Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Girl 4.12: "Shark"

“Well, don’t worry, because I have called the city’s automated help desk, and I have also sent out an email to information@losangeles.gov, so action has been taken!”

“Shark” was reasonably entertaining, but I don’t think I would call it one of my favorite episodes of “New Girl.” I did appreciate the political commentary, because I would guess it’s not all that far from the truth. It makes sense that a super local issue like what the roomies face here could be manipulated by local politicians. I have degrees in political science and public policy, so it was kind of fun to see Jess mount a campaign to make her neighborhood better. We also saw Winston graduate from the police academy in this episode. I think it will be fun to see what trouble he gets into as a police officer. First, though, we have to deal with the roomies being way too worried about his safety. Well, I guess it makes sense that the roomies would be worried, but the way they react to that worry is completely inappropriate.

There’s been a lot of construction going on around the loft lately. The really annoying aspect is that it is night construction. The roomies are having trouble sleeping or really doing any relaxing around the apartment. There’s a funny scene where a construction worker passes by the window of Schmidt’s bedroom while Schmidt is putting lotion on his legs. The construction noise is so bad that the roomies even have trouble understanding what each other is saying. Also, it’s the day of Winston’s graduation from the Police Academy. Of course the whole gang is planning to attend to support him. Coach and Nick, however, are a little worried about Winston going out on the beat. They think he is too gentle to be a cop. Winston says not to worry because his new training officer/partner is a total badass who once went undercover with a motorcycle gang. To celebrate the upcoming graduation, the roomies all take turns trying on Winston’s new uniform, which is just a little strange.

The roomies meet two important people at Winston’s graduation. The first is Winston’s new badass partner. Her name is Aly, and she is small (but mighty…although the roomies don’t know that yet). Nick and Coach get even more concerned once they see Aly, because they don’t think she seems like a badass. They are actually pretty patronizing to her. I wonder if roomies other than Schmidt can put money in the Douchebag Jar, because if they can, this would have been an appropriate occasion for it. Jess and Schmidt also meet Councilwoman Fawn Moscato, who happens to represent their district on City Council. Jess talks to her very nicely about the night construction noise issue, and Council Woman Moscato kind of blows her off (although she does tell Jess there’s an official form she can file). Schmidt takes a more direct approach and asks the Councilwoman out to dinner. In the world of politics, Jess is trying to be a “dolphin” while Schmidt is trying to be a “shark.”

Jess starts planning phase two of Operation: No More Night Contstruction. Ryan, for his part, seems to be acting kind of weird. He got a little buzzed and dozed on Jess’ couch while she was scheming. Jess’ plan is a neighborhood phone campaign where volunteers would call City Hall about the annoying construction. The most entertaining phone volunteer is Outside Dave, the homeless guy who lives outside their building. He starts giving a very clear and cogent argument for why the night construction is detrimental, but then he starts going off on tangents.

Meanwhile, Coach and Nick spend most of the episode being concerned about Winston’s safety as he begins his life as a cop. They go have a talk with Aly and generally make asses of themselves implying that she can’t keep Winston safe. I would have kicked both their asses right then and there (or at least I would have tried and probably been unsuccessful since I’m four-foot-eleven and have a bad back). While driving on their rounds, Aly mentions the visit to Winston. She’s upset, thinking that Winston asked his friends to pay that visit. Winston swears he didn’t, and he’s now really pissed at Nick and Coach. Nick and Coach happen to be following Winston and Aly’s police cruiser, which is beyond obnoxious. They try to interfere with Winston and Aly responding to a call, too. At that point, Aly does actually kick their asses and “arrest” them. Instead of taking Nick and Coach to jail, though, she takes them to a support group. Aly finally tells Winston that he did a good job on his first day.

Schmidt gets home from dinner with Fawn Moscato, and it’s patently clear that the Councilwoman has played him. He’s all in favor of the night construction now. He also reveals the truth about the official form Jess filled out – it’s going to take at least a year for the city to process it. By that time, the construction could be over. Schmidt says he wants nothing more in life than to be the Councilwoman’s arm candy. He’s going to have a chance to be exactly that soon enough. There’s going to be a citizens' forum about the construction project, and Moscato wants Schmidt to speak in favor of the night construction schedule. Schmidt is whipped, so he agrees to participate.

On the night of the citizens' forum, Jess and Ryan crush their presentation. The presentation is super dorky, but the crowd eats it up. Ryan is a hot construction guy, and he and Jess have this whole dialogue about why night construction is bad. Schmidt is supposed to give a speech next, but Cece completely throws him off by saying the cuffs on his suit jacket are uneven. Schmidt is so distracted by his sleeves that he can’t even give a coherent speech. He is basically laughed on the stage, and his speech was so bad that Moscato ends up saving face by changing the construction from the night to day schedule and declaring herself of “the people.” Jess and Schmidt talk after the meeting, and Jess tells Schmidt he deserves better than Moscato. Schmidt doesn’t really listen to Jess, though. He visits Moscato in her office and tells her he is willing to do whatever she wants. She says she will call him when she needs him. And Schmidt continues to be completely whipped.

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