“The Quirkiness is Suspect at Best”- New Girl Season 2 Episode 25 Finale Review- ‘Elaine’s Big Day’
There are spoilers here but mostly it is just a glowing review of New Girl, the show you haven’t given a chance.
For a show that I maybe caught only one or two episodes of last season, New Girl has made the rapid and startling transition to being near the top of my must-watch list. While I still haven’t seen Season 1, I have found the show to be a relentlessly entertaining comedic force that is impossible to ignore and is more than a little surprising.
There are plenty who flat-out refuse to the give the show a chance, probably because of their noted disdain for Zooey Deschanel, which is something I disagree with but doesn’t hurt my argument here. While I’m sure that early on the show was Zooey’s Show, overflowing with quirk and adorkability, but if that was the case it certainly isn’t anymore. You could possess a common disdain for Ms. Deschanel and still enjoy the show, given the sheer greatness lifting up the half hour in the form of its exemplary supporting male cast.
Ne’er-do-well Nick Miller is my favorite of the bunch. Jake Johnson must be some kind of comedy revelation, or is certainly the Second Coming of someone. He tosses off jokes with such wanton disregard that it is absolutely beautiful, and Johnson talking to a mysterious and apparently mute Asian man on a bench is the funniest thing I have seen on television this season.
Max Greenfield’s Schmidt is the closest thing the show has to a “breakout character,” and is the only one amongst the men to receive an Emmy nomination, sadly. The womanizing Schmidt is one who could have and should have become obnoxious quickly, but I love the way Greenfield plays him and he has been greatly humanized this season by his romance, both his lovelorn questing after lost love Cece and his rekindled and wonderful relationship with a chubbier gal named Elizabeth, whom he dated back in college when Schmidt was known as “Fat Schmidt.” It’s the redemptive arc needed for this character and I love it (and personally I’m rooting for them when we get an answer to this cliffhanger in the fall… I have a really sneaking and terrible suspicion that I’m going to be very wrong and disappointed).
Lamorne Morris’ Winston is also a joy, even if the writers don’t really seem to know what to do with the poor lad. Added after the pilot when the other black character “Coach” left to go be on Happy Endings. Winston has become the show’s wildcard, doing whatever the narrative needs him to, crying on command or getting really deep inside an air vent and not noticing your friends just fell out of it. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Winston’s virginity story is also the best one of the unbelievably stellar “Virgins” episode a few weeks back, my personal favorite sitcom episode this season).
As far as this episode in particular goes, I liked it, and air ducts simply don’t get enough mileage on broadcast television. It brought to a head a lot of plotlines from this season that I liked, which somehow includes the Nick and Jess relationship. This is the kind of thing that should have tanked the show. This shouldn’t work, and yet, it does. I admire the show for just going for it. There was a significant amount of pussyfooting around as to whether or not these two crazy kids were going to get together, but by the end of the show’s second season, its main will-they-won’t-they relationship has been consummated and sealed, for at least half a season, I imagine. New Girl‘s willingness to pursue the relationship rather than let it stagnate or grow obnoxious is, I feel, what makes it succeed over certain other flirtation stagnations.
I’m glad Cece didn’t end up married. She just wasn’t right for you girl. I don’t feel like the plot was a waste (even if it lead to a totally unnecessary but thankfully brief appearance by Taylor Swift of all people), mostly because it gave Cece something to do. Poor Cece is the character of the main five who gets sidelined the most, probably because she doesn’t live with Jess and lacks “schtick.” At least she gets to fight for Schmidt now?
In summation, after a wonderful season of television, I can say that there has been on show of Spring 2013 that I felt was better than New Girl. If I had to make my best-of list right now, New Girl would outpace all of the dramas I revere and even the comedies I’ve liked more in the past (apologies, Community…). Bravo, New Girl. Take a bow. With a polka-dotted tutu and ukulele, because everyone thinks you’re just so damn quirky.
Seriously, if this show gets beat by goddamn Modern Family and Jake Johnson isn’t even nominated, I am going to bust a quirky cap in somebody’s ass.
Episode Grade: B
Season Grade: A-
Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and TV and current writer of Winston fan fiction. Be sure to subscribe above or keep checking back for all our great content. We’ve got reviews of television, movies, and Game of Thrones, a weekly Mexican Standoff, and our Good Stuff.
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