Fall means one thing to me: New Girl is back on FOX! I’ve been waiting all summer to see what’s up with my favorite manic-pixie-nightmare-girl, Jessica Day (played by former BUST cover girl Zooey Deschanel). Turns out, she hasn't been up at all. The premiere began with Jess oversleeping, in typical Jess-blunder fashion, and subsequently running through the apartment attempting to get ready for work.
Then we had the pleasure of hearing Nick sing a bang-up rendition of “Groove is in the Heart,” seeing Winston looking dapper in a suit, and perhaps feeling a bit uncomfortable after seeing Schmidt in his “shower diaper,” A.K.A. a giant garbage bag meant to keep his penis cast from getting wet. Of course, Jess then itched Schmidt’s “undercarriage” for him, which was simply “pure, unadulterated friendship.” This opener wasted no time in sending one message: nothing’s changed.
Alas! That was just what those clever New Girl writers wanted us to think. Because after a brief theme-song break, we watch Jess’ sombrero-wearing boss fire her from her job as a teacher, and find out Cece and Schmidt haven’t spoken in months. Essentially, everything’s changed.
Back at the apartment, the boys discuss Schmidt’s “personal brand re-launch,” to be thrown at Nick’s bar, landing him under the command of Schmidt. Jess comes home to share that she’s now unemployed, looking shell-shocked and almost ready for another week-long bender of Dirty Dancing and crying on the couch.
But once again, this girl lives up to her show’s name, coming out a little bit more resilient than last season. This year’s Jess looks at the positive, deciding that the best part about unemployment is that her boobs don’t have to go to “boob jail,” a term that I am so ready to introduce into my daily vocabulary. Perhaps the main thing that’s changed about New Girl is Jess.
The group gathers in the kitchen to discuss Schmidt’s party that night, which is suffering in the entertainment department. Attitude aside, Jess is still just as crafty, attempting to prove that she can fill a spot with her balloon-animal abilities: “As long as it’s a worm… or a snake.” Schmidt, sans one shot girl for his party, and Jess, sans teaching job, agree to try Jess out as a shot girl for the night. Much to Nick’s disapproval, who labels Jess as hot in the way of being “the nurse I want to wake up to after I have my stomach pumped.” I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer for that whole Nick and Jess thing to take off.
At Schmidt’s danger-themed party, Jess dons an outfit that Nick calls a “turn of the century bathing costume,” and attempts to sell shots with an old-timey, gravel-y voice and the line, “Anybody want me to wet their whistle?” Not surprisingly, she’s less than successful. As Winston gets “so naughty” on girly drinks, Parker Posey, playing Jess’ shot-girl competition, dances on the bar, repeatedly chanting “look at my butt.” She’s more than successful.
Schmidt, however, is less than successful in wooing Cece, who shows up to the party with an inexplicably average-looking boyfriend: “the commoner” or he who is “shaped like the Liberty Bell,” in Schmidt-speak. Schmidt attempts to impress her by swinging fire balls on chains, nearly cracking the Liberty Bell when one goes rogue. After this stunt starts to send everyone home, Cece explains that her new guy is just a nice guy.
Before the fiery chaos, Jess succeeds as a shot girl with a short tap-dancing number on the bar, only to climb down after the reality of her job loss really hits. The show ends with a classically tender Jess and Nick moment, which I’m sure renews some fan’s hope in the perfect “opposites attract” relationship that is "Ness."
As Jess wonders aloud if she’ll “ever be able to do anything else,” Nick comforts her with a wise adage: “Life sucks.” Nick and Jess poke fun at one another in Nick’s old man voice, as FUN.’s “All Alright” plays in the background. Back at the bar, Winston gets naughty by himself on the dance floor — but I’d bet he was accompanied by thousands of New Girl fans dancing alone, too.
And the Best Screenshot of the Week goes to: Schmidt’s “got something up my sleeve” story...
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