Review: ‘New Girl’ – ‘The Exes’

Senior Television Writer
02.05.14 14 Comments


A quick review of last night’s “New Girl” coming up just as soon as a lot of ladies feel like Don Corleone…

This review’s been delayed by snow and power outages, so let’s get to it quickly before another act of God befalls my neighborhood.

“The Exes” weirdly reminded me of Steven Moffat’s brilliant Britcom “Coupling,” not because the plot was similar to anything Moffat did, but because it felt like the episode spent 2/3 of its running time patiently laying the groundwork for an uproarious final 10 minutes. There were some amusing things in the opening installments, like Schmidt and the guys discussing the 15 “bang stations” in his living room and the various sexual positions that go with each(*), or Nick describing the various frightening texts coming from Caroline, and I was happy to see a scruffy, grown-up Adam Brody as Jess’s ex-boyfriend Berkeley, but for the most part the early scenes were more pleasant than funny.

(*) For each episode, the “New Girl” writing staff tends to split into two units: one to deal with story structure and characterization, and one to come up with as many alternate jokes as possible for each scenario. My guess is the joke room had a lot of fun working on that scene, to the point where an extended version of it showed up at the episode’s end (“the Jumanji… the Jean-Michel Basquiat…”).   

But then Berkeley confessed that, as Nick suspected, he’d become Jess’s “friend” solely to get back together with her, and three guys wound up trying to use Schmidt’s loft for sex at the same time (including a very welcome Crazy Winston/Crazy Bertie reunion), and everything exploded perfectly. It was chaos, but controlled chaos, as Nick was enjoying his win over Jess more than he was being frightened by Caroline, and as there was much confusion over who was Schmidt and who was Frank Skabopolis. (Winston bursting out of the spare room to declare, “I am Frank Skabopolis!” was probably the single funniest moment of the season so far.) Everything came together perfectly, and it made me very happy.

There was, as I feared, absolutely no ratings bump from the post-Super Bowl airing (somehow, “Dads” was FOX’s most-watched comedy last night), but the usual suspects who tuned in got a good one.

What did everybody else think?

Around The Web