Oh, New Girl, I should know to never doubt you. After being a little nervous last week about how the writers were going to handle the Nick and Jess relationship this season, this week’s episode of New Girl, “Nerd,” quelled all those fears, as we were treated to a storyline that showed how great of a boyfriend Nick Miller can be, while also giving us a hilariously insane Winston plot and a little more movement on the Schmidt-Cece-Elizabeth love triangle front. Overall, I was extremely pleased with tonight’s New Girl and thought “Nerd” was on par with most of the heights of New Girl’s second season.
The main story of tonight’s episode of New Girl focused on Jess’s difficulties in attempting to fit in with the cool group of teachers at the new school that she is now working at. Enter Nick Miller, cool expert extraordinaire, anxious to hand out free drinks at the bar or recruit someone to the Nick Miller Sack Pack (an expert group of hacky sack players apparently). Nick points out that Jess’s situation is just like high school; she’s the nerd trying to get into the gang of cool kids, so Nick encourages her to drink and be spontaneous. However, when he recognizes that the teachers may be going too far with breaking into the principal’s backyard, Nick at first warns Jess, and then ends up joining her in her ill-advised adventure after he cannot convince her not to partake in it. If she’s going to anything stupid, she’s not going to do it without Nick.
This storyline was a great first step for New Girl in solidifying why Nick and Jess belong together and how they can be functional as a real life couple and not just hookup buddies. When Nick sees that his advice is leading Jess down the wrong route, he makes sure that he is right there beside her through it all. Nick’s spontaneous personality never veers into outright stupidity or carelessness; instead, his crazy antics compliment Jess’s more controlled, if still quirky, behavior, and the blending of the two of them makes both Nick and Jess more interesting, complex, and entertaining characters. I cannot wait to see how New Girl continues to balance Nick and Jess’s strong personalities, all while showing how truly right these two are for one another.
While Nick and Jess carried the A-plot tonight, both Winston and Schmidt had entertaining stories in their own right. After New Girl showed us more of Winston’s insane character traits last week, the series stays with the idea that he is still the crazy one of the gang tonight, as he contemplates murdering Daisy’s cat, which he is watching for her, in a revenge ploy to get back at her for cheating on him. This storyline illustrated Winston at his crazy best (the image of him holding the string noose over Ferguson may make PETA upset but had me roaring with laughter) and eventually ended with him breaking things off with Daisy and keeping Ferguson the Cat, an animal that I hope will be featured in many New Girl episodes to come.
While Winston takes action in with regards to his romance, Schmidt still cannot decide between Cece and Elizabeth, but, as we see by the end of tonight’s New Girl, the immorality of his indecision is weighing heavily on Schmidt’s conscience. I really hope the near-explosive events of his office party force Schmidt to make a real, final decision next week, because while watching him run back and forth between Elizabeth and Cece, making up crazy excuse after crazy excuse, was entertaining, it could quickly become tiring. Furthermore, the longer Schmidt strings both women along, the more of a jerk he begins to look like, and we love Schmidt because he isn’t a jerk, despite his many tool-esque qualities. Like the rest of the characters on New Girl, Schmidt has a good heart, and I hope the writers have him use it sooner rather than later.
- Cats being “obsessed” with Schmidt’s nipples and Ferguson lying on top of Schmidt at the end of the episode may be one of the funniest things that New Girl has ever done. I almost had tears in my eyes.
- Schmidt’s office is two-thirds of Don Draper’s from Mad Men, because, come on, would you expect anything different?
- Schmidt and Winston asking if Nick had killed Jess when she woke up in the morning hung over was great. But you know what made it even better? When Nick, Schmidt, and Winston got Jess up for work by singing “I Believe I Can Fly.” It reminded me of “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” from New Girl’s pilot and I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the entire scene.
- How do you become cool the Nick Miller way? Drink. Drink a lot.
- I want to see more of Jess’s principal. And more of his awesome jacuzz.
- Early in the episode, Jess claims that Nick would have never noticed Jess in high school because she was a nerd and he was one of the “cool kids.” Nick ends the episode by telling Jess ““Hey, I just wanna say, I would have noticed you,” before kissing her in the school parking lot. I’ll admit it: even I swooned. That Nick Miller, man, he knows how to do romance right.
- “I wouldn’t even know where to begin to steal a swag”—Schmidt to Winston.
What did everyone else think about tonight’s episode of New Girl? Did you like it better than the season premiere?