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'New Girl' Review Season 3 Episode 2 Recap: 'Nerd'

September 25th, 2013 9:44am EDT | Alyssa Landau By: Alyssa Landau

New Girl

Jessica Day has always been a dork. It’s basically the premise of the show. The marketers even used the much-maligned phrase “adorkable” in the ad campaign. Jess’s uncoolness has always been a cornerstone of the show. She’s the sort of person who makes up her own theme song and pretends that Urkele’s famous line is something she made up to impress her hipster neighbors.

So it’s no surprise that in a new school the New Girl would have difficulty fitting in with the cool teachers. She’s a spazz who doesn’t realize that she wears her uncoolness on her sleeve like it was a freakishly large hipster bow.

In “Nerd,” Jess does her best to earn the respect and friendship of the cool kids-esque coworkers, who mock the principal and horde the adorable mustache mugs behind locked cabinets. They’re mean (each coming from a recently cancelled sitcom) and not the sort of people Jess would ever hang out with, which makes it a head scratcher why she would try so hard to get in good with them. Especially since she doesn’t realize that she’s not cool to begin with.

But despite that the plot really worked for me. It’s nice to see that Nick and Jess can have a storyline without it being about their relationship and how different they are and they’re from two different worlds and blah blah blah. Not everything has to be angst to be interesting. They’re together now, but that doesn’t make them any less friends. I could have done without the part where Jess was worried that high school Nick would have never noticed her, mostly because I can’t buy that Nick was ever cool.

Schmitt’s storyline this season continues to be disgusting, with no end is sight. He’s still dating Elizabeth and CeCe, without either knowing that they’re in a non-committed relationship. He doesn’t seem to be inching towards picking one of the women, just juggling them like a bad 80s sitcom. Was anybody really hoping for a two girls at one party plot? They tried to subvert some of the clichés, by adding Schmitt’s snarky adversary/coworker to try to muss things up for him. But once again he gets away with his disgusting behavior.

Schmitt is a few episodes from his complete transformation into Barney Stinson, the womanizing sociopath from How I Met Your Mother. Like Barney, Schmitt has started almost exclusively speaking in one-liners. His obsession with his best friend is creepy. And worst of all he has no real regard for the women in his life. If the evolution of Schmitt doesn’t lead to a huge fall, I’ll be very disappointed.

Meanwhile, Winston is stuck with another crazy plot. His mostly off screen relationship with Daisy comes to an end when he, while picking up her cat to babysit, finds out she’s been sleeping with at least one other person. He wants to be exclusive with her, but she doesn’t completely respect that. I wish they would have paralleled Winston’s situation with what Schmitt is doing, but this might be another case of female characters getting demonized for acting like their male counterparts.

So, how does Winston react to his discovery? He tries to kill her cat, of course. I repeat: HE TRIES TO KILL HER CAT. This was a real plot on a real television show. New Girl writers have really committed to Winston’s psychotic persona. Despite the disturbing subject matter, I’ll admit there were plenty of laughs. I love Psycho Winston, but this might have been a bit too far. Although he ultimately decides to confront Daisy instead of committing feline murder, he also steals the cat. Winston as a cat owner is not something I want to see, unless the cat can manage to be just as psychotic as him.

Other Musings:

  • Cats are obsessed with Schmitt’s nipples. Usually this would be yet another passing Schmitt-comment, but we actually get a flashback and a few callbacks. This is definitely not a story I want to know more about.
  • “Come on bangs, you sons of bitches.” This is literally something people with bangs say every day.
  • “I’ve never seen you smile. It’s not bad. It’s not great.” “Somewhere in the middle!” Happy Nick is the best.
  • Here’s hoping that Dads gets cancelled so that Brenda Song can come back to New Girl. She’s very funny in the few minutes of screen time she gets.
  • Schmitt’s office is a 2/3rds replica of Don Draper’s office. Don must be his hero.
  • “Drinking to be cool, Nick? That’s not a real thing.” “That’s the only thing I know to be true.”
  • “Sometimes firemen are women.”
  • No hungover person wants to be woken with “I Believe I Can Fly.”
  • Douchebag Jar Moment: Schmitt implies that his coworker is a slut and is giving many members of the office HPV. $100 in the jar, Schmitt.
Photo Credits: Fox Broadcasting Company