Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Girl 2.17: "Parking Spot"

“I don’t know what mazel tov means, but it doesn’t sound good!”

“Parking Spot” brought the Nick and Jess kissed drama to a head, all in the context of a problem most of us (if you don’t live somewhere rural) have experienced. A battle over a parking spot. I’m back out in suburbia now, so the parking spot battles aren’t quite as intense as when I lived in either Baltimore or the inner-ring DC suburbs, but at my work, parking spots behind our building are like gold. Like gold! Anyway, Nick and Jess are trying their best to pretend that they’ve moved beyond the post-kiss awkwardness, but they really haven’t. And Winston really wants to have sex with Daisy in their apparently minimal due to work “sex window.” In the midst of all this, Schmidt makes an important discovery. The loft came with a parking spot. But it’s only one parking spot for four people, each of whom have a car (even if Nick’s car sucks and needs to be pushed). Let the parking wars and character revelations begin!

The set up to the parking spot war is that which Schmidt was cleaning the apartment building dumpster (as you do), he moved the dumpster and discovered a parking spot marked 4D. All of the roommates really, really want that spot because parking is hard to come by in their neighborhood (poor Nick has his car covered in cardboard in a vacant lot, and Jess often has to shoo away stray cats or homeless people from hers). Each has a valid claim to the spot, with Schmidt throwing a finders keepers, Jess throwing the lady card, Winston throwing the race card, and Nick throwing…the lazy drunk card. Winston’s the first to bow out of the stalemate though, thanks to a booty call from Daisy. Winston finds his way to Daisy’s condo only to realize that he doesn’t have a condom. He spends most of the rest of the episode on a not especially funny wild goose chase for a condom, which included stops at the drug store (Winston had no cash), Cece’s house (she was in the middle of a date and not happy about the intrusion), and the loft. By the time he got a condom, he got lost in Daisy’s complex. The whole thing was just stupid, really. I miss Winston plots that actually deepen aspects of his character like his competitiveness.

The bulk of the episode, however, centered around Nick, Jess, and Schmidt. Jess decides to use her feminine wiles to get Nick to give her the parking spot. Which doesn’t seem like too bright an idea considering the cause of the awkwardness between them at the moment. Her move is to dress up in some black stockings and one of Nick’s hoodies with nothing under the hoodie. Nick is definitely turned on, but he plays his decision to give Jess the parking spot as being “gentlemanly.” Schmidt doesn’t realize that the spot has been awarded, so he tries to bribe Nick with beer. Nick has to say he’s already made his decision, and when Jess joins them in the kitchen, Schmidt can immediately tell that something has happened between them. When Jess and Nick admit that they kissed, Schmidt is extremely pissed off. Schmidt then switches to manipulation mode, trying to convince Nick that his decision to give the parking spot to Jess wasn’t above board. Nick takes the bait, but not in the way Schmidt hoped. Nick’s solution to the problem is to take the parking spot for himself.

The ensuing race to the parking spot ends up with Schmidt, Jess, and Nick all sitting in the parking spot, each refusing to leave. The run up to that point included some great physical comedy, with Jess running her car into Schmidt’s car, which runs into Nick sitting in a lawn chair. In real life that wouldn’t be at all funny, but on TV, it most definitely is. Nick finally breaks the stalemate when he starts going on about how kissing Jess was the worst mistake he ever made and it meant nothing to him. Later, after Jess has stormed out and everyone reconvenes back in the loft, Nick tries to clarify that what he regrets is how the kiss made everything awkward between them, not so much the kiss itself. Jess isn’t mollified, though. She’s still upset about what Nick said and about the fact that Nick, Schmidt, and Coach took a “no nail” oath when Jess moved in. She’s pissed that it kind of reduced her to a piece of meat, and I think that’s understandable.

Schmidt says there is only one way to rectify Nick’s partial breaking of the No Nail Oath. He needs to kiss Jess too. After a bit of protesting, Jess for some reason I can’t comprehend, agrees to it. Just as Jess and Schmidt are about to kiss, Winston arrives back at the loft. He missed out on sex with Daisy, and when he sees that it looks like Jess and Schmidt are even going to get some, he completely loses it. Nick, Jess, and Schmidt all feel so bad for him that he gets the parking spot. The only problem is that it’s a really freaking small spot, and Winston can’t comfortably fit his car in it. In fact, he sets off multiple car alarms trying to get the car to fit. And so we end this episode on a bit of physical comedy, and the Nick and Jess awkwardness continues.

So yeah, this episode had some great physical comedy moments, but I think it was ultimately somewhat lacking in the heart that really makes “New Girl” shine. I didn’t end this episode feeling the warm fuzzies, and that’s what I really expect. I expect crazy dancing warm fuzzies with a big grin on my face when I finish an episode of “New Girl.” Winston’s side plot had not substance to it whatsoever, and Cece was incorporated in an extremely inorganic way. The way Winston acted in that side plot wasn’t really even funny. It was just kind of gross. The laughs over the roommates racing to the parking spot helped make up for that somewhat, but not quite enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment