A review of tonight’s “New Girl” coming up just as soon as I freak you toward the bed…
I really only have one complaint about “Virgins,” so let’s get that out of the way: no way on earth does Jess’s devirginization story remotely compete with either Schmidt or Winston’s. Yes, she had two different awkward encounters with the sensitive guitar boy, but when it came time for her to actually give away her flower, it was to a good-looking fireman who carried her away from a murder scene. That’s not a patch on Cece’s Mick Jagger story, but nor is it in the same ballpark as 10 seconds with a hooker Winston didn’t know was a hooker, nor Fat Schmidt and Elizabeth soaking themselves in lube from head to toe. So for Jess and/or the show to be considering it such a horrible story as the others began rolling out seemed silly.
Everything else, though? Fabulous.
Hell, the episode even made me enjoy Fat Schmidt for a few minutes, though the genius of the lube-related slapstick was that it didn’t really require Max Greenfield in the fat suit to be funny. A tripping Nick struggling to get a lubed-up Schmidt back into the top bunk while Elizabeth struggled to even see would have been swell on its own. Either way, it was an inspired bit of physical comedy, and the earlier conversation between the two dormmates about what Schmidt should expect from sex (“If I pee while it’s happening, will she die?”) was hilarious in its own right.
And the fun of the flashback structure of “Virgins”(*) is that it gave everybody (except Hannah Simone, who will never not look like Hannah Simone) a chance to try on a ridiculous new look and/or voice. I could have listened to the teenage Nick and Winston squeak at each other for the length of the episode and not get tired of it, for instance, and that story took an unexpectedly sweet detour with the heart-to-heart between Nick and his dad.
(*) I probably could have done without Fat Schmidt trying to hit on Cece at the bar, if only because that seems to open up the door to too many future flashback episodes where they keep having their “first” meeting many different way. (“Friends,” “The Odd Couple” and “Mad About You” all did that in later seasons.) On the other hand, if future flashback episodes bring back Dennis Farina – possibly in the same scene with Margo Martindale – I may forgive other sins.
Walt’s advice, and all of the flashbacks, were of course building to the moment of Nick and Jess’s first time in bed together. Like their kiss at the end of “Cooler,” it’s a terrific sequence that Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel play for all it’s worth, particularly in their reactions when we see them post-coital. The easy, safe play would be for the first time to be bad so that the show can prolong the moment before they attempt to be more than just roommates with benefits. Clearly, though, it was very good, which will cause all sorts of interesting, amusing complications for the rest of this season, as Nick and Jess made clear with their only words (“Oh boy” and a Scooby-Doo “ruh-roh”) of the scene.
What did everybody else think? And did anyone miss the episode’s first two minutes because of FOX’s annoying decision to start the remaining episodes of this season at 8:58 Eastern?