Y’all, I really missed this show while it was on winter hiatus and I’m just so glad it’s back. It gives me warm and fuzzy feelings and it makes me laugh and I would like to take it on a date. We could have a picnic and go get ice cream and maybe go see The Artist and not insist on getting a refund because we’ll already know that it’s a silent, black-and-white, French film. I think New Girl would enjoy that, don’t you?
So, why am I so enamored with this show? Aside from the very charming cast, it’s because the writers know how to LISTEN to what the viewers want and then give it to them in spades. They’ve toned down Jess so that she’s believably dorky and not some caricature of a gorgeous woman who is socially awkward, as she was the first few episodes. They’ve done a great job of balancing the roommates’ personalities and how they relate to one another. They’ve brought back the Douchebag Jar!!!! And they’ve assured us that the Nick/Jess relationship will be a slow burn.
But that’s not all.
Y’all, last night they gave us Lizzy Caplan, who is one of my giant girl crushes, and she is Nick’s love interest. I know that this is going to pose an issue later on if Lizzy sticks around, but, to be honest, I will always be Team Lizzy over Team Zooey. (Although, I must admit that I do love Zooey. Well, most of the time. Sometimes she really, really annoys the shit out of me. But I like the choices she’s made with her career and I like her [more than?] friendship with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and I like her clothes and her music and the fact that she is extremely fiscally responsible.) I mean, not only was Lizzy Caplan the incredimazeballs Janice in Mean Girls, but she was incredimazeballs on Party Down (OMG, my enthusiasm for that up-and-coming movie knows no bounds) and on True Blood even though I mostly hated her character, but not her. Never her. And, y’all, Lizzy is hot. Like, really, really hot. She might have just eclipsed Emma Stone as my Girl Crush #1.
Okay, I’ll stop blathering and actually get on to what happened in the episode, “The Story of the 50.”
You guys, this episode STARTS with the Douchebag Jar, which was my first clue that this episode was going to be my boyfriend. Then we learn that the night before Schmidt had done something so unbelievably douchey that he had to put $50 in the Douchebag Jar, which is the highest denomination he’s ever had to put in at one time. Why, you ask? Well, we learn this information via flashbacks.
Turns out, the night before was Schmidt’s 29th birthday party. (BTW, yesterday was Zooey Deschanel’s actual birthday. I’m trying to decide if I think the episode air date was a coincidence or not.) Now, Schmidt is not excited to turn 29, because that means he’ll soon be 30, which obviously means that he’ll no longer be desirable. Or something that is equally untrue. And he’s all upset because he wasn’t able to secure the party bus he wanted due to a Frankie Muniz booking, and that means he won’t be able to impress his college friend/how-to-be-a-balla-(holla) mentor, Benjamin. Then something magical happens. We get a flashback scene of Schmidt in a FAT SUIT.
No one is surprised when Jess announces that she wants to throw Schmidt a party. But Nick and Winston don’t want to do it, because they know that they’ll never be able to live up to Schmidt’s standards, except that Nick says it in a much funnier way. So funny, in fact, that I was laughing too hard to get it typed out and my lovely, amazing, thoughtful roommates deleted New Girl from our shared DVR player, so I was unable to re-watch it. But know that it was funny and should be appreciated via a re-watch. However, the one thing I did get typed out was Nick talking about Schmidt’s people: “They shorten every word to one syllable. He once called on oven an ov. He calls the airport the airp.” Now, that may seem weird to you guys, but I have friends from college who do this. Seriously. They call abbreviations “abbrevs.” So maybe I am Schmidt’s people.
So while Jess and Winston are left at the apartment to plan Schmidt’s party, Nick goes to meet Lizzy Fucking Caplan on a date. They’re at an event for lawyers and Nick makes it clear that he hates lawyers, which is convenient because she is a lawyer who hates lawyers and she likes that Nick also hates lawyers. After they both do their best Bill Cosby impressions, they have a bit of a scuffle on whose place they should go back to. Lizzy calls him out for never taking her back to his place or even really talking about his place or his friends or anything. Turns out our Nick is a little embarrassed by the fact that he is 30, has three roommates, and is a bartender. I don’t think he should be embarrassed by this at all, and neither does Lizzy. *high five Lizzy* So, they head back to the apartment where Jess has just hired her first stripper, albeit for Schmidt’s party.
In her role of party planner, Jess also gets caught by her boss, Tanya (played by Rachel Harris, who is great in everything she does), raiding the “confiscation station” at school for drugs. Tanya then goes on to ensure her that she’ll show up with something good as long as she’s invited to the party. But you know what else Jess does? In addition to hiring a stripper and looking for drugs, she books a party bus. And it is an ACTUAL school bus. But, it’s pimped out on the inside with a stripper pole and various sizes of condoms. So, as Schmidt is marveling at Jess’s party planning prowess, Benjamin shows up in all of his douchebag glory. And, y’all. He is the type of guy I would move to a different state to get away from just if I spotted him on the street. (Which isn’t really true because I live in New York where there is a very large concentration of douchebags. I just try to avoid the areas they tend to be. Read: Financial and Meatpacking Districts. And parts of Murray Hill. And parts of Brooklyn.) Anyway, Benjamin is there and Schmidt just wants to impress him, and Nick brought Lizzy and is praying that nothing embarrassing happens.
Once everyone is on the bus, it’s revealed that the stripper Jess hired is a dude. She is appalled by this and insists that she’ll pay him if he doesn’t strip. She asks him to sing instead. He obliges. The rest of the party involves driving around and hanging out in fields and Nick drinking bro juice, much to his chagrin. It turns out that he INVENTED bro juice and he is appalled that Hot Lizzy knows this information. And, you guys, his weird shame in this episode annoyed me. I mean, I get that he’s 30 and doesn’t have the highest self-esteem in the world because he feels like he’s floundering, but that’s no reason to hide who you are and who you were in college from the awesome, hot, lady lawyer who thinks you are awesome and hot in your flannel shirts and Cosby sweaters. I want to give him a pep talk and smack him on the ass and tell him to go get her. (Ok, I just want to smack him on the ass.) Alright, so after the bro juice thing is revealed, Benjamin asks Schmidt if he is sleeping with Jess, and then informs Schmidt that he wants to sleep with Jess. Schmidt is anti-that. And here’s where I need some help completing my thoughts: do we think that Schmidt is into Jess? Or do we think that he just is protective of her because he knows how great of a person she is? Or is it maybe a little of both?
Once everyone is back on the bus, including Tanya with her half a pot cookie, Nick feels like he blew it with Lizzy and won’t stop apologizing about how he’s so sorry she had to learn all this information about him. Lizzy keeps insisting that they’re fine and that she would rather him be completely honest with her about everything than lie to her and explains that everyone has stuff to be ashamed of, so that there really is absolutely no reason for him to be that upset about it. Nick then foreshadowingly states that there’s nothing Lizzy has to be ashamed of.
Meanwhile, Benjamin is douching around and makes it known to Schmidt that he hates the party and still wants to bang Jess. So he goes over to Jess and proposes that they go to some stupid, swanky club where he can get them in and then gives a line that includes this: “The hero is my penis.” Which made me yell, NOW WAIT A SECOND. How DARE he try and adapt Nathan Fillion’s Captain Hammer line for his own use! HOW DARE HE. As much as I hated Benjamin before, that was the last straw. (I love how well the writers know me/their audience.) After Jess says no, Benjamin turns into Super Douche and is making fun of Schmidt’s party and friends and life and then Lizzy beats the shit out of him. For real. Nick looks at her wide-eyed and charmingly says, “What are you, The Bourne Identity person?” I love him. Then Lizzy goes on to explain that she has anger management issues and says, “I started doing martial arts ironically because I thought it would give me more zen in my life.” DON’T Y’ALL JUST LOVE HER, TOO?!
So after Lizzy attacks Benjamin, the party is basically over. Also, the bus broke down somehow. If anyone would like to explain how that happened, please do. So, everyone heads out and Jess and Schmidt wait for the tow truck. They have a cute little moment and then Schmidt ruins it by leaning over and trying to kiss her. And Jess, in a very Jess-like move, leans away from him and hides behind her hair. I really loved that. Because, let’s be honest, if you were single and a guy leaned over to kiss you after you’d be drinking and y’all had had a cute little moment, you’d probably let him kiss you. But not Jess!
And the attempted kiss is why Schmidt had to be $50 in the Douchebag Jar. (Right? That’s what it was? And not something to do with the bus? Somehow this got a little fuzzy in my brain.)
- Um, since when is viewer discretion advised for this show?!
- “I’m a warrior-poet, man.”—Schmidt, talking to male stripper about who his stripper persona is.
- Winston can’t say “charcuterie,” and it’s hilarious.
- Where was CeCe?
- There were MONTAGES of Schmidt doing things that required him to put money in the Douchebag Jar. They were AWESOME. My favorite reason, and I sadly can’t find a gif for it, was when he said, “You guys, has anyone seen my good pea coat?” I DIED.
- I love that Lizzy Caplan was hanging out on the couch during the morning-after scenes wearing white knee-high socks.
- Ok, this is a pressing thing—what do we think the money from the Douchebag Jar goes to? A charity? A vacation? The other three roomies split it and laugh gleefully and then roll around in it?
So what did y’all think of the episode? (And don’t you dare say anything bad about it or I will find you and cut you because this episode is my boyfriend.) Leave me pretty, pretty comments, or I’ll sic Lizzy on you.