TV Review: New Girl — ‘Santa’

jason stives gets in the christmas spirit…

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Oh, how I love Christmas episodes on prime time television. I don’t know how they seem to work out the way they do but they manage to create some of the best highlights during the fall TV season. Admittedly some of my favorite shows share Christmas specials as their hallmarks. The Office even during its downward spiral of quality always perks up with its holiday episodes and Doctor Who is always guaranteed to have a solid Christmas special during the breaks between seasons (most of them are solid). New Girl’s second Christmas episode “Santa” was a complete joy and in comparison to the one presented during season one there was a proper balance of comedy and story development.

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“Santa” benefited from multiple arcs that assisted the story in moving along with a lot of the goofy humor. Thanks in part to a lodged cranberry in Winston’s ear, Jess runs into her ex Sam at one of the holiday parties that the apartment crew along with CeCe and Angie hop from throughout the episode. Obvious things worked a lot better than others like Jess and Schmidt’s qualms about the holidays versus the actual cranberry lodging of Winston’s ear. Our characters have their eccentricities highlighted to the fullest here and everyone gets a chance to shine like Schmidt’s divine hatred of Christmas which stems from a deep connection with preserving Santa’s mystery (apparently Jewish people would be chastised for revealing Santa’s inability to exist to Christian children).

There is plenty of holiday related humor here but it comes down to the performances which are very strong and it helps that what transpires in each characters actions feels so expected and welcomed. Nick is still trying to convey his feelings to someone he likes but compared to usual Angie is great at putting up with it but has a breaking point that thankfully Nick redeems himself from in some awkward dance movements. Once again, LaMorne Morris is given some solid material to work with and I quite love it when Winston breaks out the southern gentleman/gay gentleman shtick when he is thrown into an awkward situation as he was when Jess tried to pass him off as her boyfriend to Sam.

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Since the congested ear canal of Winston acted as a catalyst to bring Sam back this story focuses mainly on Jess and coming to terms with her feelings. Because this show has such a solid cast you tend to forget that this show has always been about Jess and because we have more development then we have had hijinx this season Jess is there but almost in the background story wise. Jess bobs and weaves her way out of the eye of Sam and it all seems a bit expected except Jess has justifiable reasons for avoiding him even if it’s done in her own childish way. There is also Jess and her conviction to having faith which ultimately benefits her later in the episode when she goes to see Sam at the children’s hospital. Some might view this as Jess using her naïve sense of reality that comes from her peppiness but it’s just a notion of believing in something and sticking to it.

Bringing Sam back doesn’t seem like a shock to me and I dare someone to say it’s back peddling. Think about how their relationship ended back in the Halloween episode, some looked at it as Sam just pulling Jess along for the ride and being a dick but their relationship was always platonic and based on sex not emotions. Because Jess deep down is a sensitive person with the belief that there is always good and possibilities in everyone you always expect her to give more emotionally than some characters. Sam’s rejection of a relationship with her was expected and ultimately so was Jess feeling crushed. Her initial rejection of his apologies is justified in this way but Jess also needs someone to keep her sensible and calm when everyone else in the apartment can’t.

By bringing Sam back in the show might be trying to separate itself from the usual expectations of a sitcom and maybe the Nick/Jess relationship that was hinted to earlier on in the season may be just wishful thinking on the shows fans. Even I firmly admit that it probably shouldn’t be done because separately we have characters that are driven by their desires to improve and while some think a relationship can do that others go softly on through life. Santa was quite a way to round out this half of the season as we are now subjected to the usual month long break of new episodes. New Girl has definitely signed off in 2012 strongly and if you include the latter half of the first season no new show has had a more consistent run then the little quirky show that could.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Excellent)

 

All Photos Credit: FOX