New Girl “Halloween” Review – Haunted House Havoc

New GirlLast night’s episode of New Girl, appropriately titled “Halloween,” had a lot of great moments, but I feel like the individual scenes did not come together for me as well as well they have in past New Girl episodes this season. However, before I get into the particulars about this specific episode, let me be honest about one minor thing: I do not like Halloween. For some reason, not exactly sure why, this holiday and I have never really clicked. I’m more of a Christmas guy, so perhaps my certain disdain for this day may have tainted my usual enjoyment of New Girl.

Anyway, back to the episode, which had four pretty evenly split plots: Jess’s newly found feelings for Sam, Nick’s reconvening with his college crush, Amelia, Schmidt’s attempts at ruining Robbie and Cece’s relationship, and Winston and Shelby’s breakup. The strongest of these storylines is Jess’s, because we get to learn more about Sam as a character (He’s a doctor! He’s great with kids!) and we also receive an awesome performance from Zooey Deschanel. Within twenty short minutes, we see Jess start to really fall for this guy (like she always ends up doing) and worry about how he’ll feel. Deschanel sells every single moment of this episode and absolutely nails the scene where Sam says “no” to her proposal of a real relationship; Another chance at love and happiness for Jess has been squandered, leaving her single again (until she and Nick get together at the end of this season. I’m calling it now), and the hopelessness and disappointment etched across Deschanel’s face during this, even underneath all the zombie makeup, is absolutely brilliant.

The rest of the episode’s stories are decent enough and definitely have some funny moments to them (I loved Winston’s dissatisfaction with Shelby’s “sexy” costume, “Reigning Cats and Dogs,” and Schmidt’s Matthew McConaughey from Magic Mike backup costume was a stroke of brilliance), but they never reach the emotion or completion that Jess’s story has. Winston’s breakup with Shelby is inevitable, given the lack of intimacy in their relationship, and most of Nick’s interactions with Crazy Amelia feel like filler until he runs into the haunted house to help out Jess (more on that below). Only Schmidt’s storyline comes close to being as enjoyable as Jess’s. Even though Schmidt’s  constant jabs at Robbie get pretty tired halfway through the episode (although I did love the one about Robbie’s “low hanging fruit”), the chemistry between Max Greenfield and Hannah Simone has never been better, and this newly formed friendship between Schmidt, Cece, and Robbie is a great direction for the show to go in and should be fun to watch over the next few episodes.

All in all, not the best episode of New Girl this season, but still another solidly funny installment. I consistently laugh at this show every week, even when I’m not loving the stories they’re telling, and that’s what continues to make New Girl the best comedy on TV right now.

Other thoughts:New Girl

– Even though I was not a huge fan of his storyline with Amelia, my favorite part of this episode BY FAR was when Nick went into the haunted house. Jake Johnson screaming like a little girl, and even more specifically his screaming match with the haunted house’s clown, is comedy gold. Also the fact that Nick enters the house, even though he’s terrified of it, to help Jess, before accidentally punching Jess in the face out of terror, makes it all the better.

– My other favorite part of this episode was the gang’s “Zombie Woody Allen” impersonations. I think the funniest one for me had to be Winston’s, but all four were pretty great and showed again how talented, goofy, and charming the core cast of New Girl is.

– I’m really enjoying the little moments that Schmidt and Cece are getting this season, as they are obviously finding their way back to being a couple. Their exchange about “dangerous” Schmidt in theNew Girl’s season premeire, their conversation about Schmidt’s dad in “Fluffer,” and Cece’s longing look and smile last night, as Schmidt ran off in his Matthew McConaughey costume, have all been really great small moments that remind the viewers how much these two care about each other and why they should be together.

Best New Girl Quotes of the Night:

– “Lincoln bringing the nations back together again.” – Schmidt, while wearing his Abe Lincoln costume, on his newfound friendship with Cece and Robbie.

– “Oh Shelby, you’re making me so mad, my mustache is coming off!” — Winston

– Amelia, showing Nick the pumpkin that she carved for him: “That’s you and me and our dog.” Nick’s response: “Haha, why do I look so scared?”

– This exchange between Nick and Jess was pretty perfect. Jess: “If he shows up wearing a costume, he likes me.” Nick’s response: “That’s sound logic.” Jess, as she starts walking out of the room: “Yeah, yeah, it is.” Nick tries to call out to her before she leaves: “Jess, I was kidding!”

– And my personal favorite of the night goes to Schmidt, who was channeling Abraham Lincoln again, for this hilarious one-liner to Winston: “I witnessed the emancipation of one black guy tonight…from a terrible relationship.”

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