New Girl Review: Paradise Nick

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New Girl Season 3 has barely begun, but Jess and company have already taught us two very important lessons:

  1. Mature adult relationships are scary and hard, but rewarding.
  2. 2. So are puzzles.

Remember that, because there'll be a quiz at the end of this recap!*

New Girl in Mexico

"All In" was a classic "Brady Bunch in Hawaii"-type gimmick episode, where a backdrop of exotic, lush beaches and mysterious foreign jails were subbed in for the show's regular backdrop of lush, soiled lofts and mysterious domestic jails to distract us from the fact that there wasn't a whole lot of conflict going on.

For once, New Girl was (mostly) about the gang learning to settle into new roles, rather than neurotically debate their these roles for 30 minutes, have a fight, make up and eventually come to few-if-any conclusions about their them.

Not that I'm complaining. I love the neurosis! It certainly looks more like my own life than boning on a tropical beach, while wearing ragged "Swiss Family Robinson"-style outfits after only being away for four days (did they hitch a ride to Mexico on an old-timeney pirate ship as well, mayhaps?).

But it was an intriguing change of pace to see Jess and Nick whisper sweet nothings instead of pick apart their desire for each other for once, as well as a bold statement for the start of the season. There's no bickering here, none of the "where are we going" talk that has filled their lives since the moment they sucked face. These crazy kids are just in love, pure and simple. Awwww!

I mean, they'll probably be fighting again by next week. But all of my favorite New Girl quotes this week featured their adorkable, loving banter.

Of course, getting none of that love buzz was Schmidt, who was shouldering enough neuroses to fill the entire loft during this episode. But the Schmidt coupling that most interested me wasn't Schmidt and Elizabeth OR Schmidt and Cece: it was Schmidt and Winston. With Jess and Nick so deep in the throes of Early Relationship Bliss, those two guys going to be spending a ton of time together. Two new couples are now forming in the loft right now, whether they like it or not.

So is this a bold new New Girl, where Schmidt is the only self-obsessed, self-loathing loftie left? I doubt it. But all the characters do seem to really, truly, finally be evolving, in both positive and negative directions, in a truly organic way that I had never thought possible during New Girl Season 1.

Except, as usual, Winston, who seemed mostly left out of the great character evolution. His development continues to be the show's great blind spot. Oh my god, I hope they give him something to do this season besides hang around, being color blind.

How long do you think Jess and Nick will be able to go without fighting? How long do you think Winston will be able to go without finally snapping at Schmidt? How many times have you, personally, been sent to "resort jail?"

*There is no quiz; that was merely a trick to get you to read to the bottom of this recap, of course.


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (75 Votes)

Why do they have to figure out what to do with their relationship for 30 min? Just go and live your lifes... You never know what will happen, but u dont have to worry about every minute from day one on
I like them together and Im happy, but I dont need them kissing 24/7.
Schmidt's story would have been more interesting


this show has become very annoying since the whole nick/jess thing started. i quit watching towards the end of last season, but i tuned in last night hoping the new season would be different (i.e. back to the way it was before) but it was still the same annoying show. and as a side note, i think cece is way under-utilized in the series!


Nick is VERY annoying now... Didn't like the episode all all. Time to watch new shows !


LOVED this episode! What a relief to see that Nick and Jess are excited about their relationship, dedicated to making it work. It could've been written the predictable way with them doubting each other and being all awkward with one another. But the writers figured out that it's better to be original and let the audience have fun with Nick and Jess, instead of wincing constantly over awkward pauses and moments. Schmidt's dilemma is a big one, but I've gotta say that I loved his relationship last season with Elizabeth. At long last he finally seemed happy and was always smiling with Elizabeth, never did that much with Cece. But overall I LOVED the oh-so-many romantic moments between Nick and Jess. Sweet relief indeed!


I actually laughed out loud quite a bit during this episode, so I didn't mind that it was a bit silly or neurotic. I was just so happy to see Nick and Jess being so cute. And yes, Winston didn't really evolve, but he was pretty funny. Overall it was good and I'm excited to have this show back.


I was disappointed in this episode. I disagree with the review in that I felt it WAS 30 minutes of the gang neurotically trying to figure out their roles. Once again, Jess & Nick are trying to figure out how to make their relationship work in their 'real world' with Nick and Winston around, and Nick & Winston are trying to figure out their roles without Nick as the best friend. Enough already!! I hope they dont do the same thing with Cece and Schmidt all season. I find Elizabeth annoying and unlikeable and I hope she goes soon.


Didn't like this episode AT ALL. very hard to watch, 80% of the time, they were all shouting at once, very annonying to watch. the thing with the kid was not funny at all, I don't know how they could write this (ok we get it Nick is sometimes very weird and says things out of the normal, but strangling a kid?). and winston, oh my...puzzling and being colour blind, only crazy answers, it's like "we have do something with him, so we are going to make him look crazy so he has it's role in the gang.)
I was looking forward to this season but this first episode, it was really hard for me to watch :(


I can't believe Nick stole a bracelet from a kid, and did so by threatening to strangle and kill him. That is NOT funny. I'm glad he got arrested, but I really wish that hadn't even been there. And Lamorne Morris is making the best of what they give him - and it has improved over the past year - but it's still pretty lame. The writers need to think more about who this character is, instead of always making him say and do silly, haphazard, thoughtless things. Morris remains likeable despite all this. This is a favorite show of mine, but that bracelet thing really bugs me.


I kinda thought this was a pretty weak episode of New Girl. The whole "let's go to Mexico" just seemed like a forced way of showing that Nick and Jess were together for longer than a one night stand. There were funny moments, but there was no real conflict there. I actually would have preferred if they had dedicated a larger part of the episode to the storyline with REAL conflict, i.e. Schmidt torn between two lovers. I think that plot has enough to be the major focus of an episode, as opposed to a subplot. God bless Winston - even though the New Girl writers don't know what to do with him, man, does Lamorne Morris ever deliver!!! I would have watched him sing "puzzling" to his puzzle pieces for a good half hour. Hilarious!


I don't really know if I fully agree with the review… I have to say, I think the Schmidt and Winston banter was my favorite. I've never seen Winston so funny. I think he's already evolving! This was a great premiere. They all had me laughing. Nick and Jess are really great with the physical acting. I really hope Schmidt just chooses CeCe already. I'm not really an Elizabeth fan. So if he and Cece don't end up together right away, I just hope we at least get rid of her. And see more of him and Winston!

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New Girl Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Where have you been? I am having a major life crisis, and you guys are, what, just driving around, French kissing each other like a couple of Dutch hookers?


Puzzle me this then, Winston-- how do you live with yourself?