New Girl Review: Ménage A Trois

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Last week, New Girl bravely marched into the self-reflexive breach to take on the haters that dislike Jess because of all her cupcakery and cutesiness (guys, cutesiness is a real word. I know, I was surprised too. Cupcakery is definitely a made up word, though).

This week, "Landlord" takes us on an about-face, suggesting that Jess is actually a darling that can make even the most curmudgeonly of curmudgeons love her. 

Hey, Landlord!

Normally, this severe of a story jump would give the viewers whiplash, but the main reason it works for New Girl is because the people that hate Jess (or Zooey) aren’t watching. The folks that are tuning in all love Jess, so of course we’ll buy it that one week she can be subject of Lizzy Caplan’s ire and the next week she can smile down a guy with a gun! 

"Oh, my God, it’s like The Wire!" permalink

I want to see the episode where Jess, a girl who loves polka dots and had never seen porn prior to moving in with the dudes, watches The Wire. I would even settle for an Internet short instead of a full episode.

For more of this week's ridiculous lines, check out the quotes page.

So who is the focus of Jess’ laser beam of sweetness this week? The gang’s landlord, Remy, a scary, monosyllabic man who lives in the basement and sharpens broom handles into spears while brooding over his bucket of gasoline. Jess opens with her traditional peace offering of cupcakes. Is the landlord a dessert person? This crucial piece of information is never revealed because Jess tells Remy that four people live in her loft, which is apparently against their lease. Angry, Remy comes upstairs to oust the illegal roommate.

But Jess’ charms win him over, and he not only lets everyone stay, but he also fixes some things around the apartment.

However, there’s more at stake here than just a few closet doors getting re-hung. Jess is trying to prove to Nick that people are inherently good, and he just has to give them a chance. Nick, with his turtle-face frown and pessimistic outlook, of course thinks Remy just wants to sleep with Jess. Nick’s concern for Jess is predictable – there’s been sexual tension between the two of them since the first episode.

Any Nick/Jess shippers out there? I think they would make a terrible couple, and I’ve been wondering how the writers were going to take the next step in their relationship. The answer: a ménage a trois. With the landlord.

Just like Nick, I didn’t see Remy’s request for a threesome coming. When Remy mentioned it, I chuckled but expected the joke to stop there. Nope. It quickly turned into a game of chicken, using sex as the weapon – will Nick or Jess admit they’re wrong about the nature of humanity first and therefore not have to go through with the deed? Only being on the brink of making out with Nick forced Jess to cave. Sorry, Nick/Jess shippers, clearly Jess isn’t into it. For now.

While the ménage a trois storyline received the lion's share of screen time tonight, Schmidt, as always, did an admirable job of holding down the remainder of the episode. Ironically, New Girl feels most confident when Schmidt is on screen. His character is a great platform for pushing the limits, and Max Greenfield’s exuberant performance really lets the show experiment. Want to try out a montage? Give it to Schmidt. Want to structure an episode around a flashback? Let’s make it about Schmidt. Need a slo-mo parquour scene in a parking garage? You guessed it. Schmidt time. 

Winston had some time to shine last week, so this week he was pushed to the background. Hopefully, he’ll have a chance to woo Shelby next time in the Valentine’s Day episode.

Are you as excited for Ryan Kwanten’s guest spot on next week’s New Girl as I am? If so, please compose a Valentine’s Day haiku about in the comments. Here’s mine:

Dear New Girl and Gang
Let Ryan Keep His Sexy
Aussie Outback Twang

Stray Observations
  • This episode had me doubled over in laughter during the “foreplay” to the threesome scene and Schmidt’s table dancing.
  • I'm glad that Schmidt's 2007 New Years Resolutions list wasn't just a throw away gag and actually came back at the end of episode.
  • Schmidt’s Panamanian accent was so, so wrong and so, so hilarious.

Landlord Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (114 Votes)
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New Girl Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

Any time a man wants to show a woman how to do something from behind it's just because he wants an excuse to get real close and breathe on her neck. Watch any sports movie.


What if I ate my own hair and pooped out a wig?