TV Recap: New Girl, ‘The Last Wedding’ (Season Premiere)

NEW GIRL: Logo.

Plot: It’s the last wedding of the summer and Nick (Jake Johnson), Jess (Zooey Deschanel), Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) all want to get laid. Jess decides to go for the best man but a brainy knock-out (Jessica Biel) might derail her plans.

New Girl was a series that I vehemently swore I’d never watch. The “adorkable” sitcom starring hipster’s delight Zooey Deschanel seemed (on paper) like an excruciatingly cute and ludicrous series that would send me running for an insulin pen seconds after the opening credits finished. Yet, there I was one year ago, watching the premiere at the behest of my better half — and you know what? I really fell in love with this show. While many longtime fans derided the third season as a low point of the series, with some even bailing on the show altogether, I found the adventures of Jess and her bros, to be utterly hilarious. The random flashbacks, Winston’s constant injuries, Schmidt being Schmidt, the Prince episode and Nick’s unending crankiness — pure gold.

Photo Credit:  Ray Mickshaw/FOX.
Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX.

My concern for Season 4 was pretty high though — we ended last season on a rather sour note as Nick and Jess ended things to “remain friends” — would this put a damper on the random absurdity of New Girl? Would this hang over the show like a dark cloud of awkwardness?

The answer is simply: nope.

“The Last Wedding” is classic New Girl, a fast-paced episode of silly fun where every cast member gets their moment in the comedic sun. The premise was very simple, everybody wants to have one more sexual encounter (or in Jess’ case have at least one sexual encounter) before summer wedding season comes to a close. Jess zeroes in on the best man and ends up in an unexpectedly hilarious feud with an unexpectedly hilarious Jessica Biel. Mrs. Timberlake has never been one to impress me, outside of her solid performance in the oft-forgotten Ed Norton film The Illusionist. Biel seemingly channeled Julian Moore’s Maude Lebowski for her performance as a sex-starved brainiac, and it pays off as a comedic highlight of the episode. Deschanel played the bumbling fool to Biel’s seemingly cool character to perfection — her act of “Biden-ing” (which Winston describes as “always being there“) was in fact, the best laugh out loud moment of the night.

Photo Credit:  Ray Mickshaw/FOX.
Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX.

Nick and Schmidt continue to have an amazing chemistry onscreen, maybe even better than Nick and Jess’. Schmidt’s blindness to everything but himself and his obsession with CC coupled with Nick’s unwiedling crankiness make all their scenes together super-awkward in the best possible. Their discussion of having a four-way with two bridesmaids was fantastic. But it was Winston who stole the scene describing what would happen to the two guys in this sexual encounter by spilling salt and pepper.

“The Last Wedding” was great kick-off for the fourth season of New Girl and a major relief for those worried that the Nick and Jess storyline would be a complete albatross out of the gates. There’s no doubt the subject will come up again and ultimately, one has to believe Nick and Jess will become a slightly less annoying version of Ross and Rachel, getting back together by series’ end.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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Bill Bodkin is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. He can be read weekly on Trailer Tuesday and Singles Party, weekly reviews on Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, Law & Order: SVU and regular contributions throughout the week with reviews and interviews. His goal is to write 500 stories this year. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English and currently works in the world of political polling. He’s the reason there’s so much wrestling on the site and is beyond excited to be a Dad this coming December. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites