cece shows up, too. With her new, super nerdy boyfriend Robbie. I’m cool with Robbie being nerdy, although why is it always the super hot chick with the nerdy guy? Can’t it ever be the other way around? Winston drinks his fruity drink and starts acting weird, just as the guys predicted.

Jess drops a bottle as she’s trying to pour a shot, and Nick tries to help her. Jess tells him he needs to start being mean again, and Nick goes a little too far with a comment about Jess having a flat ass. He does, however, coax Jess up on the bar, where she does a silly tap dance number. Nick then vascilates between grimacing out of embarrassment squick and beaming proudly. I thought the beaming proudly was sweet and bodes well for future Jess/Nick developments, if not later in this season, then maybe next season. Getting up on the bar, however, just made Jess feel bad about herself. It hit her just how far she had fallen from being a teacher.

Meanwhile, Schmidt, still determined to win Cece back, tries to implement his big plan. A big sign that says “Danger” lights on fire and a shirtless Schmidt appears swinging two chain torch things. This is not something Schmidt has ever done before, so the party guests get a little nervous he might burn the place down, and they start to leave. Schmidt manages to not catch the building on fir, though, and he and Cece have a little heart-to-heart. They aren’t going to be getting back together any time soon, but Cece assures Schmidt that in time, he’ll be just fine. Schmidt wants to know why Cece would be with someone like Robbie, and Cece says it’s because he’s a good guy. Jess and Nick also have their own heart-to-heart. Jess finally acknowledges that she doesn’t know what she’s going to do now that her teaching career has stalled. I say she should just look for another school district, but Jess doesn’t seem to think that’s an option. Nick gives her a comforting hug, and we cut to Winston singing “Groove is in the Heart” in all his fruity drink drunk glory. As Bender from “Futurama” would (sort of) say, we’re back baby!

No comments:

Post a Comment