Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Girl 4.20: "Par 5"

“I feel like I’m watching a porn set in an HR department.”

This wasn’t an especially memorable episode of “New Girl” to me, although it did have some interesting things to say about politics and power as a woman. Jess was confronted with decided how far she was going to go to procure new computers for her school. As a woman who is pretty career-driven (to put it mildly), I found the comparison of Fawn and Jess to be interesting. Fawn wants nothing more than power, and she’ll do whatever is necessary to obtain it. Jess just wants to help the kids, and she needs to decide if feeling a bit dirty is worth it. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. I think women need to be a bit more assertive in the workplace to be taken seriously, but I also believe in being a genuinely nice and kind person. I think deep down Fawn means well, but she’s just become so consumed with power that she (and her fellow power hungry friends) are not pleasant to be around. I’d like to think it’s possible to both achieve professional success and conduct myself with some level of decency.

The episode opens in the loft, where Fawn and Schmidt are trying to eat dinner among all the usual roomie antics. I can kind of sympathize with Fawn getting tired of all the shenanigans, but she’s really being a bitch to Schmidt, giving him notes on how he performed the last time they had sex and such. She also complains about the other roomies. Jess comes home from work and immediately starts complaining about her day. She’s upset that she couldn’t get funding for new computers at the school. Other roomies do this silly, elaborate, routine where they pretend Jess is royalty, and Fawn just seems grossed out by it. Jess does, however convince Fawn to let her join her at this charity event that a powerful education advocate will be attending. There’s just one problem. The charity event is a golf scramble, and Jess doesn’t know how to play golf.

The B story of this episode focuses on Winston – a shocker, I know! Well, I guess it shouldn’t be all that shocking since the episode was co-written by Lamorne Morris. It’s a shame that Lamorne has to write an episode for his character to have a decent storyline. Anyway, Winston and the other guys are at a café, and Winston spots an attractive woman at a nearby table. Her name is KC. Winston is reluctant to talk to KC because he’s super awkward, but the guys encourage him to go for it. Winston sits down with KC, and while he is indeed somewhat awkward, everything seems to go well at first. Then KC says she’s going to a police protest. Since Winston is a cop, this is an issue. He asks KC to lunch, but he backs away from her so she can’t see that “LAPD” is written on the back of his shirt.

As one would expect, the golf scramble is not going well at all. Jess is way overbearing with the education advocate, and her golf is beyond horrible. She tosses the club down the green more often than she successfully hits the ball. Meanwhile, Schmidt has been instructed by Fawn to show up at the golf scramble and not not look so pale in photos. This leads to him calling Cece over to help him put on bronzer. This really irritated me, because Schmidt was being incredibly insensitive. Cece clearly still has feelings, and he wants her to rub bronzer all over him. It was just generally gross. It was kind of satisfying that there was a major problem with the bronzer. It has glitter in it. Oops! Cece tries to put other makeup over the bronzer, but it makes Schmidt look kind of dead. Fawn video chats with Schmidt and is absolutely horrified. Cece is horrified that Schmidt lets Fawn treat him so horribly, and she lets him know it.

Winston and KC do indeed meet at lunch, but hiding that he’s a cop becomes extremely difficult for Winston. Some of Winston’s coworkers stop by in uniform to get their own lunch, and they greet Winston and make it clear that he is their coworker. KC asks if Winston is a cop, but Winston decides to lie and say he’s a stripper. Later, Winston and Nick try to talk about Winston’s issues about being a black cop during a time when police using undue force against black men has become a serious issue (and how that, in turn, creates issues for Winston and KC). Nick tries to contribute to the conversation, but Winston won’t really let him talk because Nick couldn’t possibly understand. Winston has a point, since Nick’s contribution seems to be mostly doing impressions of black comedians. Coach interjects and says he has an opinion on the topic, but he’s hungry, so he’s not going to talk about it right now.

At the golf scramble, Fawn continues to give Jess notes, both on golf and networking. Jess gets progressively better at the networking part (she’s still terrible at golf). The big name education advocate invites Jess to talk to her more about the school computers in the club house after the game. Fawn, of course, manages to ruin Jess’ moment. She tells Jess that the computers really aren’t on the table at all. They’re supposed to be the excuse Jess uses to network and meet more powerful people. Also, no money from the golf scramble is actually going to go to charity. The money just pays the expenses of the event so the ladies can network and become more powerful. Jess is pretty grossed out by Fawn’s obsession with power, and she says she just wants to finish a clean game of golf.

Jess plays through the rest of the hole, even though the par 5 hole takes her over 100 strokes to finish. She really is terrible at golf! At the hole, fawn bends over to pick up a golf ball, and because she doesn’t wear underwear (going commando makes her feel powerful), she accidentally flashes a bunch of cameras and becomes a huge laughing stock. This turn of events made me quite happy! Back at the loft, Fawn tells Schmidt she understands if he wants to break up with her now that she’s fallen from grace, but Schmidt says he likes her just as she is. How disappointing, considering Fawn can’t really say the same about him. Also in the love department, Winston goes to KC’s office in uniform and admits that he’s a cop and that he lied. KC is most upset about the lying part. She says he can make it up to her by doing a striptease.

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