Episode 2: Nerd
By: Carlos Uribe
New Girl is a show about four best friends who live together.
I'd like to begin this review by talking about a sense of dread I felt halfway through the episode. It's odd. I went from completely laughing out loud to realizing that shit this wasn't going to end well for Schmidt. It's a sense that remained throughout and even beyond the episode. I didn't stop laughing: there was no way to stop as just about every single joke landed. I enjoyed the whole episode but there was a small part of me that was worried. It's a good feeling to have: it means I'm so invested in the happiness of these characters that I don't like it when it's threatened. I don't want Smitty to lose Cece or Elizabeth. His whole charade of failing to actually pick one is going to come back to haunt him when they both find out. There's no way that Elizabeth is going to accept this and I sincerely doubt Cece will either. The two of them will break up with him. You know, I'd prefer he be with Cece at this point but I'd be perfectly happy if he chose Elizabeth. I just want Schmidt to be happy and he's currently on a path that's going to devastate him. It's not like he's happy right now. He might have modeled his office after Don Draper's but it's not big enough to actually be a replica. In other words, he can't actually be Don Draper. He can't have two women in his life. He might have been able to avoid telling the truth this week but his streak can't last. So overall, there's a surprising amount of tension in this storyline that I didn't really see last week. 'Cause, hell, this is going to end badly for Schmidt and I'm dreading when that happens.
The funniest plot of the night had to do with a cat. Winston has agreed to help take care of Daisy's cat which implies that their relationship should be more serious than casual. He asks her to be exclusive but is bothered because there just happened to be a guy taking a shower in her bathroom at the same time. While he worries that Daisy is not willing to commit to his relationship, he takes out his frustration on the cat. He actually tries to kill the cat. Now, animal cruely is no joke. It is not funny to kill animals. In fact, killing the cat would not only be crossing a line between what's funny and what goes too far but it would render Winston unlikeable for the rest of time. There's no way anybody would ever root for him after he purposefully killed an animal. So why was this so funny? Because we knew that New Girl wouldn't actually go through with it. The cat was going to be alive by the end of the episode. So we could laugh because we knew that the cat's life wasn't actually in danger. Winston did indeed come to his senses. He realizes his issue is with the cat's owner so he breaks up with her when she admits she slept with the guy even after they became exclusive. Only he decides to keep the cat. I have no idea whether there's actually going to be a cat in the apartment or not but I hope there is: I can't get enough of the cats really liking Schmidt's nipples. It is simply such an absurd oddity that gets me every time.
The actual main plot of the episode went with Nick and Jess. We don't actually get an episode where the two are doing couple stuff. The writers decided that instead their going to show how Nick could potentially lead Jess down the wrong path. Jess is happy at her new job except for one thing: the mean clique of teachers don't like her. For some odd reason, she wants their approval. It might be because she was the nerd in high school. This is when Nick decides to solve this problem for her. He's able to win over the mean teachers by offering them free alcohol at his bar. When he realizes that Jess' instincts won't win them over, he encourages her to drink to be cool. To go against her instincts of what she should do. Only Jess takes this too far when she agrees to break into her principal's backyard to mess with his hot tub. Nick is forced to try to stop her: one of the best moments in the episode is when he has to try to stop Jess from committing a felony and when he has to try to stop Winston from killing the cat. Anyways, the plot ends with Jess realizing that gaining the approval of the mean teachers isn't worth losing herself. Nick realizes that he has to be careful because he could accidentally turn Jess into himself.
Nerd is a pretty hilarious episode of New Girl filled with many amazing moments: the elevator scene where the guys discuss their problems without pressing the button, the cats loving Schmidt's nipples, and Nick having to deal with two extreme situations at the same time. All three plots were done very well. The Schmidt plot was him attempting to juggle two girls at the same time was funny but it came with a healthy sense of dread. The cat plot was simply inspired and freed Winston up for a new love interest. Jess' plot with the mean girl teacher was funny but relevant because Nick could be a bad influence on her.