First and foremost: True American. I NEEDS IT IN MY LIFE.
We will discuss the brilliance that is True American in much more detail in a bit. But what you should know about this episode, “Normal,” before I talk about how much I love this made up drinking game, is that a) Jess invites Russell to stay at the apartment for the weekend since she’s been sex-cationing at his place for, like, ever (and, really, why wouldn’t she? He has a MANSION and it’s pretty and big and clean and everything works!) and b) Winston gets a job (!!!!!!).
But, really, the highlight was True American, a drinking game that encompasses American history, including presidential quotes, standing and moving around on chairs because the floor is lava (obvs), there’s something about castles and knights thrown in for good measure, and it begins with shotgunning a beer. YES.
It is seriously the greatest. The New Girl writers should win, like, a Nobel Peace Prize for it because I’m pretty sure this game is so much fun it could bring world peace. Except for that whole Muslims don’t drink alcohol business. Perhaps it’s just as fun if you use something decaffeinated? Maybe?
And I love that the show actually showed us a whole, like, six minutes of them playing True American. That is some serious dedication. And I really hope the actors were actually drinking whilst playing. And I hope the staff tested the game out before putting it in the show, because that’s obviously what good writing (and science) is all about.
True American, y’all. TRUE. AMERICAN.
But. For Jess, True American turned out to be not so much fun because Russell got super drunk and then super hungover and then stabbed in the hand, thus ending their lovely weekend slumming it with her roomies, who totally did not act normal while Russell was around. Nick mooned at him and ate out of his bowl, Schmidt belittled Russel’s choice of sushi restaurant (which was hilarious.), and Winston accused him of hating black people.
And then Nick and Schmidt STABBED him with their invention, RealApps (pronounced: relapse), which is a phone case that is essentially a Swiss army knife, that they were pitching to him for some reason that is beyond me. I guess because he has money? Does he work for a tech firm? Did I miss something? (Probably.)
ANYWAY, Russell leaves the apartment and Jess is pissed, but she doesn’t want to fight with him because she wants their relationship to be the opposite of his marriage, which was fraught with fighting. But in the end, she decides to fight with him, which basically entailed her standing up for her friends and living situation and lifestyle. Which was actually very nicely done. She’s good at standing up for herself, despite all of her awkward Jess-ness. And I loved, LOVED, that she called herself out for quoting the Spice Girls. Because I would absolutely a) say that, and b) call myself out on it. Yay identifying with characters!
The other big plot point is that Winston inteviews for a terrible job supervised by a terrible man! And gets it! And Kareem Abdul-Jabar works there! And his boss always wants six Beyonce-colored milkshakes in the fridge at all times! Hooray!
But of course Winston is all “I CAN’T DO THIS,” because, he’s, you know, a grown man who doesn’t want to be treated like an intern. So he returns to the ever-wise Elvin, who, as Schmidt accurately describes, is a tiny little owl in a shirt. Elvin tells Winston that he needs to take the job (and to update his resume because typing is no longer considered a skill) and then, to prove how much he means it, tells his mom that Winston told him to hold his joint while he smoked it.
So now Winston has no choice but to take the shitty “research assistant” job. Oh Elvin. Winston goes back to the job he has fled and admits to his Terrible Boss that he put his balls (which he called beans? What? Am I confused?) in the milkshakes. Turns out the Terrible Boss thinks that is high hilarity and tells Winston to do it to Kareem, who knows better.
And, as you may have guessed, Jess and Russell are fine. She stands up for herself and lets him know that his is not the first stabbing to occur in the apartment that month and quotes the Spice Girls and they just end up laughing. And go into his house. Because it superior to hers.
OH MY GOD. I was so distracted by True American that I forgot about what is as equally great about this episode. Nick quoted “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. ALADDIN!!!!!!!!
I, upsettingly, could not find a gif of that, but it made me ridiculously happy. Like. In an unhealthy way. (My boyfriend understands. He feel unhealthily happy by Tami Taylor. Which is fair. UPDATE! I FOUND A GIF!!!!
And I really liked the conversation between Jess and Cece about how Jess and Russell’s relationship seemed perfect because she was living on his terms. And that fighting is healthy. And I love how the writers are making Jess and Cece’s friendship really layered in the past few episodes. They’ve developed it nicely so that it’s easier to understand why they’re still friends and how much they mean to each other. Hooray lady friends! (BTW, where’s the gay gyno?)
“You’re listening to the radio and writing with a pen? What decade are we in?”—Schmidt
“So nice to meet you Mr. Kareem Abdul-Jabar. Can I sit on your shoulders?”
Schmidt sneaking into the kitchen in a towel and handcuffed. I DIED.
“And you know, that wasn’t even the first stabbing of the month.”—Jess to Russell
In sum, I really liked this episode. It was well-paced and brought the lols and finally got Winston a for-real job and quotes Aladdin. And introduced us to True American.
And if you feel so inclined (*stares unblinkingly so that you feel more inclined*)let me know all of your favorite moments and things in comments. TTFN!