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New Girl Review: Nanny Cam

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The illustrious Miss Joni Mitchell once said, "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone."

And while I can't 100% confirm that she was talking about New Girl Season 3, I am starting to think that that's the most likely scenario.

Chinese Food

Because, you see, New Girl Season 3 Episode 8  brought my high hopes for this show to an end... or at the very least, put them on pause.

Did my hopes end with Coach's sub-Rob Schneider comedy song? Or with the sidelining of many of the most compelling characters for a lame plot about exercising and a weird "Hey, this guy can't do fitness!" montage that belonged on, I don't know, According to Jim?

Maybe they ended with the revelation that Schmidt had moved out to the apartment across the hall, and has been replaced in the loft by Coach - a Poochie-style move if I ever saw one - with almost no comment. Or maybe it was just that this was a disjointed episode, seemingly pulled together from a dozen other scrapped show ideas.

Most likely, it was the weight of all of these problems piled on top of each other, crushing the life out of this show, despite everyone's still-excellent comic timing and physical comedy skills.

I do want to make it clear that I'm not trashing the show itself, necessarily. Every actor on New Girl is incredibly skilled, and at the total top of their comedy game. The physical comedy delivered by every actor - and especially Zooey Deschanel - is notable, and there are still enough New Girl quotes that gave me a chuckle.

But the show's direction is making some questionable turns. Nick's sharp edges have been sanded too far down, making him less of a loose cannon and more of a loser. Schmidt's move out of the loft doesn't seem to matter to anyone except Schmidt, making him much closer to an "Andre from The League" than the brilliant, bitchy man-baby we've all come to love.

And Schmidt and Cece are two of the sharpest assets that this show has, but they seem to have been pushed into the background in favor of...Coach.

It's not Coach's fault, of course. He's not the problem, he's a symptom. New Girl, at first, seemed to be handling life post-Nick-and-Jess very deftly, building up new conflicts to replace the "will they or won't they?" tension that animated much of New Girl Season 2. But those conflicts seem to have been quickly deflated, with Coach's arrival placed on as a kind of a Band-Aid over the plot, to distract or re-direct.

I do think New Girl can pull itself out of this, because it has lifted itself out of greater quagmires than this before--like, for example, most of New Girl Season 1.

But I don't know that the show wants to. New Girl had a recent bump in ratings in fact, with New Girl Season 3 Episode 7, so there's probably no motivation to change course. And you'll certainly go broke and insane trying to please TV recappers.

But for a show with so much potential - a show that convinced me that Zooey Deschanel just maybe-kinda-sorta could be a Lucille Ball for a new generation - I really hope that they get back on the horse, and get back to making the sharp comedy that I know they can.

I did love Winston's "Ironside" joke, though. So at least there was that.

Is Schmidt permanently out of the loft? Is Coach permanently in? Can Coach technically even be a "Poochie" if he was on the original show pilot?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (36 Votes)
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Joyeful

I agree that this season of New Girl isn't as solid as it was last season. I think there are a couple factors; they've mishandled Schmidt's character, not really giving us reasons to like him anymore. Also, Coach's return was too abrupt, as was Schmidt's exit from the loft. The star of this season is Winston. He NAILS it every episode, whether he's "pumpkinning" or "puzzlin", Winston has been on point. I think Nick and Jess as a couple are being handled well, and they're pretty realistic. But I do agree that Nick's edge is being lost - maybe that's the result of being in a relationship?

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Although it wasn't one of the best, I actually liked the episode.
It's always nice to see Nick mature, plus Winston's storylines are always pretty funny.
I believe the balance will eventually return between Schmidt being away and Coach being the fourth roomate.

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Once again, I don't agree with your review of NG. While "Menus" was not the best episode of the season, it was not bad at all. In fact, I laughed out loud numerous times. So all in all I feel you're being very harsh to NG lately. Last week you gave a negative review to "Coach" when almost every other review (and personal reviews on this site) were positive. You might be losing your NG edge. Just sayin'.

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Coach isn't going anywhere. Damon Wayans, Jr. just signed on for the rest of the season. So even if he is the "problem", you'll just have to get over it or quit watching. I for one am happy that he is back. I think he is far funnier than Winston has ever been. I think the problem is them not knowing how to write for Nick and Jess's relationship and it's lazy writing.

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The problem is not Coach, the problem has been Nick and Jess dating. I might be in the minority but I can't stand them together. It's not entertaining or funny. They are what ruined the dynamic of the loft.

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@ tallyWIZ

I think Nick and Jess are just fine together and it's still really funny. It's definitely coach. And them destroying Schmidt's character.

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I'm just not sure about the addition of Coach to the show. If he was a recurring character who popped up now and then, sure. But I think adding him on is really kind of messing with the dynamic of the loft. And I just don't love him. Maybe he'll grow on me, but the 4 roommates were always so great together, it didn't need to be changed like that. I'd like to see Schmidt come back in and have Coach move out. It seems he's not going anywhere anytime soon, as they're pairing him with Cece on next week's episode. Which I'm pretty sure Schmidt is supposed to be one of his best friends as well, so it seems ridiculous that he would go after his ex. I still love the show, but I think Coach is actually the problem right now, for me, anyways.

New Girl Season 3 Episode 8 Quotes

Coach: Remember when you sat out of the game because you were sad?
Winston: I was also cold.

Coach: His jeans are so small.
Nick: Looks like a puppet, like something an Italian whittled

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