So far, the first season of New Girl has ruined Dirty Dancing, “Bust a Move,” bangs, and my faith in human beings. And last night, the hit Fox sitcom added something else I love on that list: Weddings. You can read about last night’s episode in Lanford Beard’s regular recap of New Girl here, but based on EW’s comments sections, there’s a large portion of readers not being served every Wednesday morning by a traditional recap. I’m talking about those of you who have declared a loud “I Don’t (Get It)” to Zooey Deschanel’s quirky new series. Well, dear friends who find yourselves watching the series despite your absolute hatred for it, welcome to the Contrarian Corner. Like a disgusting and dangerous Long Island Ice Tea made more attractive with a perky pink umbrella, New Girl is a show we cannot help but return to from week to week, despite the fact that it only leaves us with a headache and immediate regret. So let’s convene, air our grievances, and slap our foreheads while groaning under our breath, “It’s (sigh) Jess.”
As I’ve already mentioned on PopWatch, despite my unabashed love for the terrible The Happening, I’m predisposed to disliking Zooey Deschanel, since I generally like to stay far away from people who regularly wear bows and don’t blink. And since Deschanel is indistinguishable from her TV alter-ego, I’m thus predisposed to disliking Jess. She’s like a human version of one of those bedazzled bunny iPhones: She’s flashy, adorable, and every so often, makes annoying noises. So I suppose I should understand her roommates’ utter disgust with the new girl. But their disgust is just so incredibly misdirected. Sure, they too find Jess annoying, but her cloyingly quirky personality isn’t what necessarily bothers them. It’s the fact that she has a personality at all. And that is the worst thing about New Girl. And, yes, I’m counting the theme song’s assault on my ears.
In the first few minutes of last night’s episode, Jess instantly became a passive character, pushed around by virtually everyone around her. Nick needed to bring a date to a friend’s wedding in order to make his ex-girlfriend, The Waitress, jealous. But he can’t possibly bring his absolutely drop-dead gorgeous new roommate along! She has glasses! And a ponytail! And a personality to boot! “We’re not trying to be mean. We just don’t want you to be yourself in any way,” said Schmidt, who I liked much better when his name was Dennis and he was on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. So Jess agreed to play generic hot girl, and in a mere eight seconds by my count, managed to get dressed in a cute, sexy number. That Jess — she’s so unbelievable, she actually does things that are unbelievable! Also: Goofy teeth (pictured)!
Then we’re off to the wedding, where dude who’s not Damon Wayans, Jr., finds himself competing with another usher: A precocious, cocksure mini ladies’ man who I liked much better when his name was Manny and he was on Modern Family. Schmidt, on the other hand, is such a ladies’ man — despite the fact that he’s terrible — he’s forced to reject the advances of Natasha Lyonne’s Gretchen, who is so unattractive she wears pantsuits. Pantsuits! Oh, clichés! How can a woman who wears anything other than a tight-fitting mini be desirable? Thank god for Brooke (Katie Cassidy), a woman who tempts Schmidt with her good looks and utter lack of any defining characteristics.
Meanwhile, Jess finds herself in the spotlight after the newly wedded couple is introduced, and instead of gracefully backing out of the way, she loudly and irrationally announces her presence by announcing their presence. And I continue to not understand how someone with so little social grace and care for one’s self can have the energy to style her hair so perfectly. Still, she’s deemed pretty enough to succeed in making The Waitress jealous, before scaring her off by erroneously claiming she’s carrying Nick’s baby. Then, after unsuccessfully playing wingwoman to Schmidt, Schmidt unloads on our heroine and calls her a “ruiner.” This is a horrible thing to say about someone in public, mostly because it’s not a word. But it’s also horrible in the context of New Girl, since it was directed at a hapless woman attempting to simply aid her new friends. So would Jess finally fight back? Would she give a piece of her mind to these dudes that have done nothing since her arrival but force her to do their bidding and label her a pathetic mess incapable of doing anything for herself? She would! She would call them out on their sexism and horribleness! Take it away, Jess! Show us your pent-up frustration with these dudes! You are woman! Tell them they can’t suppress your unique, feminine ways, no matter how irritating they may be! “Tough tator tots, tooter,” she told them. [Face Desk.]
So what happens next? Not-Damon Wayans Jr., bonds with Jess by sharing he likes bubbles, Schmidt and Nick learn they’ve done wrong, and Jess decides to forgive these guys who have never been genuine to her in any way ever. Then, suddenly, everyone’s doing a slow-jam version of the chicken dance. And, I have to admit, it was kind of adorable. Like one of those bedazzled bunny iPhones. Wait, no, I hate those. And I hate this show. What’s wrong with me? Resist, Kate, resist! Okay, I just remembered that Jess sings her own theme song. Phew. That was close.
So, PopWatchers, on the scale of 1 to Ugh-really?-a-Cotton-commercial?, where did this episode of New Girl rank? (I’d vote somewhere between 7 and HelloGiggles?-More-Like-HelloGaggles.) Who — besides a healthy dose of self-confidence — will you bring to your next wedding? Aren’t pantsuits comfortable and awesome? And can we start a petition to bring back My Boys?
Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW