Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Girl 2.24: "Winston's Birthday"

“Burqas isn’t you guys, is it?”

I think the only word I can really use to describe this particular episode of “New Girl” is “cute.” And I think that’s really the most important aspect of any episode of the show. I generally do watch “New Girl” for the cute and the warm fuzzies and the unstoppable bouts of laughter. The warm fuzzies are all I usually require from “New Girl,” come to think of it. I liked this episode because we got to see Jess’ dad, played by Rob Reiner, again, there was some intriguing Nick and Jess interaction, and there was some great meta humor about how Winston is really the forgotten character of the show. The awkwardness when Nick and Jess’ dad have to interact is pretty darn hilarious. Overall, the episode was just a really good mix of absurd c omedy and heart. It gives me faith that New Girl will be able to keep sustaining the level of quality I expect (which makes it my favorite show currently on television) for the foreseeable future.

This episode begins with the morning after for Jess and Nick. They haven’t really decided where they stand with each other, but they don’t regret sleeping with each other, and they seem pretty happy. Nick tells Jess to stay put and goes out into the kitchen to make her a nice breakfast of eggs, grapefruit…and pie. It’s almost a very sweet moment, but it gets interrupted by the arrival of Jess’ dad, Bob. Bob is in town for Cece’s wedding, presumably because Jess and Cece were childhood friends, he knows her pretty well. Jess warns Nick that he can’t say a thing to Bob about he and Jess having slept together, because if Bob finds out, he’ll go nuts. Apparently he attacked a boy just for kissing Jess once. The whole thing is made even more awkward when Jess gets a phone call from a teacher friend offering a job interview at the school where she works. Jess doesn’t really have a choice but to leave Nick and Rob alone together while she goes off to do the interview.

Jess’ interview looks like it must be at some sort of hippie dippie charter school. Which, come to think of it, is probably exactly the perfect place for her. Jess’ teacher friend is sleeping with the principal, but Jess has constantly proven to be a good teacher (except for that time when she brought the roomies to the science fair…that was just plain dumb), so I don’t begrudge Jess the opportunity. It turns out that this isn’t just a quick job interview, though. Jess also has to substitute teach a rather unruly class. She tries to sneak out at lunch, but the principal wants to spend the whole lunch break talking to Jess and being really creepy. Even once the school day is over, Nick isn’t going to get a respite from being alone with Bob, because Jess has an emergency to deal with over at Cece’s place. Cece’s wedding is immanent, so she got henna on her hands. Then she apparently fell asleep before the henna dried and the design transferred to her face. Jess thinks she can get the henna off of Cece’s face, but she just makes it worse. Now Cece looks like she has a beard. Shivrang isn’t too upset, though. He thinks if that’s the least of their problems, they’ll be just fine.

Before we get to what Nick and Bob were up to while Jess was away, let’s talk about Schmidt. He’s still playing at maybe pursuing a relationship with his college girlfriend, Elizabeth. While there is a part of Schmidt that I think definitely does care about Elizabeth, I think there’s also a part of him that hopes that being in a plausibly meaningful relationship will make Cece jealous and lead her to cancel the wedding. Anyway, Elizabeth comes to visit Schmidt at work, and when a co-worker starts making fun of Elizabeth, Schmidt denies knowing Elizabeth, and Elizabeth, understandably, gets pissed off and leaves. Before the elevator doors close, though, Elizabeth tells Schmidt she’s going on a date with someone else later that night. Schmidt, of course, decides he needs to crash that date. Which is probably for the best, I suppose, since Elizabeth’s date is kind of comically boring. Schmidt does his best to convince Elizabeth that he’s not ashamed after all, and he really wants people to know they are dating. We’ll see how long that lasts. Something tells me it won’t be very long.

Anyway, Nick and Bob seriously bond during their day without Jess. Nick starts telling Bob about this girl he’s kind of seeing, but he’s not sure where it’s going. He says her name is “Yolanda Winston,” but it’s pretty obvious that he’s actually talking about Jess. Eventually, Bob says that he can see Nick is a decent guy, and Nick feels comfortable enough to do something really freaking stupid. He tells Bob that Yolanda is actually Jess, and they actually slept together. Bob is just starting to blow a gasket over this news when Jess arrives home and has to prevent the almost ensuing fight. It turns out that Bob is upset not because he thinks Nick is a fundamentally bad guy, but because Nick reminds him of himself. Bob thinks that if he had worked on himself more and grown up sooner, he could have made things work with Jess’ mom. He thinks Jess deserves someone better than himself, and he’s willing to sleep on an air mattress between their bedrooms to make that happen.

Late at night, Nick and Jess sneak out of their rooms and go up to the roof, where Nick has prepared the breakfast he meant to give Jess that morning. Before they can get all romantic, though, Schmidt and Elizabeth appear. Schmidt’s got a telescope, and they were planning a romantic evening of stargazing. It doesn’t end there, though. Winston appears on the roof too, and he thinks that the gathering must be for his birthday party. He’s been reminding the rest of the roomies throughout the whole episode, but they have all kind of ignored him. At one point, he even gets his own cake and just starts digging into it. Anyway, this time finally sticks, and the roomies all gather to wish Winston a happy birthday.

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