In “Double Date,” Nick and Jess invite Schmidt on a double date with him and Cece. Unfortunately, Schmidt has plans with Elizabeth, and hasn’t told anyone that he’s been dating both of them. Winston and his ex-girlfriend’s cat, Ferguson (now his cat Ferguson) feels left out being the only single one in the apartment, and decides to go on the date as well—he sets up the 8 P.M. reservation, or…rather he tries to. Schmidt decides to let Nick in on his secret, and it has disastrous consequences. “Double Date” appears to be the catalyst episode; the episode that triggers what the rest of the season will revolve around.
When Schmidt acts strange about the double date, knowing he can’t possibly date both of them any longer, Cece suspects he’s on drugs. “He just, like, stopped blinking…is that Whippets?” Nick reacts terribly to Schmidt’s polygamous secret: “You get one wife! That’s the way the world works!” Winston pulls a page out of Seinfeld with his ridiculous seat-saving tactics.
All in all, another great episode from Liz Meriwether and the New Girl cast. It’s a more dramatic episode than usual, but it’s interspersed with perfectly-timed comedic relief. It’s a testament to the talented cast that in a millisecond, they can go from discombobulated hilarity to melancholy sadness. Hannah Simone, Max Greenfield, and Lamorne Morris each have scenes this week where they do just that—and the effect is immense.
In recent memory, some comedies have failed in terms of audience awareness: who’s watching, and what do they want to see? Happy Endings, Whitney, Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23—these were shows that aimed at the same demographic and misfired terribly (critics still love Happy Endings, but as someone who watched every single episode, I found the storyline choppy and inconsistent). This can’t be said of New Girl. Meriwether has a firm finger on the pulse of the show, extremely aware of all facets from scene to scene, episode to episode, season to season.
New Girl stays true to its original tone and faithful to its audience just as well or better than any other sitcom on television right now.