TV Time: New Girl 3.11

Title Clavado En Un Bar

Two-Sentence Summary At the bar, Jess asks the guys and Cece for advice about keeping her job as a teacher at a struggling school or taking a new job at a museum. This prompts each of Jess’s roommates to share their stories about how they ended up in their current professions.

Favorite Line “This moment is so chill and lacking drama that I want to call it Tim Duncan.” (Nick)

Episode M.V.P. Each actor in New Girl’s ensemble had at least one moment to shine in this week’s episode. And I do mean each actor—even Hannah Simone had some great lines about Cece’s struggling career as a model (who is now relegated to playing the desperate party in a phone sex ad). Fat Schmidt made a triumphant return to our TV screens, but my favorite Max Greenfield moment of the night was Schmidt once again messing up a pop culture reference (like he did previously with Indiana Jones) when he referred to the “late, great Sir Billy Joel” and then proceeded to misquote “Only the Good Die Young” (“The good, they do die young.”). Damon Wayans Jr. cracked me up when he yelled at Jess’s potential new boss for calling her too early. Jake Johnson reminded me once again that no one can do surprising sincerity like he can—it’s not often that you think of a bartender as a job people really choose, but I completely bought that Nick genuinely finds joy in that job after seeing it through Johnson’s eyes this week. And Zooey Deschanel very convincingly played the panic inherent in making a major life decision with no clear-cut right answer.

All of the ensemble turned in great performances, but Lamorne Morris proved once again that no one can get me laughing while watching New Girl like he can. Winston’s dawning realization that he’s never made a real decision in his life was hilarious. And once he made the decision to quit his job, Morris was at his offbeat best in describing how “things got racial” and he couldn’t go back. Winston has become one of those characters where I laugh every time he opens his mouth, and so much of that comes from Morris’s offhand delivery of the show’s strangest lines.

Favorite Moment In terms of comedy, I really loved Nick trying to use a quote from A League of Their Own as advice before getting caught by Jess and Cece. Their subsequent argument about the film’s true meaning (sports or sisterhood…and the war) was perfect for me to watch as a fan of that film and of playing “spot the pop culture reference” whenever I watch TV. But what pushed that moment into greatness was the guy at the end of the bar singing “This Used to Be My Playground.” Whoever came up with that entire bit should be given a gold star for working in such a random reference so wonderfully.

However, my favorite moment in the episode belonged to young Jess and Cece. The flashback to their first meeting was full of the easy warmth of childhood friendship. It wasn’t afraid to show its heart more than its sense of humor, and that’s when I like New Girl the most—when it hits me with a moment that just feels real.

A New Girl GIF* For My New Girl Feelings

schmidt please don't leave me

After a string of subpar episodes, I was so happy to see this warm, slightly weird, and wonderful side of New Girl again. It had a nice balance between Nick and Jess’s relationship and the other friendships on the show; it didn’t make Cece and Schmidt the focus of any scene; and it wasn’t afraid to be sincere while it was being silly. This episode touched on a lot of relatable material for young adults wondering about their own careers, and that’s when I love this show the most—when it feels like it’s speaking directly to me about things people my age really care about. This was a strong episode, and I hope it’s the start of a strong second half of Season Three.

*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.


8 thoughts on “TV Time: New Girl 3.11

  1. Nice review Katie! I agree that this was one of their better episodes this season. I think it was good they got the gang out of the apartment, even though they spent most of the ep in the bar, the change of scenery was nice. There was a good balance of Nick and Jess’s relationship vs. everything else which hasn’t always been the case this season. And I totally agree with you about Winston, he’s actually my favorite character this season. I always love to see what Lamorne Morris does with the random and hilarious lines they give him. Hopefully with Winston quitting his job at the end of this ep will get ever more of him in the back half of the season!

  2. I am trying to get myself back in to ‘New Girl’, and while this episode was on the right track, the show is still not quite back to where it used to be. There was a time when this show would leave me laughing for days, but its been awhile since I actually found myself laughing out loud. I really hope they find their groove again, and I do think there is hope.

    One thing I did really enjoy about this episode was Jess and Nick being a couple without there having to be specific talk about them being a couple. I think they have been together long enough where they shouldn’t need to have to worry about “what they are” or “where this is going” or freak out about everything. They just need to enjoy being together, because thats what people in good relationships do. For me a good relationship is a source of calm and strength when chaos is happening around you. If your relationship is always the source of chaos than thats a problem, and its why I was starting to question the two of them together. But this episode did a good job restoring my faith in them as a couple, and it was great to see Nick being supportive and understanding.

    I also thought it was nice to see Nick acknowledge that being a bartender is what he wants to do and it makes him happy. You know, for all the criticisms I have of Nick being a man child, not one of them was ever “hes just a bartender”. I always felt like that was the one thing about Nick that seemed to fit him. I should note I was friends with pretty much the entire UC Davis law class of 2006, and I kid you not, a good chunk of them have stopped practicing law, and at least a handful of them are now bartenders (and much happier with their lives) so Nick’s life choice seem completely normal to me, haha.

    Heres hoping that “New Girl’ goes back to celebrating the little things and hilarious randomness that makes life fun, and lays off the heavy drama for a bit. I want to laugh and have fun watching again.

    • I have to agree with you that, while I thought this episode was the strongest in quite some time, it still wasn’t quite up to the standards the show set for itself back in Season Two. I enjoyed it, and I saw a lot of good things in it that give me hope for the rest of the season, but that “it factor”—the thing that made me fall completely in love with the show last season—is still missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I still found myself more entertained by The Mindy Project (which has been gaining steam while New Girl has been losing it, in my opinion).

      “For me a good relationship is a source of calm and strength when chaos is happening around you.” – That’s an excellent definition of a strong relationship, and it’s what I see in all of the TV couples I love. I think that’s why I have been frustrated with Nick and Jess at points this season. I thought that’s what they would be for each other, but then, like you said, they ended up making the chaos worse more often than not. Hopefully, their sane stability in this episode is a sign of things to come.

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