Review by Megora
Mid-season breaks have started early this year for New Girl, which returns after a two-week-hiatus with Background Check. This week’s outing was dubbed by show-runner Liz Meriwether as “one of [their] funniest”. It probably is the funniest this season, but considering the track record so far, that’s not saying much.
I’m a fan of New Girl episodes that are compacted in terms of time and location span (see Cooler, Thanksgiving, Kids). This episode takes place over the period of at most a couple of hours, and primarily around the loft, as the roommates prepare to go through Winston’s required background check for the Police Academy. During plots like this, the cast is basically in their comfort zone and truly allowed to shine.
However, there isn’t much new to see this time around, as the writers opted to use the traits they’d already established are funny about each character to bring out the laughs. Schmidt is still chronically obsessed with Cece, Coach comes up with yet another harebrained scheme to help Winston give a good impression, and Jess resorts to her slapstick comedy chops while attempting (and failing miserably) to get rid of her hidden stash of methamphetamine (yes, Jess is apparently the next Walter White). The return of Nick’s lying-equals-sweating habit is possibly the most hilarious bit; Nick Miller seems cursed with the inability to behave like a normal adult, much to our advantage. The only one with a semblance of responsible maturity is, shockingly, Winston, so I guess we can look forward to seeing him as a full-fledged cop sometime later this season.
One thing is new though: the opening credits. Gone is the cute theme song and Jess’s even cuter rendition of it, surrounded by the three male leads. Instead, only a portion of the melody plays in the background of a modernized flash sequence of cast photos, including Cece and Coach. Thus, the show sheds away any inkling of simply being a showcase for Deschanel, and embraces the fact that it has become a true ensemble comedy.
– It’s weird how easily Winston can flip from being the craziest person in the room to the most sane.
– For someone who has a problem communicating his feelings, Nick sure can spill his guts.
– Seriously, aren’t we tired of pedophilic jokes by now?
– Mark-Paul Gosselaar?! Cece’s name-dropping left me, much like Schmidt, shocked and jaw-dropped. You can’t mess around with Zack Morris, Cece!
– All hail the return of Nick’s moonwalk.
Coach: Going to the outlet mall today. I’m gonna look like a rich person from three years ago.
Winston: You guys are like rubbing alcohol. You sting me in the now, but save me in the later.
Nick: My sixteenth year, I never got an erection. I thought they were done. I thought my penis was dead. It wasn’t.
Sergeant Dorado: What kind of person would urinate on an electrical socket?
Nick: I… I thought it would make lightning.
A solid effort from the New Girl crew, but I’m still holding out for more.