Sunday, December 7, 2014

New Girl 4.08: "Teachers"

“The conference is going to be really fun. We just have to work from, like, nine to seven. And then after that, it’s a party. Until ten, when quiet hours are strictly enforced.”

I did genuinely enjoy watching this particular episode of “New Girl,” although I also felt a fair amount of embarrassment squick for Jess. And also, I found the B story pretty ridiculous. But I laughed, so that’s something, I guess. In this episode, Jess, Coach, and Ryan go to a teaching conference, and awkwardness between Jess and Ryan ensues. Okay, now that I think about it more, the A story was kind of ridiculous, too. Jess goes way overboard in trying to avoid Ryan, and she makes the whole situation even more unprofessional than it already was, if that’s possible. Pro tip: just turn the romantic part of your brain off when it comes to supervisor/supervisee (professional) relationships, and your life will be much easier. I’m just sitting here shaking my head, really. The saving grace to the conference plot is that we do get Coach doing some serious soul searching about what it means to be a teacher.

Jess has Coach teaching health at their school, and Coach isn’t happy about it. Jess thinks that getting to go to a nearby teaching conference for the weekend would be a perk of the arrangement, but Coach doesn’t see it that way. The rest of the guys are having a guy’s weekend to celebrate Jess being gone (which I think is a little mean), and Coach finds that idea much more appealing. Separately with Cece, Jess is kind of freaking out about the conference, because it might force her to be uncomfortably close with Ryan. Since she knows she has a crush on Ryan, and he’s technically one of her employees, Jess has been going out of her way to avoid him. As in running down the hallway when he tries to talk to her out of her way. Which is really, if you think about it, discriminatory and unprofessional in its own way.

Anyway, as you’d expect, the guys’ weekend back at the loft doesn’t exactly go as planned. The guys get bored of playing a silly drinking game (True American, maybe?) in costumes, and they decide that they should do something they could never do if Jess was around. They go into her room and use her windows to spy on some ladies doing stretches across the street. Schmidt, in his enthusiasm, accidentally spills a glass of red wine all over Jess’ bed spread. Schmidt freaks out, and when Nick and Winston ask why he can’t just wash the bedspread, Schmidt is forced to admit that he never learned how to do laundry. Given how fastidious Schmidt is, I have a hard time believing it. Schmidt cites some specific traumatic laundry experiences to explain it, but I still don’t buy it. Oh, and Winston also doesn’t know how to read a ruler. Nick decides he is going to personally tackle both of these problems.

Meanwhile, at the conference in Palmdale, Jess asks Coach to be a buffer between herself and Ryan. The buffer doesn’t last long, though. The main speaker at the conference (played by the always awesome Lisa Bonet) singles Coach out to answer some of her questions. Coach quickly has enough and escapes to the bar, leaving Jess sitting directly next to Ryan. Next thing she knows, it’s time for partner activities, and Ryan is her partner. This is exactly the kind of thing that Jess was hoping to avoid. They have to do all these getting to know you and trust building exercises together, and it’s rather painful to watch. At first, they’re supposed to ask each other a series of somewhat personal questions, and Jess tries to deflect as much as she possibly can. By the time they’re doing an obstacle course where Jess has to be blindfolded, she’s starting to let her guard down a bit, but not by too much. She’s realizing that Ryan is kind of the perfect guy, and she’s finding it more and more difficult to resist him.

Back at the loft, Nick has started teaching his own lessons for the weekend. The easiest is teaching Winston how to read a ruler. All he has to do is tell Winston to start at the first tick mark (instead of the end), and Winston is good to go, gleefully measuring everything he can throughout the rest of the episode. Teaching Schmidt how to do laundry is more challenging, and it’s treated as a sort of training montage. At first, Schmidt can’t even measure the correct amount of detergent. Nick keeps just pouring it on the floor until he get it right. And can I say, for living in a kind of broke ass loft, they have super nice washing and drying machines. I wish I had appliances like that in my apartment! Instead I have to go do my laundry in the Speed Queens in the basement. Definite washer/dryer envy going on here. Anyway, when he stops thinking about it too much, Schmidt is finally able to do laundry. Huzzah.

Coach is enjoying his time in the bar when some of the other teachers try to disabuse him of the notion that being the health teacher doesn’t mean much. They talk about how he’s pretty much the last defense against all the students getting pregnant. This serves to just freak Coach out, and when Jess finds him, he’s threatening to jump off the bath house into the in ground pool. Coach and Jess have a heart-to-heart on the bath house roof, but Coach ends up slipping and falling into the pool. Ryan, who tagged along to make sure everything was okay, dives in after Coach and (sort of) rescues him. Then he tells Jess all about how he knew he wanted to be a teacher when he taught his autistic sister how to read and Jess admits she has a massive crush on him. And he and Jess then kiss, as we all predicted they would. I really don’t have much more to say about that.

At the loft, with their embarrassing knowledge gaps filled, Winston and Schmidt encourage Nick to work on his own embarrassing knowledge gap. Nick just mentions that he doesn’t know much about love. Which is crap since he and Jess most definitely loved each other. Next thing we know, the guys are in a blanket fort singing along to “I Want to know what Love is.” Lamest guy weekend ever. When Jess and Coach arrive home, though, the guys are all playing video games and acting like they had the manliest guy weekend ever. Jess is left still trying to figure out what to do about the Ryan situation, and Coach is feeling better about the prospect of being the health teacher.

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