New Girl Review: About Schmidt

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Yes, there was a song about a cat, a bad Toni Morrison impression, a heated debate about the validity of the moon landing and other pops of New Girl's trademark whimsy - but "Double Date" stands apart in the show's history as the darkest episode of the series to date.

And this is a show that turned an episode about Nick's dead dad into an adorable Elvis karaoke party, so I mean, it went dark for real.

Planning the Double Date

Unlike, say, New Girl Season 2's  "Tinfinity," or other previous episodes that dealt with the emotionally tumultuous tumblings of Schmidt and Cece's relationship, there was no soothing treacle here, no "this hurts but everything is gonna be fine" moment, no Queen song to ratchet up the drama and emotions.

In fact, this episode was the exact opposite of "Tinfinity." Instead of that episode's pain of lost potential, "Double Date" was filled with the agony of ruin, of there being no potential left. "Double Date" was brutal.

Even the pacing of "Double Date" was unusual - in the episode's first moments, I thought I was somehow playing in fast forward mode, the talking was so clipped and speedy. Sure, the episode was still stuffed with the standard shmorgasboard of excellent New Girl quotes (there was a great one about a sexual role-playing game involving Southern lawyers that I don't feel quite comfortable transcribing here), but there was a growing sense of bleakness throughout the episode that couldn't be eclipsed by a million horny lawyers in itchy bras.

And at the end, there was nothing but hurt feelings, terrifying emotional threats and an angry man covered in pie, an unequivocally unusual move for the show.

As Jess and Nick have moved into a comfy, stable existence of true love and motorcycle helmet sex, Winston and Schmidt have taken their spots as the truly far-out members of the Loft Force.

Which has been great... for Winston. After two seasons of not having much to do, I feel like I finally got my episode where Winston was truly a star, on equal footing with all the others. His hostile takeover of the communal table at Pica was brilliant, the only pure comedy in this emotionally draining episode. Winston's remove from the loft drama has held his character back from the spotlight in the past, but it worked here, and may prove an asset in the rest of the season. Perhaps in Ferguson the Smoosh-Face Cat, he has finally found his ideal comedy foil. Here's to hoping.

But for Schmidt, the change has been less beneficial; he's someone who's spent a good decade laboring to just be a regular dude, and with that taken away from him, I feel like all bets are off.

And so, while this episode had fewer gags-per-minute than usual and was hard to watch at times, I thought it was an important accomplishment: this may be the first network TV show to tackle what happens to the late-20s friendship units when some people pair off and others are left all alone. The real result isn't something cute from Friends that ends in hugs and a pet monkey - the truth is probably something far uglier and more complex.

And we may be about to see it play out. As Nick and Jess ended the episode further confirming their love for each other while Schmidt stomped off, fuming in peach cobbler, I saw closing of ranks within the loft  Will this be war? Is winter coming?

Is the future of the couple known as "Jessick" (or "Ness," if you prefer) in danger? Should we take Schmidt at his word? If he leaves the loft, will he be replaced by Ferguson the Cat?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (86 Votes)

I don't really see anything wrong with this episode. Schmidt has always been a somewhat selfish character. If he wants two girls, why would he not continue to date them both? I don't really find it that out of character for him. Yes, the episode had "dark" moments, but those moments are also keeping the show real. It can't always be sunshine and rainbows... Winston was absolutely hysterical in this episode. The cat really does suit him well. I think he's been hilarious so far this season. Nick's dancing while Schmidt and Jess were arguing was just typical Nick and so funny! I love him and Jess together. She brings out the best in him. I thought the episode was great!


I absolutely loved this episode. Nick and Jess continue to dish out funny, romantic, and hilarious moments. Their relationship is not only sexy and cute, but damnit, they look like they're having a lot of FUN together. And THAT is what is makes them so likable. I honestly don't think they'll be separated this season. I think they're going to have problems and hiccups, but those will just add to the intensity of their relationship. Besides, this way you can make their possible break up in the future all the more powerful and heart breaking. You can't just have them together for less than a season then expect people to be devastated along with them. Give us time to fall crazy in love with them, and for them to fall madly in love as well. I hope the writers know to appreciate and take advantage of Nick and Jess while they can. So far they seem to be succeeding in this. And I CAN'T WAIT for them to admit their love for each other. That's going to be amazing! As for Schmidt, I love the turn his character has taken honestly. It's real. He's just lost the 2 loves of his life, and because he is so egocentric, he is of course going to lay blame on Nick and Jess. Besides, it looks like his antics in breaking up Nick and Jess are going to be funny as hell to watch. This will give his character more time to come to terms with what he's lost, seeing it all in N&J's newfound love. Winston gave the greatest laughs, too. I love his character now, never having felt that attached to him in Season 1. In Season 2 I began to get attached, but now just crack up at everything he does and says. I can't wait for next week! We're only 3 eps in and I'm so hooked it's crazy. Woo-hoo!


Agreed that this was the darkest episode to date. I don't think the Nick/Jess relationship will be even remotely in danger until the second half of the season though, and I'm looking forward to Schmidt's mischief. I do think that Schmidt is teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown in a way that's scary even for a show that has gotten some great comedic mileage out of toeing that line in the past. I think they need to salvage him by mid-season or it's going to be really hard to keep watching. Cringeworthy is fun; emotionally disturbing is not.


Once again I loved Winston. I really liked Nick's parts too.
However, why ruin such a great character as Schmidt?
All this love-triangle-thing is so out of his character, and I get it, it was hard at first for him to tell the truth, but since we know that he really wants to be with Cece why drag this out anyway?
Schmidt is many annoying things but not a bad guy, at least that's what I thought.


What a shame for ruining such a funny noble character like Schmidt. New Girl is in unwatchable and not the least funny. Good luck keeping viewers.


Schimidt is an idoit for blowing his last shot with Cece. Nick is such a wimp.


I think that Jess and Nick's relationship is in danger. I also think that Schmidt should not move out of the loft.

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New Girl Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

I'm not convinced I know how to read, I've just memorized a lot of words.


Cece, I'm sorry, but when I stand up, you're gonna see my penis, and when I walk out, you're gonna see my butt.