Over three years of watching, writing about and being frequently confounded by New Girl, I've come to realize that the show's only consistent trait is inconsistency.
Each time I've been ready to bury it as an irrelevant mess that's confused by its own characters, it pops back up, lively and funny and full of weird jokes about ham. It's basically the sitcomedic Dracula (if Dracula made jokes about ham).
But this half hour was quite possibly New Girl Season 3's crown jewel, a reminder of everything that can be great about this show.
Like the way it mixes and mashes razor-sharp New Girl quotes with smart physical gags and lovably dumb emotional lessons, blending up a comedy that (like Friends before it) captures a very exaggerated version of what it's like to be a young-ish person in a particular era, in a kinda timeless way.
New Girl has approached the issue of changing with age in the past, and milked some great jokes out of it then, too.
But this outing spun the awkwardness of a middle school dance into a commentary on the never-ending awkwardness of life so adeptly, I would almost say that it stands besides New Girl Season 2 gems like New Girl Season 2 Episode 14 in the pantheon of the show's greatest episodes.
I say "almost" because the only thing keeping it from total perfection was the dreadful ending rap sequence.
I understand it's an homage to the cheesy early '90s comedies from which the show often draws wry inspiration, but I'm not gonna lie to you guys: it made me physically uncomfortable.
Like "watching Curb Your Enthusiasm with your conservative grandparents"-level uncomfortable.
Oh, New Girl. We were so close. Didn't we almost have it all? And then you had to throw it all away by having Cece beatbox.
Have you made peace with New Girl's free-wheeling lack of consistency? Did you like that awkward rap anyway, because of Schmidt's pretty funny joke about teal? And most importantly:
Do you believe that middle schoolers would actually go along with watching their teacher and her friends rap?