Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Girl 4.14: "Swuit"

“You’re yelling nice things at me again! It’s very confusing!”

“Swuit” was an especially entertaining episode of “New Girl” (or at least the A story was), although there wasn’t a ton of substance to it. The B story actually kind of actively pissed me off, but the A story was funny enough that I rolled with it. The episode really focuses on Schmidt, Nick, and Cece trying to make better lives for themselves. They’re all trying to rely on benefactors to make that happen, and it just causes trouble for everybody. I’m realizing now that maybe I like this episode because it didn’t focus on all the Jess and Ryan drama? It was nice to see what some of the other roomies are up to. Of course, Winston still doesn’t get much of a plot, but he got to do one of his “classic mess-arounds,” so that’s better than nothing, I guess.

You may recall that at the end of the previous episode, Nick decides he’s going to be a little more driven, Schmidt decides he’s going to be a little more laid back, and they both decide they want to try to work together again. In college, they would work on inventions together. Nick would come up with a crazy idea, and Schmidt would figure out how to brand and market it. There’s a funny flashback bit early in this episode, where Nick basically invents the smart phone. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that funny. It was a bit on-the-nose now that I think about it. Anyway, in the present day, Nick and Schmidt are excited to debut their newest creation to the rest of the roomies. It is called the “swuit,” and it’s a three piece suit made of sweatshirt/pants material.

As one would expect, the Swuit is not really a hit among the roomies. It doesn’t help that it’s not tailored well at all. I mean, the idea of a jersey work clothing item isn’t crazy. I have a jersey work blazer, and several of my coworkers have them, too. The whole thing together is just a bit ridiculous, though. Anyway, Schmidt and Nick have a pitch meeting scheduled with a famous QVC host, Lori Greiner, and now they need to come up with a new idea to pitch. I kind of feel like it would probably be easier to randomly run into a QVC host in my hometown than in LA, considering QVC studios are only about half an hour away, but I digress. As Nick and Schmidt try to come up with a new pitch under pressure, their different work styles become very apparent. Schmidt is very structured and deliberate, and Nick . . . is not. They both get really mad at each other as they continue to have trouble coming up with an idea.

Cece’s working at the bar, and she’s lamenting the bad tips she has been getting. She’s also being kind of creepy doing a hard sell to get customers to come into the bar. She tells Winston and Coach that her college is raising tuition, and if she can’t get the money together, she might have to drop out. Winston wants to help Cece out with the money, but she doesn’t want to take charity. Over at a booth in the bar, Winston tries to convince Coach to help him give money to Cece. Coach objects because he’s broke and doesn’t really have money to spare to help out Cece, but eventually he relents. Bring on a “classic Winston and Coach mess-around!” Coach and Winston tell Cece that they don’t just want to give her money, they want to “invest” in her. They’ll give her the money with the expectation that she will pay it back with interest a few years after graduation. Sounds like a racket to me, but I’m the one with tens of thousands in student loan debt from the federal government at about twice the interest rate of a mortgage, so what do I know? Anyway, Cece eventually agrees to the plan because she feels she has no other choice if she wants to stay in school.

Back at the loft, Jess tries to use her teacher/supervisor skills on Nick and Schmidt to help them work better together. In separate conversations, she tells Nick and Schmidt that the other is having “man troubles.” Nick and Schmidt are both horrified enough to agree to let the other business partner think he’s actually the “boss” of the operation. The plan works and Nick and Schmidt do actually play nicely together for a little while. They come up with a new invention that involves attaching a dog treat to a camera. In the course of being super nice to each other, though, “man problems” come up, and both Nick and Schmidt reveal that they don’t actually have any. They quickly realize that Jess was the source of the misinformation, and they are not happy. Nick and Schmidt are pissed at each other, but they still plan to go to the pitch meeting.

Anyway, while Nick and Schmidt are waiting at Lori’s office for the meeting, Nick realizes he forgot to bring the dog biscuit camera prototype. Luckily, Jess sees it siting in the loft and decides she should take it to the meeting. On the way, though, Jess spills a cup of coffee all over herself. The only other clothing available is, of course, the swuit. The beginning of the pitch meeting is a huge crash and burn. For some reason, without the prototype, Nick and Schmidt can’t remember any of what they wanted to say about their invention. I’m not surprised this happened to Nick, but I am surprised that Schmidt couldn’t come up with something clever in a pinch. Anyway, Jess, now dressed in the swuit, barges in on the pitch meeting, and the whole thing turns into a swuit pitch, which is way slicker than the dog biscuit camera pitch was.

Meanwhile, Cece is at the local community college taking a not especially good class in British art history. Winston and Coach show up to sit in on the class and see how their investment is doing, and they don’t at all approve. Not only is Cece taking British art history, she’s also taking Afrikkans. Winston and Coach really want her to take something more useful, like pre-med. Or hotel management. I take this sort of criticism a bit personally, since it took me two advanced degrees beyond my bachelor’s to get a decent job in my field. That doesn’t mean my education was worthless. It means employers should be more willing than they are to train their new employees when the requirements of the job don’t perfectly match up with the exact experience of a generally smart person. Obviously, Cece situation is an extreme example of the “pursuing a worthless liberal arts degree” trope, and I didn’t especially appreciate it.

The pitch meeting ends up being a success of sorts. Back at the loft, Nick and Schmidt tell Jess and Kai that Lori paid them $10,000 to kill the swuit because she already sells a suit made out of scrubs. Nick and Schmidt are proud of their success and want to keep working together. Kai, however, wants somebody who will just hang out and do nothing all the time, so she breaks up with Nick. At the bar later, Jess tries to cheer Nick up by telling him that it’s the first time he’s ever been broken up with for working too hard, so that’s progress. Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson still have remarkable chemistry, I must say.

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