By Samantha Scharmett
Last night’s “New Girl” episode was a perfect example of the old adage less is more. With this particular series, I’ve always thought that a less chaotic plot allows character development to thrive. And thrive it did! We were—albeit briefly—able to explore the dark side of miss Jessica Day (and of course I use “dark” relatively, since even at her most threatening, she probably still poops rainbows and frosted cupcakes). We delved deeper into the enigma that is Schmidt’s obsessive-compulsive mind, as well as into his professional persona. We even gained some extra insight into Coach’s bowel movements! Moving on…
The episode opens with an argument between Nick and Schmidt (also known as Chaotic and Immaculate, personified). After discovering what is either Nick’s sloppy Joe remnants or his blood smeared inside Schmidt’s brainstorming notebook, the self-proclaimed Semitic prince immediately transforms into a pedantic preschooler: “You unbelievable pig person. You giant, fat pig person. You sloth. You should be living in a tree in Costa Rica, you know that?”
Enter Jess to break the tension, inquiring about the whereabouts of the communal French press (that Nick is barred from using). OCD Schmidt comes back with an emphatic hand-wave and a snappy, “the French press is in cupboard 64B. Did you not consult your item map?” One thing leads to another (as it always does), and the roommates found themselves convening in the hallway, bickering like children about Coach’s poop, Winston’s undercarriage rug burn, and that friggin’ French press.
Assuming the rest of the gang has dispersed, Cece and Jess reconvene in the kitchen, discussing Jess’s father Bob’s (and his mysterious new girlfriend’s) impending arrival. Cue flashbacks of four-eyed preteen Jess threateningly crashing ex-girlfriend #1’s tent (why?) and demanding that the woman “hit the damn road,” baseball bat in hand.
It turns out that Dad’s new blondie is none other than the namesake of the episode entitled “Julie Berkman’s Older Sister,” fondly referred to by Jess and Cece as Trashley Berkman. Yes, the girl who “sexually intercoursed” Jess’s high school boyfriend underneath the bleachers… yes, the girl who had sex with a D.A.R.E. officer… And YES, the girl who is currently a recovering sex addict. After snooping around Ashley’s phone, Jess falsely accuses the woman of cheating on Bob and momentarily breaks them up (“you’re my big… round, bald, fuzzy weeble-wobble, but I just need a little space”…riiiiight). All eventually becomes well again in Day-world when Bob proposes to Ashley and she says “yes” (yes, YES! OH YES!).
In the midst of all of this, Schmidt plans a pitch for a new client at work. Although his buddies originally scoff at Schmidt for trying to come up with a way to sell sponges to men, he manages to entice them with pizza to participate in a focus group for his boss, Gina, to help him score the “sponge account.” This highly entertaining scene employs Schmidt’s laughable use of notecards (as seen in last week’s Dice episode) as well as his roommates’ inability to stay on script to save Schmidt’s job.
Nick proceeds to barge into Gina’s office after the focus group fiasco, demanding that she give Schmidt the sponge account. The boy-men manage to bounce enough ideas off of one another that Gina agrees—rather begrudgingly—to give Schmidt the account. What follows is by far the most hilariously disturbing fake ad riddled with sexual innuendo I have ever seen. Cue the black and white visual (excluding the sponge in all its porous, yellow glory), a sensual piano solo, a well-endowed young woman drenching herself in soapy water, and a very handsome man letting the words “Spongy McWipey” drip from his lips in a deep, masculine baritone.
All of this sexual tension culminates in the final line of the commercial, nasally purred by the main woman: “The man sponge. Because the dirtiest thing in your room… should be me.” *Drops mic*
- “No, I’m not happy, I’m poor. And I’m living in a filthy thimble. I’ve gone from riches to rags… It’s reverse ‘Annie’.”
- “Do you really think that she’s going to have sex with you in that pulp-covered filth bunker?”
- “Living with [Nick] in that slovenly hell hole has been a secret blessing. It’s made me stronger. Without ash to rise from, the phoenix would just be a bird getting up. I am a phoenix… and I will rise.”