New Girl “Menzies” Review – How Crazy Can This Show Get?

New Girl 207 1This week’s episode of New Girl brought the show’s goofy side to a whole new level with Schmidt signing a “sex contract” with his boss (an always gorgeous and charming Carla Gugino), both Jess and Winston suffering from PMS (“I got that menstruation inside of me!” he yells out to Schmidt), and, in the most “out there” story of the night, Nick receiving a pool massage from a stranger he meets at the park. Not all of these crazy stories should work together, but they somehow do and that’s because of the strength of New Girl‘s cast, specifically Jake Johnson. Every week I find myself more and more in love with the character of Nick Miller and his zany antics. If the MVP of the first season of New Girl was Max Greenfield’s Schmidt, then I’ll be the first to nominate Jake Johnson as Nick for this season’s standout.

The best part about all these wacky plots is that they lead to both a bevy of one-liners (I probably could fill this whole article up just with quotes from tonight’s episode) and some great character moments from Nick, Jess, and Schmidt. The strongest of these comes from Nick and Jess, who again serve as the heart and spine of New Girl this season. After being told that he is always angry by the group, Nick vents about his problems to an essentially mute stranger in the park, who does not offer any words of wisdom but does takes Nick to a pool and gives him a water massage, which allows Nick (at least for this episode anyway) to release his feelings and become a calmer, more easy-going guy. With this newfound love of life, Nick is able to call Jess out on her frustrations at not finding a job (after unsuccessfully giving her a water massage first), which she she has been blaming on her PMS, and he gives her great advice that leads to Jess landing a job as a creative writing teacher for adults.

A lot of episodes in New Girl‘s second season have had Nick and Jess come together in different ways to help one another. However, each time that the New Girl writers do it, it never feels old or played out; it feels real and believable and helps the show earn the eventual romance that will occur between Nick and Jess. At the end of last season, when Nick was backsliding into his relationship with Caroline, we saw Jess’s desire to help her friend and roommate, no matter how ridiculous she seemed. This year on New Girl, whether he is facing his fears by entering a haunted house or building her a dresser, Nick is showing the same amount of care and compassion for Jess, and it is very sweet and endearing.

Another part of New Girl that is sweet and endearing is the relationship between Schmidt and Cece. Hannah Simone and Max Greenfield have such great chemistry together that any scene between the pair is pretty much guaranteed to be stellar, and this week’s pivotal moment, where Cece almost cheats on her new boyfriend, Robbie, is another excellent one. Robbie calls Cece “a nice girl,” and she seeks shelter in Schmidt because he knows each and every side of her: caring, fierce, and straight-up mean. As Schmidt tries to seduce Cece, before her morals eventually win out and she leaves, we see the facade that Schmidt puts up slowly break down with each passing moment. Greenfield’s final look of longing as he sees the girl he lost but still loves walk out shows why he’s such a great actor and why Schmidt is an awesome character; no matter how insufferable or “douchey” he may come off, he has a big heart and truly cares for everyone in his life.

All in all, a really, really enjoyable episode of New Girl. The weirder and crazier this show gets, the more I seem to love it. New Girl continues to be, in my opinion, this year’s strongest sophomore show and the best comedy currently on TV.

New Girl 207 2Other thoughts:

– Really great to see Carla Gugino on TV again. I loved her guest stint on Californication a couple years ago and her role on this summer’s Political Animals. She’s as beautiful as she is talented.

– Nick’s attempts at pushing the “pull” door open was probably my favorite scene from this week’s episode. “I HATE DOORS!”

– Another hilarious scene was Jess’s first interview of the night, where she breaks down crying at the picture of the puppy in the cup. Zooey Deschanel is really great at that type of “awkward situation” comedy, and her exclaiming “Puppy…in a….cup!” while crying was a highlight of the episode for me.

– I also loved (and I hope I do not offend any readers by this description of it) Jess’s PMS rampage at the beginning of the episode. Always funny to see Jess at her most unhinged, when she’s usually so happy and bubbly all the time.

Best New Girl Quotes of the night:

– “He’s like a character in a Judy Bloom novel.” — Schmidt describing Nick’s calm and cool behavior.

– “I will kick your testicles right off. You’ll all look like Ken dolls down there!” – Jess in full rampage mode.

– “Cut, cut. Nick, snare drum. Do I really have to specify?” — Schmidt when Nick decides to do a bass drum roll for him.

– And my personal favorite of the night, Schmidt’s line to Cece when she lies down on his bed: “You’re getting your smell all over the comforter. It took me months to get rid of that heavenly curry smell.”

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