Saturday, March 21, 2015

New Girl 4.18: "Walk of Shame"

“If that South African runner who killed his girlfriend can run with no legs, we can walk in heels.”

I have serious mixed feelings about “Walk of Shame.” On the one hand, we got some fabulous guest stars in Josh Gad and Justin Long. Those two guys are rarely not funny, and they were both used very well in this episode, including their musical talents. On the other hand, I got the feeling even more strongly than usual, that these folks just need to grow the heck up already. They are in their 30s, living in broke-ass apartments and going on walks of shame. They’re a little “too old for that stuff” as they said on one of my favorite episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.” There were a few years where I identified with “New Girl” more than any other show. Now, I think the show I identify with the most is FOX’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” It features a bunch of nerdy but likeable folks who are way too invested in their jobs and have a sort of workplace family. It’s definitely worth a watch. For today, though, we talk more about “New Girl.”

As the episode opens, the gang is hanging out at the bar. Cece and Jess have just gotten blowouts, and they’re feeling extra confident. Schmidt warns them to not feel too confident – sometimes a good blowout can make a person take on more than she can handle. Which is awfully condescending. Beer delivery guys Bearclaw (the always awesome Josh Gad) and Ken invite the ladies to a party at their house, and Jess and Cece decide to take them up on the offer. Next thing we know, Jess wakes up in Bearclaw’s bed. Cece wakes up at Bearclaw and Ken’s apartment, too. Cece wants to “walk of shame” home, but Jess wants to be a bit more dignificed. Jess’ car got towed and both their cell phones are dead, walk of shame it will be.

Meanwhile, back at the loft, the guys are all wondering what’s going on with Coach and May. As they join the rest of the guys in the living room, May mentions that she’s playing Bach’s first cello suite at a gallery opening that evening. She says she still has one movement to learn, which as a not-super-accomplished-cellist-who-no-longer-plays-due-to-nerve-damage, I can say is false. Bach’s first suite is a basic piece for cellists. I could play several movements of it back in the day, and as I said, I wasn’t very accomplished. A pro like May would have had the whole thing memorized for years by now. Anyway, the guys all want to come to the gallery opening, but Coach and Schmidt have second thoughts about Nick and Winston going. Coach is feeling a little insecure about his lack of culture (the only “classical” music he knows in the Monday Night Football theme), and he doesn’t want Nick and Winston making him look even more foolish.

Jess and Cece wander the streets, and they realize they are very thirsty. They follow a water delivery guy to a backyard where a child’s birthday party is about to take place. There are too many people around, so they decide to hide and get water when the party is over. Eventually, though, Jess decides they should just drink from the hose. While they are quenching their thirst, Jess and Cece both admit that they didn’t have the typical one night stand with the beer delivery guys. Jess and Bearclaw spent all night making up a musical about woodland creatures. The excerpts from the musical throughout the episode are pretty darn hilarious. It doesn’t hurt that Zooey Deschanel and Josh Gad are both very musically talented. Cece kept using Schmidt’s name when making out with Ken, and she felt so guilty she cleaned his room for him. I still find it sad that Cece is still so hung up on Schmidt. She can do much, much better than him, considering how horribly he has treated her over the years.

Meanwhile, Schmidt and Coach try to convince Nick and Winston to go to a water park grand reopening instead of the gallery event. They act all enthusiastic about the idea, but when Schmidt and Coach leave the room, Winston and Nick reveal that they are perfectly aware that they are being asked not to go to the gallery opening. That, of course, they are not going to do. Coach and Schmidt are shocked to see Nick and Winston at the gallery event acting perfectly respectable. They know the guys can be up to no good. They confront Nick and Winston, and they end up looking like idiots. Coach tries to pat down Nick, and the whole thing turns into a fight that injures a flautist. Coach got a toothpick stuck in his leg during the fray, and the guys all go to the rest room to try to remove it. While this is happening, Coach wonders if May might be too good for him. Nick gives Coach a pep talk, and while Coach doesn’t love getting the comments with his pants down, he does feel better.

Things go from bad to worse with Jess and Cece when Jess’ season one ex, former teacher Paul Ganzlinger (Justin Long) shows up. Jess gets all defensive because she thinks Paul must be the father of the birthday boy. She figures he and Jen, the woman he left her for, have a happy family life together. Paul is carrying what looks like a diaper bag, so Jess’ assumption isn’t completely out-there. It quickly becomes apparent, though, that all is not as it seems. Paul is actually supposed to be working at the part as a clown. He’s understandably pretty embarrassed by this. Jess convinces him to give up the clown gig and join her and Cece in their “journey” of self-discovery. Because that will end well.

Coach ends up coming clean to May that he doesn’t like classical music, but he’ll listen to it when she plays because he cares about her. This is good enough for May, and she shows Coach that she learned the Monday Night Football theme for him. The gang finds Cece, Jess, and Paul walking down the street yelling about how Los Angeles hasn’t conquered them yet. Everybody is happy to see each other and doesn’t think this is weird at all. Which is weird. Anyway, when they all get back to the loft, everyone is treated to a performance of Jess and Bearclaw’s musical (Bearclaw stopped by to drop off Jess’ purse). Paul accompanies on ukulele, and in a show of solidarity with Coach and his wacky friends, May accompanies on cello. This is quite possibly the best part of the whole episode because it is just so bizarre.

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