Season premiere review: ‘New Girl’ – ‘The Last Wedding’

Senior Television Writer
09.16.14 24 Comments

A review of tonight's “New Girl” premiere coming up just as soon as guys still like an Oakland face with an LA booty…

When I spoke with Liz Meriwether at press tour, she said that one of the goals for getting the show back on track for season 4 would be to simplify the storytelling and put her characters in position to be funny as often as possible. “The Last Wedding” is a strong example of that approach at work. There's essentially just the one setting and storyline: the gang from the loft – or “sex fist,” as Jess hilariously dubs them – all try to have sex at what they think is the last wedding of the summer season. There are a couple of prominent guest stars in Jessica Biel(*) and Reid Scott, but for the most part the laughs are driven by Jess, Nick and Schmidt, with the occasional helping of Winston.

(*) Biel isn't the most comically gifted of actresses, so the episode wisely uses the idea of the character – a sexually adventurous genius who lost her virginity to Malcolm Gladwell – and the sexual threat she poses to Jess to drive the laughs. That said, I did enjoy Jess and Kat competing to see who can be quieter in complimenting the other's shoes.

Coach is still a character the show doesn't entirely know what to do with, and ditto Cece, but the core trio were all very funny, as was Winston whenever they turned to him for advice. (“How did salt get shoved in this tiny tiny pepper hole?”) Nick's tap shoes turned out to be a great running gag, marking one exit from a mortifying situation after another. And over the years, the show has found an excellent balance of frankness and weirdness in having the characters talk about sex, here with both the sex fist gag (which paid off with the first turning into “a sex finger”) and Nick and Schmidt's elaborate war metaphor discussion of the foursome.

Meanwhile, Jess and Nick's discussion in the men's room stall – two sad, weird losers hiding from the world, trying to help each other out but also awkward because the break-up is still pretty fresh – was sweet and funny (Jess's un-sexy Tina Turner impression), and suggested a workable tone moving forward for them as exes who for some ridiculous reason are still roommates. If they're toxic together, the show can't function; if they can get along even as they acknowledge the weird history, things can work.

The show's not permanently fixed yet, but “The Last Wedding” was a promising first step on the road to repair.

What did everybody else think?

Around The Web