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New Girl Review: Cake Patrol

by at .  Updated at . Comments

At long last, we've reached a happy medium.

New Girl Season 3 Episode 13 wasn't a mind-blower, but it also wasn't half bad. Sound your horns and raise your tiny, adorable cupcakes! New Girl is back-ish, and that is good enough for me.

Birthday Surprise

And not only that - it actually did New Girl Season 2 one better in the realm of Jess's character development.

The moment where Jess mistook a child's birthday party set-up for her own was a great, quiet insight into the character, a sort of thing that the show has never really tried before. In New Girl Season 1, the show hit us over the head with Jess's Lady Urkel schtick, which made her seem less an adorable mess than an unlikeable space alien who learned about humanity from an Anthropologie catalog.

For much of New Girl Season 2, they dropped the issue of Jess's alleged "adorkability" entirely.

But in that moment - when a woman who must be celebrating her 30th birthday (at least) went crazy for a child's cupcake party, after spending a day humoring her boyfriend by taking a free diabetes test and looking for "the heaviest rock" - the show painted a real, vivid picture of a woman both sustained and cursed by her own child-like nature.

It was the first time, in three years of watching, that the character of Jess actually felt like a real human being to me (next up, I hope they finally explain why she has so many bathrobes).

Similarly, this episode finally warmed me up to Coach a bit--his statement of life purpose/ best New Girl quotes, "I'm the best at stuff!" maybe not the kind of thing that epic character motivations are made of, but it at least goes a little way towards letting us into his mind.

And I'm eager to see, eventually, what someone whose entire identity is built around winning actually feels about having roommates in his thirties and living oh-so alarmingly close to Schmidt's sex-tentacle mural. You may be the best at some stuff, Coach, but you're clearly the worst at a lot, too.

One thing that I never quite got a handle on, though, were the actual ins and outs of the plot. So Nick did plan a surprise birthday party in the movie theater, but he genuinely didn't think of anything to do all day? Or did he purposely plan a horrible day to get Jess frustrated enough to go to the movies and then be surprised? How long were those people waiting there, even? Couldn't he have, just, you know, taken her to the movies?

Am I just being nit-picky because I'm angry that no one ever plans a surprise party for me?

There is, of course, one question that I find more perplexing than any of the details regarding getting someone so angry that they run away to their own surprise birthday party:

Is Nick the Best Boyfriend... or the Worst Boyfriend?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (43 Votes)
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They way I understood it, was that the party was always supposed to be in the theater, but Nick had planned to go to the theater with her. But, since he forgot to fill the rest of her day, Jess got upset and ended up going alone after all. So, the party was earlier than planned, but still successful.
If it wasn't planned in the theater, why had they not decorated the house and why would Nick put notes under every seat in the theater? He also references the theater in his movie, so yeah, looks like it was planned all along.
My only question: how did he get everybody to the theater on time?
Then again, Jess might have been wandering around for hours before going to the movie, and her movie did start at 7, making the whole plan come together.

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@ Claudia

O, and by the way, this was my favorite episode of this season, hope this trend continues... (I've actually watched this episode twice already...)

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I think it was always meant to be at the movie theater- he says so in one of the first lines in the video..he says he knows she usually goes thereto celebrate her birthday alone but this year he thought she might want some company. Also I dont think he purposefully meant to upset her,.. I think he had put so much time and effort into planning the surprise that he forgot about the rest of the day.

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First of all, I have to say, I am a huge movie fanatic, so I want that birthday party for me! Best idea for a surprise party ever! I don't really understand the confusion. I'm pretty sure he planned the party for her at the loft. When he felt like he'd failed her, he decided to move the party to the movie theater. That was what I got out of it. And I do agree, this was the most useful Coach has been in any episode yet. If we have to have him stick around, hopefully we can at least get more moments like this. And of course, the video montage was amazing! It was cool to see all those people back. Great episode!

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Thank god I wasn't the only one confused about the whole party issue. I didn't understand if he hadn't planned the surprise party for the movie theater but once he found out she was going there managed to get there and do all that stuff or he had planned it. It was quite confusing lol. But overall loved the episode. Loved the Winston/Coach dynamic and loved Cece and Schmidt making up (well sorta)

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Best episode of the season! Hope the trend continues!!