New Girl Review: Save Me
Who are any of us, really? I mean, really?
And how good are we at judging what we want? I'm not trying to channel that girl from your freshman dorm who smelled like trail mix and bong water here; I'm simply pondering the questions that "TinFinity" stirred up inside me.
Ever since The Kiss shook up the New Girl-iverse, the show has become a study in how people deal with the difference between what they want, and what they think they should want. And tonight's episode turned that study into a master class.
From Jess's belief that a manly pro football player (played with delightful screwiness by Shameless's Steve Howey) would keep her from having to really think through how kissing non-manly Nick made her feel; to Cece's thinking that agreeing to a marriage proposal from a guy she barely knew would make her feel like a stable adult; to Nick's certainty that buying a port-a-potty that looked like it was used in the filming of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre made him a small business owner... everyone made assumptions about what they needed to be happy.
And everyone was wrong. Because everyone was wrapped up in denial about who they truly were and what they really needed.
Listen, I am trying very hard not to quote Billy Joel's "The Stranger" here, but you have to work with me.
Aside from confronting the questions that haunt the heart of modern young adulthood, "TinFinity" was also just a lot of fun.
Jess's recent embrace of her bombshell nature has been comedic gold (mostly because it was the elephant in the room for all of New Girl Season 1), and watching her work it for Jax during the touch football game was a goofy delight. Jax's revelation as basically the Isla Fisher character in Wedding Crashers was also a slapstick-y treat.
And Nick and Schmidt's port-a-potty war worked as a great commentary on the "pissing contest" element of their friendship, while also being filled with great port-a-potty jokes (I mean, you pee in them! These jokes basically write themselves). In fact, the episode overall was a hotbed of excellent New Girl quotes.
But "TinFinity"'s deft use of all these silly comedy tropes to explore serious emotional issues was what made it one of the stand-out episodes of the season.
While New Girl Season 1 was mostly a fun puff-pastry of clever jokes and ostentatious party dresses, New Girl Season 2 hasn't been shy about examining the hazards of extended adolescence. It's been getting its hands dirty tackling the big issues that arise when you're in your late 20's, but still dress like a Muppet and don't have a real job (what, me, over-identify?).
The gang's abject terror of making that one huge decision in their lives, for fear that it will be a mistake that will ruin their lives forever - and, in the process, making a million little decisions that might also mess up their lives forever - rings true with a brutal emotional honesty that you really don't expect in a show that also makes such excellent use of a fat suit.
But New Girl has been nailing it all season long. I hope the rest of the season maintains up this level of quality, and comes to some conclusions that I can use - I mean, conclusions that my friend, Mabrielle Goss, can use. Her life is a straight-up mess.
Do you think Nick and Jess will ever suck it up and admit that they loved sucking face? Are Schmidt and Cece going to realize the error of their ways and get back together? Does owning a port-a-potty actually make you a small business owner?