The best comedies are the ones that have the innate ability to consistently draw a laugh from the audience, and on occasion, allowing a true moment of suspension, of love, of heartwarming connection to overcome the gags and the one liners.
Good comedies make you feel something.
And boy has New Girl been on a roll with that.
First and foremost: this episode is hilarious. Each one of the stories had laugh-out-loud moments which helped sustain an easy flashback storytelling motif for the entirety of the episode.
The premise is simple and was a favorite of Friends back in their heyday: let’s take all of our characters, put them into flashback mode—preferably in awkward situations—and let’s use all of the actors to play their younger selves, just for a better joke.
This time they’ve all decided they’re going to talk about losing their virginities, all of them convinced that theirs is the worst situation of them all.
Cece’s isn’t bad at all, but she just likes to tell her story.
An eighteen year-old Cece has managed her way into a bar and is complaining about how she just wants to do it, just get it over with, and she’s propositioned by the back of a head of a man and his British voice.
Cut to one of the silliest and sexiest scenes of the night which is just shots of limbs in the throes of arousal.
The punch line? It was Mick Jagger.
Schmidt and the rest of the guys aren’t okay with this at all.
Schmidt has a truly horrific story. It’s back when Schmidt was still his heavy set self and he’s planning on making love to Elizabeth and wants advice from a perpetually stoned college Nick who’s extent of effort goes from making wild hand gestures and grunts. Schmidt’s main concern however was just how much lubricant is okay and Nick tells him he’s harshing his vibe. This is obviously the question Nick should have paid some mind to.
Nick tells him that he’ll have the dorm to himself though since he’s planning on going to town on some mushrooms for a Dave Matthews concert.
However, he ends up so stoned that he forgets to leave—or as he tells the gang, his arm was a magnet and his wall was magnetic.
This is where the “Fat Schmidt” gag works.
I’ve never minded it as much as others since I always felt the joke was on the character and how he is now compared to his college days self ,rather than a joke on actual weight. But, I understand why it becomes tiring when pulled out of the joke bag too often.
But this week it was hysterical. Schmidt has fallen off the bed after being too lubed up and has found Nick desperately trying to sneak away—still too stoned to do anything with any sort of efficiency. The next bit is some expertise in physical comedy as Nick tries to push Schmidt back onto the top bunk while Elizabeth struggles to get the lubricant out of her eyes. They fail on multiple occasions and Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson put all they have into wriggling about and trying to amend the situation they’ve gotten themselves into.
Johnson has yet another great episode on his hands, getting to appear in the most scenes and flashbacks considering his friendship with the two characters.
In Winston’s flashback they’re about sixteen, squeaky and awkward in the way that sixteen year-old boys are, and Nick’s dad has brought them to New York for the first time and has been kind enough to do what all fathers do, and bring a pair of prostitutes to their hotel room.
Winston up until this time has believed that the prostitute was a business woman who just knew how to sexy dance. The name Mysteria not being enough of an apparent, blinding sign that he was wrong.
So Winston gets his groove on with the woman with her nurse hat in her bag as Nick takes his first forays into the land of alcoholism, learning that when he drinks he feels better!
This scene also allows another appearance by Nick’s father who gives him the advice that it’s okay that he didn’t have sex and not to do it until he’s ready. But hey, if you like drinking, go ahead.
It’s a sweet scene amid hilarity and that’s why this show works so well.
Props to Lamorne Morris for convincing me for a second that they’d gotten a younger actor for his character. While all of the actors were funny in their variable ages, Morris convinced me the most.
And we’re back at the apartment where Winston is now heartbroken that his first time, his first glorious ten seconds, were with a prostitute.
But now Jess has the floor, and she believes that she has the worst of it.
Her story begins because of a phone call from Teddy—the reason why any of these discussions started—who wants to grab a drink with her later that night.
She starts at her senior prom where she went with a boy who was a bit of a dud to her and instead met for a brief moment, a boy (played by Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien) who plays guitar, sings and looks great in a pair of tuxedo pants.
However, that potential hook up is put in the back burner because her original date has managed to hurt himself and she must attend to him first.
Jump to three years later, now twenty one and living with Cece in L.A and at the bar that Nick will work at in a few years. It’s there that she sees guitar boy again and having not yet lost her virginity is looking forward to the possibility. So she grabs guitar boy and they go and take camp in a play castle in the middle of a seemingly deserted playground.
However, he’s having mechanical difficulties because of his anti-depressants and she’s growing frustrated. By the end of the night they still haven’t managed anything and just as he’s about to feel something they fall half way out of the castle and into the open where after being stuck for several hours they find an audience of schoolchildren and learn that a man has died on the bench they thought of using the night before.
Then a fireman comes in to save the day and cut them out.
Zooey Deschanel is great in this bit—always excelling when she gets to get physical—and it’s nice to see O’Brien on our screens in a new part—but let’s be honest, her story wasn’t that bad. I’m certain any one of us could think of a story more humiliating than that. And she gets rescued by the firefighter who ends up being her first time in a fit of passion.
It’s real time again and the group is about to leave and Jess asks Nick about hus first time in a private moment for them and for us. His was sweet. It was awkward, no polished finesse, but it was nice with no bad memories attached. He asks her about Teddy, the man she’s going to meet, and if he really swept her off her feet and she nods yes and asks him whether or not she should go and meet him.
Nick has no answer for her.
So Jess walks away just like the two of them have done to each other time and time again, refusing to admit fully what they’re feeling and go all the way with each other.
But the tides have turned this time when Nick knows that Jess has other options, other opportunities to be swept away. So just as the elevator is about to close and just as they’re going to miss yet another opportunity, Nick barges in, gives her that look, and lifts her up and carries her back into the apartment and into his room where they look at each other and kiss, this time defnitely leading to more.
And damn if Johnson and Deschanel don’t sell every ounce of passion in that kiss.
I don’t know about you but I was blushing. That was a chemistry-fueled scene and I don’t believe I’ve ever rooted for a couple as enthusiastically as I do for these two and most of the credit goes to the actors who just naturally portray this intimate relationship so that every single kiss they’ve had thus far means something.
We get a sweeping look at the other relationship forays as well. Winston and Daisy are getting a quick opportunity to have a moment before she’s off again and Winston needs Titanic on to help him get things started—just as he did years ago in that hotel room in New York.
Cece isn’t ready to sleep with her soon-to-be husband, choosing to wait until the night itself.
Schmidt on the other hand is making progress with Elizabeth who’s slowly turning him into being the best version of him.
But back to Nick and Jess who are now laying in post-coital bliss and the shot is perfect. The show could have taken the easy way out and could have had them run out on each other, be turned in opposite directions, or looking like they had a royally bad first time to gain more comedic moments out of it.
Instead they very obviously enjoyed themselves quite a bit, aren’t jumping out of bed with each other, and are admitting what happened with a wonderful “ruh roh” after post-scene credits.
They’re adults; they know what they did and now they have to deal with it, but for now, why not enjoy the moment?
This show knows how to handle their characters, they know what makes them tick and they need no reason to change their personalities just because of this new step in the characterization.
Fantastically done episode with too many hilarious moments to mention and that I wish I had written down.
Who else is happy that Jess and Nick finally did the deed?