It’s good to be back! To any new readers joining us for this season, welcome!
Title All In
Two-Sentence Summary After Cece’s near-wedding, Nick and Jess find themselves embarking on a new, “all in” relationship as they travel to Mexico to discover what they have with each other independent of Schmidt and Winston, who are back at the loft working through problems of their own (Schmidt’s inability to decide between Elizabeth and Cece and Winston’s difficulties with a jigsaw puzzle). However, after Nick gets arrested, he and Jess realize that they don’t need to be away from Schmidt and Winston to find out what they are; they’re all in whether they’re in Mexico or back at the loft.
Favorite Line “Hey you guys…I’ve been doing a lot of thinking…Now I know everyone’s going through a lot, but I think it’s time for me to start a puzzle.” (Winston)
Episode M.V.P. Another season, another episode of New Girl where really any one of the “core four” actors could have been named its most valuable performer. The reason why this episode worked so well as a premiere was because it didn’t tinker too much with what made last season such a joy. It focused on pairs of characters that have been incredibly successful in the past: Nick/Jess and Schmidt/Winston. The former provided the majority of the episode’s heart, and the latter provided a lot of its humor.
I could single out Jake Johnson’s incredible nonverbal acting once again because I still melt every time Nick looks at Jess. And the way he delivered the line about her being the prettiest girl on the beach was wonderful because it was so matter-of-fact. It’s a simple fact for Nick that Jess is the prettiest girl wherever they happen to be, and that kind of sincerity is what makes him such a realistically romantic leading man. I could also single out Zooey Deschanel for her incredible ability to bring sanity to this crazy group of male characters without seeming like their mom. Like Johnson, Deschanel acts with a disarming kind of sincerity that makes all of her lines feel honest, even when they’re as crazy as “Nick is my bitch!” I could watch a whole show of Johnson and Deschanel laughing together and looking at each other because they capture the joy of falling in love better than any other actors on TV.
When talking about New Girl actors, you can’t forget Max Greenfield, who was once again brilliant, whether he was screaming at Winston or genuinely getting emotional at the idea of hurting either Cece or Elizabeth. But the real star of this episode, the one who made me joyfully exclaim “New Girl is back!” has to be Lamorne Morris. Winston always gets the craziest storylines, but somehow Morris always makes them hilarious—and this was no exception. “Puzzling Winston” is right up there with “Prank Sinatra” on my list of reasons to love New Girl. From the humming and the weirdly sexual attitude toward the puzzle to his hoodie-as-sweatpants wardrobe and stubbing his toe while walking in angry circles with Schmidt, Morris had me laughing until I cried throughout the episode. The scene where Winston and Schmidt carry on an entire nonverbal conversation behind Cece’s back was something I’ve seen 100 times on TV before, but I’ve never laughed as hard as I did this time. Winston is crazy—genuinely, hilariously crazy—but he’s also a good friend. And I hope this episode starts the Year of Winston—because Morris has earned it.
Favorite Moment I watch New Girl for a lot of reasons—many of which were reflected in last night’s premiere. I’m obsessed with the way Nick and Jess kiss. I love watching a love story unfold that’s filled with genuine happiness. I can never get enough Schmidt. I have a huge crush on Jake Johnson. I enjoy watching a show about a female character who’s way more like me than most stereotypically “strong” female characters. (Like Jess, I also rock a lot of polka dots and think that means I can still be smart and strong.)
My favorite thing about New Girl, though—the thing that keeps me coming back every week—is watching the relationships develop between all four main characters. This is a show about a group of weird young adults who have nothing figured out but have somehow formed their own family. And that central theme of friendship was reflected so perfectly in Jess’s speech about the people she loves:
We’re a family. You can’t choose who you love; sometimes they choose you. And sometimes it’s just because you got a really great deal on Craigslist. I got a really great deal on Craigslist. I got all of you.
That’s the perfect line for a season premiere because it sums up what the show is all about for new viewers while making loyal fans (like me) get emotional because we’ve seen this little family change and grow so much in the first two seasons of this show. These characters love each other, and their friendships (and Nick and Jess’s romance) are so compelling because they feel so real. There’s never been a better argument for finding an apartment on Craigslist than New Girl.
A New Girl GIF* For My New Girl Feelings
It feels so good to be reunited with this show. I was a little worried about how it would hold up after a finale that was pretty darn close to perfect (like Jess worrying about how Nick would hold up in a Mexican jail). But also like Jess, it turns out my worries were unfounded, and New Girl was just as wonderful as it’s ever been. This is a show that makes me feel good. It’s like a good hug at the end of a long day. I missed it so much, and I feel so happy to have its unique blend of humor and heart back in my TV-watching life.
*I have no talent for GIF-making. Thankfully, I am highly skilled at searching Tumblr for the best GIFs. I take no credit for this beauty. It originally came from this post.
Yes I really loved the premiere. It was fantastic and I know the season will hold up to the fabulousness of season 2. Thanks for answering the “hoodies as sweatpants” question I had cuz I had no idea what he was wearing on his legs. And the scene where Winston stubs his toe was great as well as most of his lines about puzzling. I wonder how they will deal with Damon Wayans Jr coming on to the show and their dynamic.
I actually had to pause the TV to find out what he was wearing on his legs. My favorite part of that whole thing was that it was never explained; some things are better left to the imagination.
I’m also really curious to see what the return of Coach is going to be like. Whatever happens, it’s nice to feel like I have faith in this writing staff and especially in these actors.
Season 2 has finally landed on Neflix and I am telling you now, that your love affair with season 2 is the only reason I am going down the rabbit hole. I trust your taste, but remain skeptical that I am going to be a keeper. I realize it actually may have more to do with the show’s creator/head writer after having watched The Writers Room episode.
I hope you end up enjoying it (at least wait until you get the “Cooler” episode in S2), but I can totally understand if you don’t end up loving it. My love for the show definitely grew over time, and I think the reason it resonates so strongly with me is because I feel like I’m a lot like Jess and that group of friends really reminds me of my group of friends at the point in our lives we’re at right now.