By Samantha Scharmett
So, where did we leave off last season on “New Girl”? Ah, yes, the Royal Starfish cruise adventure. Nick and Jess were knee-deep in the murky waters of the classic post-breakup “we can’t be friends” stage, Winston assumed the role of peer mediator for the two ex-lovers, Schmidt made more fruitless attempts to win over Cece, and I was eagerly anticipating the ending credits.
Cut to last night’s premiere, which was actually quite decent in comparison to the drab third season. Entitled “The Last Wedding,” the episode centers on the gang attending their final nuptial obligation of the summer. Although the episode guest stars Jessica Biel as a beautiful (and quite honestly, bizarre) brainiac vying for the… “heart” of Best Man Ted, I actually found the central characters’ interactions to be much more interesting than the plot of the episode itself.
The episode summary can be recapped in one long sentence: The group makes a pact that everyone must not go home alone, Schmidt wants a foursome, Nick misses the days of one-on-one sex, Cece reveals that she’s no longer someone’s significant other, Jess and Brainy Biel battle for Ted’s affections, and Winston and Coach’s presences remain forgettable at best.
As usual, Max Greenfield flawlessly delivers round after round of (what I fondly refer to as) Schmidt-isms. Below are a few of the most LOLworthy:
- “It is the last wedding of summer, which means it is our last chance. Nobody meets anybody in Fall… or Winter. What, are you gonna gamble on the unknown contents of a bulky sweater? Do you know how important this is?! Is coming.” (Kudos to the writers for the dramatic battle march background music and “Game of Thrones” reference)
- Nick: “See that bridesmaid right there? The pretty one?”
Schmidt: “Sure do.”
N: “The foxy lady?”
N: “Well you’re going home with her tonight, and I got your back.”
S: “Look at that, she looks like the girl from the commercial playing tennis with a tampon in. Let’s do it!”
- Schmidt: “How do I look? How Jewish, I mean… Good Jewish or bad Jewish?” Nick: “I won’t answer that, it feels like a trap.”
- Schmidt’s attempt at convincing Nick that a foursome with two bridesmaids wouldn’t mean the two men would have to engage in any way: “You go north, I go south. You know what I’m sayin’? I’m in steerage, and I’m rowin’, and I’m rowin’, and I’m rowin’. You’re up in the crow’s nest. Fresh air up there, man! And I’m in the trenches. You know, I’m diggin’ for coal. I’m breathin’ in those fumes. And you’re up here; you’re just takin’ in the sights. You’re spottin’ dolphins!”
The Sex Fist and Its Sexiest Fingers
In typical Jess fashion, Zooey Deschanel once again manages to make Miss Day’s childlike nature and questionable ability to read social cues look totally adorkable. For starters, her “sex fist” analogy (paired with an arm-thrusting motion) manages to make everyone in the room severely uncomfortable, and yet it takes three or four references before she recognizes that the intended symbol of togetherness might be more cringe-worthy than heartwarming. All it takes as she comes to this realization is a puppy-dog head tilt to make viewers go from “ew” to “awww.”
One of my favorite parts of this episode is the juxtaposition between her failed attempts at seducing Ted versus her very palpable connection with Nick. With Ted, her smooth moves are anything but: flailing arms, Biden-ing, crashing the men’s bathroom, and expressing her early sexual feelings for teenage Simba. Do I even need to discuss her bathroom one-liner: “this is where it all happens. Don’t wait for me Ted. Because I might be a while.” Oy.
Conversely, her conversation (albeit on the toilet) with Nick tugs at the collective heartstrings of viewers everywhere. As Jess dejectedly expresses her belief that she’ll never be a “fridge person” (i.e. the type of person whose name is inscribed in calligraphy at the top of a wedding invitation and taped to the refrigerator), Nick puts her fears to rest with a couple sweet compliments and insists that she get back on the dance floor and seal the deal with the Best Man.
In spite of the fact that their coupledom bored me to death at times last season, I can’t be the only person who kiiiind of wants to see these two pair up again, right? I mean, if for no other reason than the fact that there’s a zero percent chance that any other woman would find Nick’s shiny tap shoes “cool.”
As much as I want to believe that New Girl is coming back this season with a bang (get it?!), the last scene was rough. From the cheesy line about “not going home alone” to the gang’s collective whooping and cheering as they take turns tearing up wedding invitations, it felt more like a bunch of complainers commiserating with veiled self-pity than a group of friends celebrating the single life. I’m still looking forward to seeing what romantic connections our favorite roommates stumble into this season. Will Cece and Schmidt realize how beautiful their intercultural babies could be? Will Jess’s Oakland face with an L.A. booty lead her back into the hoofed hands of sir Nicholas? And will Coach ever rid himself of the hackneyed “my girlfriend broke my heart so now I’m a shameless womanizer” persona? Only time will tell.