New Girl: Nerd, Review
Jess and Schmidt are adorably awkward, but is it even more awkward that Schmidt and Cece are the more important couple?
In “Nerd” Nick tries to help Jess fit in with a cliquey Heathers-esque group of teachers by referring to himself as her “old man” and telling her that cool people drink to excess. I won’t ruin Jess’s side-splitting drunken antics, but they’re good. “Nerd” showcases classic awkward yet adorable Jess and Nick who make fools out of themselves while remaining faithfully devoted to their budding relationship. At this point, would we want anything else? Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel’s chemistry and comedic give-and-take are brilliant, and they’ve fared commendably keeping the romance funny AFTER they’ve gotten together. Meanwhile, Max Greenfield’s Schmidt finds himself in an old school comedy pickle: unable to decide between two women, Cece (Hannah Simone) and Elizabeth (Merritt Wever). So, he inadvertently dates both. Schmidt has an office party and a malicious co-worker Beth (the undervalued Eva Amurri Martino, daughter of Susan Sarandon), who’s jealous of Schmidt’s recent promotion, decides to make sure that both Cece and Elizabeth attend the party, despite Schmidt’s wishes. Greenfield’s ability to switch from slapstick comedy to unflinching realism at the drop of the dime is what makes Schmidt such a compelling character, and in effect, New Girl such a weirdly engrossing series. One could argue that the Cece/Schmidt romance arc is just as, if not more, involving than Nick/Jess—sorry Merritt Wever aka Elizabeth, but it’s just not doing it for me. Fear not; that Nurse Jackie Emmy will keep you plenty warm. Winston decides to be exclusive with Daisy (the underutilized and beautiful Brenda Song, who unfortunately makes her New Girl exit here, likely due to shooting conflicts with the awful and ill-fated Dads). Things don’t go as he plans, and soon enough he’s hatching another typical ridiculous Winston revenge plan. Lamorne Morris has made Winston likeable and uproarious in comparison to early episodes, where frankly, he was a flat character. Kudos to Morris and the writing staff for their self-awareness. New Girl is one of the only shows on television right now that I have vicious fits of laughter watching. The banter between Deschanel, Johnson, Greenfield, and Morris—improv or scripted, it’s hard to tell— is simply the funniest stuff on primetime TV right now. Don’t worry if you’ve missed episodes; the first two seasons are on Netflix. Better catch up though, while the getting’s good. Den of Geek Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars