Episode 14: Pepperwood
By: Carlos Uribe
New Girl is a show about Jess and her three best friends (Winston, Nick, and Schmidt)
The main plot is predicated on the premise that Nick thinks one of Jess’ students might actually be a murderer. This is based on the student’s literary works and his disturbing drawings. It gets to the point where Nick actually fears that Jess might be the student’s next victim. It all turns out to be a huge misunderstanding where Edgar is just a creative writer. The disturbing drawings are for his graphic novels, they lack eyes because he detests drawing them, and the main character in his story is Jess. It isn’t a bad plot as it’s very funny while slowly pushing Nick towards Jess. The main problem is that this doesn’t’ really justify being a main plot for this specific show. It was an ambitious move to temporarily turn this into a satire of personal investigators but there wasn’t enough meat to it for a whole episode. It could have worked a lot better as a sub-plot as that would have allowed the show to develop the plot while leaving more room for the sub-plot.
The idea for the sub-plot is simple. When Winston’s private part accidentally touches Cece, he finds out that this is a common occurrence that his friends talk about behind his back. They call it his “pogo” but it turns out that each character has their own pogo. Schmidt has his monster toenails, Jess is an annoying know-it-all, and they’re just worried Nick isn’t able to survive on his own. It’s a funny idea that might threaten the entire loft dynamic but it doesn’t get fully explored because it’s relegated to being a sub-plot. This is a pity because you get the sense that there’s a whole episode with the “pogos” that can fully explore the characters and their relationships with each other. The danger would have been that the idea was stretched out too thin and the jokes had diminishing returns but the material in the sub-plot was strong enough that I think the risk would have been worth it. The episode would have been much stronger if it had simply switched the sub-plot and the main-plot. It would have also helped make the episode fit the identity of New Girl a lot more than the main plot.
Pepperwood is a funny episode of New Girl. It was pretty great even if it had areas of improvement.
The idea of an “Annoying Bowl” for Jess is kind of funny but like Winston notes, it’s just not as satisfying.