‘New Girl’ – ‘Bully’: Hi, this is Nick, leaving a message

Senior Television Writer
02.22.12 32 Comments


A review of last night’s “New Girl” coming up just as soon as I look like a Gypsy courtesan…

“Bully” was one of the top-to-bottom funniest episodes “New Girl” has done so far, one that made good use of all 5 members of the ensemble (and members of the extended family like Julia and Tanya).

Though I’m disappointed that Julia is gone already, I recognize that Lizzy Caplan has other work out there, and the disintegration of that relationship gave Jake Johnson a lot to work with. We already know from the break-up of his last relationship that Nick has a tendency to overreact horribly, and boy did he bring the amusing crazy last night, from re-creating the most cringe-inducing scene in the history of the cinema (Jon Favreau leaving message after message for Nicki in “Swingers”) to being so excited to learn about what’s inside a pumpkin.

Cece trying to reconcile her disgust with and attraction to Schmidt was also a lot of fun, and also gave the writers a chance to write Schmidt at his most disgusting (“Did you get my junk mail?”) and douchey (doing parkour and push-ups after announcing their relationship to the old people at the  restaurant). There can be a danger in pushing that side of him too far, but in a storyline that’s all about a woman being drawn to him despite his more horrible side, it was absolutely perfect.

The title story was probably the weakest of the bunch, if only because even by sitcom logic, it feels like Jess would get into a lot more trouble for breaking the robot arm (and for bringing Nick and Winston to cause trouble at the science fair). But I did like that her ultimate revenge on Brianna was to force her to sing a song, because I like when Jess is conscious of how the rest of the world feels about her shiny happiness. In this case, she wasn’t above realizing that something she finds fun would be viewed as a punishment for someone else, and she took advantage of that.

Rather than try to force Winston into his own story and then cut it drastically to make time, which happened last week, this one wisely just had Winston commenting on everyone else’s silliness (and occasionally reviving his “Brown lightning” catchphrase), and that worked out well for him. (And Jess’ laughter at the suggestion that Winston might have better to do both fit his lack of employment and his generally tangential nature within the show nicely.)

What did everybody else think?

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