Review: ‘New Girl’ – ‘Bathtub’

Senior Television Writer
12.05.12 21 Comments

A quick review of last night’s “New Girl” coming up just as soon as I eat your hair out of a bowl…

Last week, “New Girl” gave us one of its best episodes ever, as “Eggs” captured all the different emotional and comic things the show is capable of balancing. “Bathtub,” on the other hand, was an episode where most of the comedy didn’t work, but the emotions rang fairly true.

Jess and Winston having to fake a burglary to cover for the damage they did to Schmidt’s suits was stupid on a number of levels (which even they acknowledged by the end when they realized they could just dry clean them), even if it gave us Zooey Deschanel’s amusing meth-head voice. But I was glad to finally get a Jess/Winston subplot that had little to do with the other guys. Part of the ongoing Winston problem is that Nick has a very clearly delineated relationship with the show’s main character, and so does Schmidt, whereas Winston is just the other guy who lives in the loft with her. Beyond the comedy stuff (including the return of Remy the threeway-loving landlord, whom I’m slowly coming around on), I don’t know that the bonding entirely clicked, since it involved Jess going to great lengths to convince Winston that she’s also crazy, when all he needs to know that is to have lived with her for the last year and a half. But I appreciate that the effort was there, and that both of them spun out of their own silliness the minute they recognized Schmidt needed some help.

Speaking of which, I was worried that the vodka presentation would lead to some kind of unfortunate misunderstanding with Cece where their reconciliation is postponed simply because no one has a conversation. (Or sends a text in advance.) But the way the scene played out, Cece understood exactly what had and hadn’t happened, and it became more about her recognizing that Schmidt’s good intentions too often fall victim to the Schmidt-ier parts of his life and personality. Some good work from both Hannah Simone and Max Greenfield.

And we’ll see how Olivia Munn (whom, you may recall from the summer, I developed a new appreciation for after watching “The Newsroom”) as a stripper with a heart of Jamesons fits in with Nick and the group going forward. But the best part of that story – other than maybe Nick’s “Super aroused! I think I just became a dirtbag!” rant – was simply seeing Angie and Nick recognize the emotional damage they share. For the most part – and rightly so, because this is a sitcom – the show plays Nick’s frustrated loathing for both the world and himself for laughs, but every now and then it’s good to acknowledge that there’s some real pain there, and that he might get along better with a kindred spirit is loserdom than he would with the relentless positivity of Jess.

Definitely a disappointment after “Eggs,” but still a reminder of what a solid foundation the show has built over a season-plus.

What did everybody else think?

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