Hey New Girlsians.
Last night’s episode, “Neighbors,” penned by Schmidt-writer extraordinaire Berkley Johnson, involved Nick going to great lengths (both in time and money) to pull pranks on Schmidt to make him feel like he’s getting old, and a sort of meta commentary on hipsters using Zooey Deschanel as the person who is a) accepted by them, b) adored by them, and c) ultimately rejects them because she’s too old to act like that.
I found the hipster storyline a little bit fascinating. (Y’all, I have to tell you, I wrote my thesis on the culture and psychology of hipsters, so I’M SORRY. This is about to get . . . weird.) Zooey Deschanel has long been a poster girl for hipster ladies. Now that she’s on a TV show on a network owned by Rupert Murdoch, this may have changed, but at one point they all effing worshipped her and wanted to be her and look like her and dress like her and play the ukelele like her. So, in the New Girl universe, this storyline is a little bit meta because it’s Jess, played by Zooey, that the hipster neighbors naturally adore. ANYWAY. I also think this was a smart move/astute commentary by Johnson because at this point, Jess is working part-time at a place called Casserole Shanty (Cass Shant, which the hipsters love. Natch.) and is trying to pick herself up now that she’s been laid off. So having the hipster neighbors—who are all young, unemployed, and taken care of by their parents—embrace Jess and make her feel good about herself because she’s “just like them” despite the fact that she’s (at least) seven years older than them is a really interesting observation. And I’m sure it has NOTHING to do with the fact that Jess is Zooey Deschanel. [Side Note: Has someone invented sarcasm font yet?]
To reinforce their admiration for unemployed/under-employed people, they LOATHE Schmidt, who makes it his personal goal to make them like him. Obviously he does not do a good job at this because he cares far too much about everything for hipsters to ever embrace him. So Schmidt is down a lot of the episode because he feels old. In his freak out about age, he makes Nick and Winston feel old. Obviously Nick is okay with this (and doesn’t even try to be friends with the hipsters.) and Winston uses it as motivation at work. (Yay, Winston at work!) And in fact, Winston is “promoted” to being a producer on a Sports Talk show that runs from 2:30–5:30 AM.
I also think discussing age was a smart move because it points out the fact that the characters in New Girl, though silly and not always mature and often irreponsible with their money, are adults despite the fact that they’re all still trying to figure life out. And by directly comparing them to “adults” who are obviously not adults in any way, shape, or form, the four main characters of New Girl seem that much more grown-up and relatable.
Perhaps the highest ponit of this episode for me was the Jess/Schmidt bonding in this episode. I feel like we don’t see them on screen much together by themselves, and their dynamic with each other isn’t something that I completely understand if Cece isn’t around. But I loved seeing them find common ground when Jess called Schmidt out for making her feel bad about being laid off, and Schmidt motivating her to go and teach soemthing, anything, as long as she’s teaching. And I love that it was Schmidt’s pep talk that gave Jess the courage to go and find a tutoring position at the end of the episode.
- The hipsters not knowing Steve Urkel/Michelle Tanner catch-phrases cracked my shit up. Them calling Family Matters a low-budget web series also cracked my shit up.
- I love that Winston doesn’t have a prank sweet-spot. Because the scene with the ski at the very end of the episode made me laugh so hard my abs are sore today.
- Y’all, Jake M. Johnson is having a really, really strong season acting-wise thus far. There’s a comfortable subtley to his comedy and he’s just so good. It makes my heart happy.
- Schmdit fake-answering his phone and saying the word “comptroller” a lot really made me laugh. Mostly because comptroller is a silly word, but also because Schmidt thinks it’s a serious, impressive word.
“I’m going to live until I’m 123 years-old, so hello robot sex.”—Schmidt
“I like getting older. I feel like I’m finally aging into my personality.”—Nick
“I’m wearing the Spice, the Spice is cool.” —Nick. (Now I want Jake M. Johnson to be The Doctor.)
“They hate me. I know why they hate me too. It’s cause I’m old. And they’re the future of humanity: a pansexual, panethnic hivemind, and they want nothing to do with me.”—Schmidt
Jess: “My life sucks so much right now. At least I’m not 23. At least I own a trash can. At least I can legally rent a car. At least I don’t live in a loft with three oth—”
Schmidt: “But you live with us.”
Jess: “But I live with you guys.”
“We don’t hate you because you’re old. We hate you because you’re a viciously unbearable asshead.”—Chaz the hipster to Schmidt.
“HE’S GOING TO GET HIS OLD ON YOU.”—Jess to Hipster Neighbors, about Nick
Alright, so them’s my thoughts. There were MANY great one-liners and moments from last night’s episode, so please do share your faves in comments.
UNTIL NEXT WEEK!