New Girl Review: Bunny Money

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Random re-writes of an established character’s personality? Totally manufactured and easily resolvable conflicts that somehow still take the whole episode to fix? A ham-fisted and tired sitcom premise dressed up in ‘adorkable’ drag? Guys, was I watching New Girl Season 1 just now??

Coach Returns

After an amazing New Girl Season 2, followed by a decent run of New Girl Season 3 episodes, New Girl Season 3 Episode 7 finally let me down.

Okay, this episode did not actually achieve New Girl Season 1 levels of letting-me-down-ness—Zooey Deschanel has grown by leaps and bounds as a comedienne since the first season, and is now vital and very funny part of the ensemble, which is one of the strongest in network TV.

But despite all of that, New Girl Season 3 Episode 7 still reminded me of those dark, early days, when confused character motivations, go-nowhere plots, and forced jokes were the norm for this show.

Nick and Jess end the episode...basically exactly where they were in their relationship before Coach showed up. Coach went away, presumably to never return (or at least not for a few more seasons). No other part of the plot really moved forward over the half hour. Which wouldn't be a problem, if the episode was up to the show's usual comedic standards. Unfortunately, this one just felt like no one was at the wheel--and I, like poor, confused Winston, felt myself the victim of a bait-and-switch.

Speaking of Winston: his “bunny money” screw-up was the only part of the episode that really worked for me. I mean, who among us hasn’t accidentally made a horrible mistake while we were just trying to have a little fun and impress Damon Wayans Jr.? It was the most genuinely felt moment in the entire episode, the only one that featured New Girl’s trademark blend of out-of-left field wackiness and total emotional realness. Everything else felt canned and under-written.

I only get mad at New Girl because I love it so—I know that it can do better, so it breaks my heart whenever the show completely phones it in. After the excellent second season, this little situation comedy really began to blossom into the Friends of its era—a show about hot, semi-insane people in weird situations that somehow was both hilarious and completely emotionally resonant.

But now, for some reason, New Girl seems hell-bent on becoming, say, the Joey of its era instead. In a network comedy landscape where nothing is rising up to replace off-the-air hits like The Office, I thought New Girl had a good shot at becoming the network comedy of its time. But it seems to be backing away from that lofty responsibility, and into being just another good-enough show that uses great actors to cover up for uninspired writing. Don’t do it, New Girl! I’ll be there for you, but only if you’re there for me, tooooooo, okay?

Did you appreciate Coach's return? Am I being too hard on this episode? Will Schmidt stop messing around and just move back in already?


Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (69 Votes)

I personally thought this was the best episode of the season. Nick showed a lot of growth. And I always enjoy seeing Schmidt and nick show how they really are best friends cause sometimes it seems like they are always annoyed with each other or it's hard to see why they even were friends. And nick had so many hilarious one liners. Telling her to bake me a cake? Lol and coaches "she got fat and I was like ew. Bye" my husband thought this episode was hysterical and he's not even a fan of the show. All in all great episode!


I don't know - I thought this was one of the better episodes this season. Not as good as anything we saw in Season 2, but still solid. Winston was on point as usual, and I think that the punch that Nick delivered should go down as one of the greatest punches in sitcom history. Also, one of the things that elevated this episode was how great the guest star was - Taye Diggs was so very funny. That was one of New Girl's best uses of a guest star in a very, VERY long time...maybe since Dermot Mulroney.


I think it was a good episode. I LOL with the four guys entering the police station comment made by Winston. And now she's seen some guy named Derik or Derek, "stupid Derek".
And by the way, I'm from Brazil, we're just normal, Jess, don't get too impressed.


I have to agree with everyone else's comments... There really was a ton of growth in this episode. This show isn't just a "sitcom" to me, it's a real show with realistic plots and storylines, so I appreciate when we get to see some great character development and growth. Not every episode needs to be laugh-out-loud funny, although this episode was still pretty hilarious... Winston is really shining this season. Where has he been all this time?! The bunny money was the best part of the show, and all their swag, especially those snap away pants. Gotta love those! And yes, as someone else said, the joke about 4 guys walking into a police station was hilarious, I'm glad they didn't take the easy way out and cause a rift between Nick and Jess by him not believing her or something. That's one of those many "cliches" they've avoided that several other comedies cling to. Artie's whole scene in the bed had me cracking up too, from the weird leg stomp he was doing to swimming and splashing Jess. I'm laughing just thinking about it. This episode was great!


This show is in it's third season, can we PLEASE stop it with the Friends references and comparisons. I know it was a great show in it's day, I watched it from start to finish, but geez, LET IT GO. Can New Girl finally just BE New Girl. I think it's earned the right to be it's OWN standard now. This show is in an entirely different class, mostly because it has thrown every stupid comedy ploy and cliche out the window. I don't understand the criticism of this episode at all. This one had it ALL; an old character returns, a fantastic guest star, it was hilarious, there was a huge amount of story resolution/progression, and that added emotional bonus that New Girl is just so good at delivering. This one really hit the mark for me, and it had everything I love about the show in one episode.

@ Anna

Right there with ya', Anna. I think this episode was fantastic. Loved every minute.


I 100% disagree with this review! I thought this episode was excellent! It had it all, so I have no idea where you're getting your complaints from. From the beginning, Coach's character was perfect in that, as we learned later on, he was acting all aloof and anti-relationships because of his heartbreak over the demise of his own. Nick's initial bowing to what is basically peer pressure from Coach was very much in character for him, and very well performed by him in his hilarious conversation with Jess. Poor Jess was right to be hurt and furious over Nick not being able to call her his girlfriend in front of Coach. It was a great scene that gave way to hilarity later on !The scene at the strip club had me cracking up! Winston with his bunny money, the guys trying to tire Coach out and failing miserably, Schmidt admitting to wanting to lower the seats of his colleagues at work to make them look up at him during his presentation, Winston and his lobster....all funny and so damn memorable. And Nick's confession to not being able to lose Jess and admitting how great she is for him was a relief to hear and brought forth another great moment where Coach cried over his broken heart. But I LOVED the police station scene. Not only did Winston have to buy all the guys swag from the strip club to use up his bunny $ as much as possible, but he had one of the best lines with the 2 black guys and a police station joke. Nick finally proved that he was growing up when he declared that they were too old now for that night's hilarity, voicing his want to just go home to Jess. "Serpentine!" LMAO!!! Nick with the stripper snap-on pants! LOL! And as for Jess, Cece, and Artie, well that was just one huge roll out of fun and cracking up. "Shut your face!" LMAO! And I loved how fast Nick was to believe Jess and just jump in to knock Artie out for being in his girlfriend's bed. That was awesome! And Jess wrapping her legs around Nick's waist reminded me of the time she did that with the Dr, but this time it involved feelings and yeah, more of the best times in both of their lives. So sorry to say this, I love your reviews with NG, but this week you've just lost your marbles. This episode wasn't the best of the season (I think The Captain" was maybe it), but it was damn, damn good. Just sayin'.


We watched two completely different shows, it seems. I think having Coach come back showed us just HOW much the characters have grown since he left. Nick and Jess are not in the same place they were in the beginning, at all... and i thought this was one of the best episodes of the season, so far. I can't believe you felt let down when there was so much emotional payoff for many stoylines,

@ Meg

I completely agree, Meg! I thought it was one of the best of the season so far. I loved all of it!


I am just happy that I do not have the job of critics, who have to dig deep into the shows they watch for "meaning" and "development". I watch "New Girl" to see quirky characters do and say quirky things, and the series has always delivered. Like the classic sitcoms in history, there are weaker episodes, but my investment in Jess and the guys keeps me anxious to see what the next episode brings. I even recently watched season one again and loved it! Sorry, but this show rocks!

@ dkidd



I try to keep an open mind with these reviews, but I feel like I saw a different show. I thought the amount of growth they stuck in here in subtle ways was brilliant. We finally hear Cece admit to how hard of a time she's having after the breakup, Schmidt accepts Nick and Jess' relationship and actually tells him to "go talk to your girlfriend", and we see a very clear rivalry/tension between Coach and Winston. We hear them all admit to needing to grow up in this episode, they just haven't figured out the HOW yet. We see their ridiculous immaturity, but then see how mature they are when they have to confront their actual grown up problems (Nick seeing Artie in the bed, Coach telling his ex's new BF to just take care of her, etc). I thought this episode had a LOT of growth and movement forward as far as all their characters.

@ RP

You've said it. It was a fantastic episode in it that they portrayed just how much the characters have grown since season 1. I loved this episode, honestly.


I just discovered the show 2 weeks ago and once i fell in love i did the netflix cram to get up to speed. I loved tonight's episode. True it wasn't as good as it could have been (few episodes are) but it was very real. Cece dumping on Nick to Jess was great and they actually acknowledged it which i thought was great. The cop's comment to coach was exactly what an asshole cop would say in that situation. And Nick's reaction when Jess explains what happened was touching and priceless.
Give it another shot and don't let a phenomenal season 2 set the bar so high that you can't enjoy a 'regular' episode.

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New Girl Season 3 Episode 7 Quotes

Nick isn't even a man. He's some kind of man-boy, man-child hybrid. The other day, I had to tell him not to pull a dog's tail.


Schmidt, you stole my toothpaste while I was using it. That's vindictive.