‘New Girl’ – ‘Tomatoes’: Mommy’s all right, daddy’s all right

Senior Television Writer
04.25.12 47 Comments


A quick review of last night’s “New Girl” coming up just as soon as I like ice skating for fun, not to save life…

“New Girl” has probably done stronger episodes overall this season, but I’m not sure they’ve done one that’s made me laugh as loudly and as frequently as “Tomatoes.”

Some of that’s a credit to three fantastic guest characters, as the episode provided us with both Nadia’s random, quasi-racist non-sequiturs (“The Jewish is here to make sex!” or her long list of things she likes about America, including sidewalks, yo’ momma jokes and both Wilmer Valderrama and “Leon J. Panetta,” who may or may not be related to Leon Edward Panetta) and the crazy heat between Russell and Ouli. Damn you, “New Girl,” for making me sad that Dermot Mulroney is leaving your show! DAMN! YOU!

But a lot of the laughs came from our regular characters, including by far the best cutaway flashback they’ve done. For the most part, I’ve found the cutaway gags to be one of my least favorite parts of “New Girl,” but little girl Jess tap dancing and singing “Surrender” was hilarious, and then perfectly set up the sight of the grown-up Jess trying it (and rewriting the lyrics to be about Russell and Ouli). I also enjoyed Jess’ weird attempts to make Russell mad at her, and thought this was a better excuse to get rid of an otherwise-perfect love interest than we often get.

And everything to do with Schmidt’s penile injury in the final minutes was absolute gold. Post-“Seinfeld,” and especially post-“Friends,” there’s been a tendency on sitcoms to lean on sexual humor as a crutch, under the belief that any allusion to sex (or, preferably, blunt reference to it) is inherently funny. The smarter comedies know that a sex joke requires an actual joke, and the idea of Schmidt not only having a broken penis, but having it tormented by his many, many fetishes (“Models eating sliders… freshly-baked bread….”) was a very good one.

I didn’t love the Nick/Winston story, other than the “Thriller” joke, and I’m extremely skeptical about Jess and Nick as a couple, despite the two of them showing the passion that Jess and Russell lacked, but funny forgives a lot.

What did everybody else think?

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