jason stives gets in the tub with the new girl…
Tuesday night’s episode titled “Bathtub” was a dividing line in the overall direction and quality that New Girl looks to be taking. While ratings shouldn’t actually reflect a show’s quality, there is definitely a sign of fatigue in the viewership for a show that started out on the basis of its “adorkable” lead star and now has amped up the cast’s unity with varying results. I probably still enjoy this show more than others but even I am aware of when an episode isn’t gelling too well and this definitely had its share of missteps. The main plot revolving around Jess and Winston covering up their bathtub shenanigans which ultimately saw Schmidt’s suits ruined worked mainly because of the on screen chemistry between Morris and Deschanel but the plot itself felt like something I have seen on Full House (wait….let me go check on that). While it served to explore a new buddy dynamic for these two the results varied and were saved from being stale thanks to their bonding over the idea of getting the willies, which for Winston is stripping naked apparently to uncomfortable effects.
To their credit the differences between Jess and Winston makes this whole storyline appealing throughout. Jess is being very practical and not over thinking the situation where as Winston, who we all know has a knack for terrible prank ideas, is thinking too broad with the solution which comes down to a mock robbery by supposed meth dealers. I quite liked how the two rationalized what was stolen based on how many bowls of meth each possession would garner as well as their apparent ideas of what meth dealers sound like. If anything this story helped initiate the focus of Schmidt’s storyline which was split between him trying to land a big account for his boss while simultaneously trying to win back CeCe.
Now last week I stated that the road to a reunion between these two seemed logical but I didn’t expect it to curve back this quickly. CeCe ultimately dismisses Schmidt’s feelings and calls her Mother asking to set her up with a nice man. Schmidt had already been jumping from varying emotions during this episode between confident and suspicious thanks in part to the fake robbery but diving head first into love and then soul crushing defeat probably wasn’t the way to go and its very un Schmidt like. The only benefit here was the complete sympathy you feel for Max Greenberg and when he returns to the apartment at episodes end the support and love shown by Winston and Jess felt so perfect and is exactly the thing I love about the main four.
Up to this point everything feels like a sitcom set up that I didn’t need even down to CeCe’s mistrust when Schmidt shows up drunk after enduring a drinking test by his boss to see if he could land the account. Between this and the annoying subject of cultural differences I have started to question if this show really needs these two to reunite or not. It would be a nice change of pace and relationships seem to come and go on this show. Speaking of a sparking relationship we have Nick once again at the center of our interests with his plot involving Angie aka Thirsty Mendelson as he initially calls her. Now, I’d like to point out I have never understood the fascination with Olivia Munn, yes, she is very attractive but her acting chops are hit or miss but thankfully she proved to be a formidable catalyst for Nick in the way Lizzy Caplan did in Season one. This plot kind of works well to an extent because Angie is clearly someone who can challenge Nick and maybe get him to advance himself as a person despite run ins with her co-workers (she is a stripper). It would be hard to disagree that Nick has been MVP of the show this season but we do need to see some serious development. Yes, while “Halloween” and “Menzies” showed that Nick can define his issues and realize his faults but the progress needs to begin and it started with finishing his book and it needs to continue with his relationships.
At this point in the season the gears seem to be slowing a bit and while there has been enough development in our characters the stories are becoming a bit formulaic even with some great humor added to them. This has made reviewing the show a little more streamlined for me which might be a problem because it means contextually the show is starting to lack some of its best parts. Hopefully New Girl will rebound in the New Year as it did during season one but for now the show is still going strong even if it needs some fine tuning story wise.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10 (Kind of Disappointing)
All Photos Credit: FOX