‘New Girl’ – ‘Jess and Julia’: That thing you do

Senior Television Writer
01.31.12 40 Comments


A quick review of tonight’s “New Girl” coming up just as soon as I use sculpting chutney…

I was worried for a minute or two there that “Jess and Julia” was going to be all about Julia being convinced that Jess was trying to sabotage her so she could have Nick all for herself, and Jess denying it vehemently, and only realizing her true feelings for Nick just as she had made his relationship with Julia more solid than ever. And there were certainly aspects of that trite rom-com formula in there, but the episode wound up being more about the kinds of miscommunications that arise with two people with personalities. Julia is about as far apart in temperament from Jess as possible for someone of the same age, gender, etc. At some point, I think we all know “New Girl” is going to try a Jess/Nick relationship (which may or may not be a good story; all will depend on execution), but there’s no need to rush it, and I’d rather enjoy Lizzy Caplan’s presence – and her very un-adorkable energy – while she’s here, rather than let her get wrapped up in some trite love triangle nonsense. I enjoy seeing Nick and Julia prove that likes can attract on TV just as well as opposites can, and the moment where Jess discovered that both of them were crying in their respective bathrooms (therefore leaving Jess with no refuge for her own tears but a corner of the hallway) was one of several laugh-out-loud moments of this episode.

I’m also glad to see Jess’ world expand a little bit, even if her lesbian gynecologist friend Sadie (played by June Diane Raphael, who was Ken Marino’s sort-of love interest in “Party Down” season 2) was introduced more or less out of the blue. Allowing for both the demands of a TV show and for the more overwhelming aspects of Jess’ personality, I’m okay with her not having a lot of friends outside of the roommates, but it’s nice to know it wasn’t basically her and Cece versus the world before this, and Sadie gave Schmidt a new personality to bounce his various annoying/funny Schdmit-y qualities against.

Good Schmidt episode in general (he provided me with a half-dozen good potential intro lines, including “just as soon as my towel is next to my Irish walking cape”), particularly his horrified reaction at the end to the many ways in which Nick is obliviously unhygienic. The Winston subplot, on the other hand, suggests the writers are still scrambling to figure out what to do with Lamorne Morris. It almost feels like a commentary on the character that a number of his stories this season have been about how he doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he’s no longer playing basketball in Latvia.

Good outing overall, though, as Caplan worked very well with both Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson.

What did everybody else think?

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