Review: ‘New Girl’ – ‘Clavado En Un Bar’

01.07.14 6 years ago 21 Comments

A review of tonight’s “New Girl” coming up just as soon as our school has an ethnic gay bully…

“Clavado En Un Bar” was another flashback-intensive episode in the vein of last season’s “Virgins.” While it didn’t offer anything as explosively funny as Fat Schmidt covered from head to toe in lube, it was a sweet and cohesive start to 2014(*) after that very uneven run in the fall.

(*) All the Christmas tree stuff makes me wonder if it was originally meant to air in early December.

Even with Coach added to the mix with an additional story, the episode didn’t feel overstuffed. There was no attempt made at explaining how Cece became a model (and having her work at the bar seems like an easy way to use Hannah Simone more), and the story of Coach’s nickname – note that his first name is Ernie, just like Coach on “Cheers” – was only as long as it needed to be. I’m in general not a great lover of Fat Schmidt, but this particular flashback was strange in the way “New Girl” can do so well, while the Winston story finally dealt with how little the character Lamorne Morris has been playing for two and a half years feels like the kind of jock who would have been good enough to play professionally, even as the ninth guy off the bench for the eighth best team in Latvia.

And the Nick and Jess stuff, separately and together, was terrific. Brian Posehn is a welcome new addition to the show’s recurring ensemble, and the scenes at both Jess’s current school and her first one in Portland were ridiculous without ever quite descending into cartoon. Nick’s story, meanwhile, was a nice corrective to the trend of showing him to be completely incompetent at every aspect of adult life. Those jokes are almost always funny, but at a certain point it’s too much, especially if we’re meant to take him seriously at all as a romantic partner for Jess. That he tends bar only because he wants to, even as he was good enough to pass a different kind of bar, provides just enough shading that it’ll buy the show at least another six months of jokes about how Nick doesn’t understand how electricity works. (And in his dealings with the elderly barfly, as well as his mentoring of Cece, we also see that Nick is pretty good at what his chosen profession.) Like the end of “Virgins,” the closing scene was a nice reminder of the abundant chemistry between Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson. I haven’t loved everything the show has done with them as a couple this season, but this was a very nice, relaxed, charming moment.

What did everybody else think?

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