New Girl Review: Ménage A Trois

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Last week, New Girl bravely marched into the self-reflexive breach to take on the haters that dislike Jess because of all her cupcakery and cutesiness (guys, cutesiness is a real word. I know, I was surprised too. Cupcakery is definitely a made up word, though).

This week, "Landlord" takes us on an about-face, suggesting that Jess is actually a darling that can make even the most curmudgeonly of curmudgeons love her. 

Hey, Landlord!

Normally, this severe of a story jump would give the viewers whiplash, but the main reason it works for New Girl is because the people that hate Jess (or Zooey) aren’t watching. The folks that are tuning in all love Jess, so of course we’ll buy it that one week she can be subject of Lizzy Caplan’s ire and the next week she can smile down a guy with a gun! 

"Oh, my God, it’s like The Wire!" permalink

I want to see the episode where Jess, a girl who loves polka dots and had never seen porn prior to moving in with the dudes, watches The Wire. I would even settle for an Internet short instead of a full episode.

For more of this week's ridiculous lines, check out the quotes page.

So who is the focus of Jess’ laser beam of sweetness this week? The gang’s landlord, Remy, a scary, monosyllabic man who lives in the basement and sharpens broom handles into spears while brooding over his bucket of gasoline. Jess opens with her traditional peace offering of cupcakes. Is the landlord a dessert person? This crucial piece of information is never revealed because Jess tells Remy that four people live in her loft, which is apparently against their lease. Angry, Remy comes upstairs to oust the illegal roommate.

But Jess’ charms win him over, and he not only lets everyone stay, but he also fixes some things around the apartment.

However, there’s more at stake here than just a few closet doors getting re-hung. Jess is trying to prove to Nick that people are inherently good, and he just has to give them a chance. Nick, with his turtle-face frown and pessimistic outlook, of course thinks Remy just wants to sleep with Jess. Nick’s concern for Jess is predictable – there’s been sexual tension between the two of them since the first episode.

Any Nick/Jess shippers out there? I think they would make a terrible couple, and I’ve been wondering how the writers were going to take the next step in their relationship. The answer: a ménage a trois. With the landlord.

Just like Nick, I didn’t see Remy’s request for a threesome coming. When Remy mentioned it, I chuckled but expected the joke to stop there. Nope. It quickly turned into a game of chicken, using sex as the weapon – will Nick or Jess admit they’re wrong about the nature of humanity first and therefore not have to go through with the deed? Only being on the brink of making out with Nick forced Jess to cave. Sorry, Nick/Jess shippers, clearly Jess isn’t into it. For now.

While the ménage a trois storyline received the lion's share of screen time tonight, Schmidt, as always, did an admirable job of holding down the remainder of the episode. Ironically, New Girl feels most confident when Schmidt is on screen. His character is a great platform for pushing the limits, and Max Greenfield’s exuberant performance really lets the show experiment. Want to try out a montage? Give it to Schmidt. Want to structure an episode around a flashback? Let’s make it about Schmidt. Need a slo-mo parquour scene in a parking garage? You guessed it. Schmidt time. 

Winston had some time to shine last week, so this week he was pushed to the background. Hopefully, he’ll have a chance to woo Shelby next time in the Valentine’s Day episode.

Are you as excited for Ryan Kwanten’s guest spot on next week’s New Girl as I am? If so, please compose a Valentine’s Day haiku about in the comments. Here’s mine:

Dear New Girl and Gang
Let Ryan Keep His Sexy
Aussie Outback Twang

Stray Observations
  • This episode had me doubled over in laughter during the “foreplay” to the threesome scene and Schmidt’s table dancing.
  • I'm glad that Schmidt's 2007 New Years Resolutions list wasn't just a throw away gag and actually came back at the end of episode.
  • Schmidt’s Panamanian accent was so, so wrong and so, so hilarious.


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

Too little, Too late, but I had to say that I rewatched the menage scene a lot! It was funny as hell! And I have to agree with @Me... Nick's expression: PRICELESS. He was GOING TO TOWN! Loved him.


I've been watching tv for a long time, and IMHO, Max Greenfield deserves to be nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. I haven't seen anyone throw themselves into physical comedy like Greenfield does since the late, great John Ritter back on THREE'S COMPANY. All the actors make this show a delight. But, Greenfield's ability to make "douche-y" Schmidt spoiled, endearing, sweet, and, well, douchy at the same time stands out for me. Bravo! And, bravo, also to this week's guest star, Jeff Kober, as Remy the landlord. He scared a lot of people in THE X-FILES and other tv guest roles on in the 90's. Who knew he could have us laughing so hard our sides hurt?


I'm totally rooting for Jess and Nick to get together later, I think they will make a cute couple. He will take care of her, and she will lighten his grumpiness ;)
And this episode was really funny!


This was one of the best episodes EVER and I like pretty much every one! Schmidt is too awesome - his parking garage scene and conference table dance were hysterical, classic Schmidt... the threesome - ahhhh - tears were rolling down my face, I was laughing so hard, and had to replay the scene several times just to soak up all of the great facial expressions!!!!! LOVE this show!!


This was absolutely my favorite episode so far! Whoever came up with the landlord/jess/nick storyline... *standing and clapping* There's no denying they would make the cutest couple. At the very end when they were standing next to each other in the elevator I couldn't help but think of them dating and having weird moments like this happen... they're both just too cute. Would've loved them to have kissed and light bulbs went off but.. like @Tamara said, not exactly the most romantic of situations, lol. Nicks's facial expressions during the almost threesome scenes though... my god, that stuff was just laugh out loud hilarious :D On a side note, @Diana’s also right, there needs to be more Cece... she's another good dynamic to this growing group of 'friends'.

Tony williams

Not my favorite episode of New Girl but I was definitely laughing at Schmidt not being able to figure out his boss advances and the foreplay scene with Nick, Jess and Remy (the Nick eyes when Remy rubbed his shoulders was too funny). All in all CeCe story line needs to go somewhere and Schmidt's character needs to grow a story line.


I think what makes this show work is not letting them get into relations with each other (jess/nick - schmidt/cece). I really don't want it to turn into something more romantic. The sexual tension between them is great though, but it should never go further. Plus i like Jess's next guy (sneak peek photos). HE is so hot. After the guys we've seen her with, yea! i would love that...
I love schmidt, but i think, he is so hilarious that it feels like writters are not making so much effort with Jess. I don't know, but she doesn't seem as quircky, and funny, but more focused on the "yay everyone is nice, everything is beautiful" which is going to get boring very soon.


I enjoyed everything about this episode, I was laughing out loud quite a bit. Schmidt is always fun to watch, loved the list, he doesn't have to worry about getting someone elses sparkle! I like Jess and Nick together, but I agree with others that is should be a slow play, draw it out for a while, let the friendship build. I don't want a Ross and Rachel where you put them together early and break them up and by the time they get together at the end, no one cares anymore. Also, like Nick, I did not see that coming!


Funniest episode in a few episodes. Literally laughing out loud. The awkwardness in the threesome scene was freakin hilarious and Schmidt being mistaken for an attacker was genius. Loved it. ♥ This show will stick around for a while I'm sure.


I have to say that was my most favorite ep. ever. I laughed soo much. I cant believe Jess didnt wanna kiss Nick. But i have to admit that i prob. wouldnt get romantic feelings in this situation either ;)

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New Girl Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

Any time a man wants to show a woman how to do something from behind it's just because he wants an excuse to get real close and breathe on her neck. Watch any sports movie.


What if I ate my own hair and pooped out a wig?