Unfortunately, for the people who have only recently started watching New Girl, the “Coach” reference will be a swing and a miss. For the faithful fans, Damon Wayans Jr. returning as Coach has been long awaited. The story of Coach is simple; Damon Wayans Jr. was expecting his show Happy Endings(R.I.P.) to get cancelled, so he filmed the New Girlpilot, playing Coach. When Happy Endings was renewed, the people of New Girl decided to not refilm the pilot featuring Wayans Jr. but to simply write his character off the show, and Lamorne Morris’s Winston was written in.
Tonight, though, Coach is back and it appears he will be for another two episodes after this as well.
After a week off last week, The Gang returns. Newly single Coach calls—hoping to reconnect with Schmidt, Nick, and Winston—looking for a crazy night out. Nick, trying to revert to his single self, messes up in front of Jess, telling Coach that they could go out drinking at a strip club on a Tuesday night because he and Jess had never had the “boyfriend/girlfriend talk.” Jess, furious at Nick, responds by calling Cece for a night out of their own.
Schmidt is still mad at Jess and Nick, and even though he’s moved across the hall, he keeps coming back to the loft to take things like wind chimes and Jess’s toothpaste mid-brush.
Winston was always intimidated by Coach, who called him “Shrimp Forks” due to his tiny hands, and tries to impress him in hilarious fashion at the strip club. Winston’s shenanigans, as well as Morris’s deadpans, are becoming some of the most reliable laughs for the sitcom.
When Jess goes out, a still-scorned Cece suggests that to get revenge on Nick, Jess should take a guy home. Jess remembers that she had recently been asked out by a coffee shop owner (Taye Diggs as a hilarious lothario), to which she replied with an incredulous, “Shut your face.”
“Coach” is a classic New Girl episode, and nothing beats Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, and Zooey Deschanel when they’re playing drunk. Schmidt’s misunderstanding of Raiders of the Lost Ark is uproarious. Nick has a rare moment as the voice of reason, and Jess and Nick cuteness is in fine form as usual. This show just gets me.
Den of Geek Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars