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New Girl Review: Big Guy

by at . Comments

In a way, New Girl's transformation into a well-oiled comedy machine this season has been bad news for me as a reviewer.

Before, there was stuff to complain about. But how many weeks can I get by with just saying "This was pretty freakin' funny?" before the reading public calls for my head?

Jess Throws a Party

Well, there are only three more episodes left of New Girl Season 2, so I hope you'll forgive me for noting that "Bachelorette Party" was indeed pretty freakin' funny.

This half hour was a light confection with pretty low stake, however. I mean, Cece is just not getting married, not even if you believe in that theory of multi-verses where every single thing that could ever happen is happening in some universe right now.

Still, the installment landed nicely on its feet, with just as many Schmidt fat suit flashbacks, awesome New Girl quotes and horny lesbian gynecologists as you'd like to see on a Tuesday night.

But for an episode with low stakes, it did shed some interesting light on Cece. Though the show has always given Cece a lot to do, it has only been in the second half of this season that we've gotten a look at who she really is - and that is a successful model who somehow still hates herself so much that she'll marry a virtual stranger and change everything about herself.

This is yet another example of New Girl sneaking some innovative characterization in through the back door, without making a big deal about it. Male self-loathing is never in short supply on TV (in that it is, you know, basically the backbone of modern humor), but spinning comedy out of a beautiful girl's self-hatred is a pretty unusual move.

Comedies are often most comfortable giving self-loathing female characters some traits that society also finds unappealing in women, so that their negativity "makes sense" (The Big Bang Theory's Amy Farrah Fowler jumps to mind). But Cece has almost everything that's supposed to make you happy: she's beautiful, desired by men, and lives a glamorous lifestyle. And still she can barely stand herself... just because that's the way life is sometimes. It's ballsy, and I hope other shows are sitting up and taking note.

Of course, there can be no mate for a lady with that much self-loathing, except a guy who spends every flashback scene in a fat suit (should we start calling them "fats-backs"?).

I loved this episode's latest chapter of the Tale of Fat Schmidt - revealing that, contrary to the emasculated Fat Schmidt we've seen so often in flashbacks, Fat Schmidt was a better boyfriend and may have even been a happier human being than Skinny Schmidt. What will come of those three pizzas that Schmidt brought to Elizabeth's house? This is seriously a The Killing-level cliffhanger for me.

Okay, I was wrong about this episode being a light confection. "Bachelorette Party" was actually a pretty compelling investigation into the meaning of self-loathing and self-worth, somehow set on a stage flanked by male strippers and dick pics. I don't know how you do the voodoo that you do so well, New Girl, but please, keep doing it.

Do you think Cece is actually going to get married? How do you think the Schmidt-Cece match-up compares to the Jess-Nick pairing? Which New Girl character would you invite to your bachelorette party?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (84 Votes)
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Joyeful

That being said - the look of amusement on Nick's face when he realized Jess approved of his "hardware" was GOLDEN. Man, Jake Johnson does not waste a SECOND of screen time.

Joyeful

I actually didn't see Cece as self-loathing. I don't think you have to be self-loathing to choose an arranged marriage; millions of people do this and it's not always because of tradition or because of low self-esteem. Cece's rushing into marriage not because she hates herself, but because she wants kids and doesn't have time. If she TRULY hated herself, she would have stayed with the narcissistic, selfish partner she found in Schmidt. The fact that she dumped Schmidt actually tells me that she knew that she needed better than he could give her. What I think is that she was simply embarrassed to show some of her proclivities to her future in-laws - WHO isn't?? Really, who wants their future husband's family to be at a sex-themed bachelorette party? I actually thought that was quite reasonable. I agree with Jess that she shouldn't change who she is, but at the same time I think this was just contextual.

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Schmidt and Cece are definitely my favorites, but I've found myself enjoying Nick and Jess more this season than I expected to. I think the kiss was a major turning point in terms of establishing to me that Nick has a lot of passion that he is actually capable of channeling in positive ways. And Jake Johnson has been doing a nice job with the arc of Nick growing up a bit this season. The funny thing is that I like Zooey a lot (she's why I started watching the show) but I'm still not 100% sold on Jess yet... Kalinda on "The Good Wife" strikes me as another female character currently on TV with some self-loathing issues. I don't think the writing has been consistent, but we've definitely seen shades of it a number of times throughout the series. Of course, TGW is a drama - much different terrain. (Interesting that just while writing this did I realize my two favorite pairings on TV right now - Cary/Kalinda on TGW and Schmidt/Cece on NG - feature Indian actresses.)

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i'm a much bigger fan of cece/schmidt. i've never been on board with jess/nick. i know i'm in the minority, but i just don't get the chemistry. and it takes too much away from the other characters and story lines. really hoping that cece won't marry shavrang - that just seems too out of character for her. she's been portrayed as a strong girl who can take care of herself and doesn't take crap. but i can't wait to see how it unfolds.

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It's been really interesting to watch the characters evolve this season. I love that the one getting married is the worst off in terms of knowing what she wants. Personally, I've never really been a fan of Cece and Schmidt, and especially right now, Cece doesn't deserve him. I actually hope they keep Elizabeth around, at least for a few episodes of season 3 (although I'm sure Nurse Jackie will be renewed again). I love that this show can realistically have them evolve and "grow up". Too many times, shows end up stagnant because they don't know how to write the comedy if it it deviates from the original premise of the show. And how do Nick and Jess still manage to create chemistry while they're talking on the phone?!? That short 10 second scene pretty much proves that nothing is going to be "ruined" by making them a couple.

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i would say that nick/jess are my otp - but to be honest i love both couples :)

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I absolutely loved seeing Schmidt in such a vulnerable state when he realized what he turned into. I'd love to see that development more. He and Cece and nick and Jess are both amazing couples on the show with killer chemistry, it's impossible to say which is better.

New Girl Season 2 Episode 22 Quotes

Shivrang's Aunt: Who is this?
Schmidt: I'm Gerard Depardieu. Who do you think I am, lady? I'm Schmidt.

Please take that off, you look like a homeless pencil.

Schmidt
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