Jess is ready to date again, but her pursuit of Robby ends in disaster
Credit: Jennifer Clasen/Fox
S6 E6
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After weeks, New Girl is finally back with a new episode — and big things are happening, the biggest being that Jess is ready to date again. (For a refresher, here’s where the show left off.)

She’s ready in theory, but has a difficult time when she and Robby (Nelson Franklin) give things a go. Then there’s Nick, who tries to wrap his head around the idea male attractiveness, specifically that of new bartender/model Donovan (Trent Garrett), and Winston, who tries to wrap his head around his own attractiveness.

On the flip side, Schmidt deals with feelings of unattractiveness, leading to some A+ gym dates between he and Jess, and Cece starts managing the bar, but stumbles upon another career path.

Here are the top 5 “loft”-iest moments from “Ready.”

Jess dating again. Jess has been hung up on Nick for most of this season, but at last she’s making moves to get herself back in the dating game — and she does so with Robby, whom she had a bit of a flirtation with a few episodes back and keeps running into at the gym. They have a great date despite it being at a restaurant called Birthdays where “Happy Birthday” is very loudly sung over and over again. At the end of the night, though, Robby seems to want to go in for the kiss and Jess gives him the “Pittsburgh Goodbye” — a.k.a. an arm chuck and a handshake.

The problem is she’s so inside her head and starts thinking about whether she could be with him forever. But she gives things another try and kisses him later while he’s lifting weights — and that ends horribly. The weights come crashing down, smashing Jess and Robby’s faces together and leaving Jess in a neck brace and Robby all kinds of messed up. Even worse, Jess didn’t feel the spark, but Robby did. She tries to bring herself to tell him, but shatters his leg when she sits down to chat. In the end, she takes care of him and says it’s “very romantic waiting for his body to heal before I destroy his soul.”

Nick’s inability to understand male attractiveness. Cece is promoted at the bar, and soon hires a new bartender, the very good-looking Donovan. Everyone agrees that he’s dreamy, but Nick just doesn’t get it, as his idea of an attractive bartender is Cheers’ Sam, who he happens to have a photo of on hand — something that’s honestly not that surprising at this point. Nick is supposed to be writing, but can’t stop thinking about the whole Donovan thing, so Winston asks him how he would feel if he had Donovan’s face and body. The answer is fantastic, which he comes to after taking a moment to think with Winston throwing down some rainstick white noise (also not surprising at this point).

Speaking of looks: Winston’s attractiveness. Why does Winston have a rainstick, you ask? It was given to him by a woman interested in him at the bar, and that’s just one of many instances of women being into him this week. Cece explains that it’s a confidence thing: Now that Winston has a girlfriend, he has a ton of confidence. Winston doesn’t like turning people down, so Nick tries to bring Winston down to try and make people less into Winston. He asks, “Do you remember when you were taking the bus to the farmers’ market and it hit a bump and you soiled yourself? When you were in the park and a bee flew into your mouth and then you fell off the bridge at that place where all the ducks go to the bathroom? When you had to leave Latvia because you weren’t good enough to be a professional basketball player and you came back home to be a full-time babysitter?” I guess he’s a good friend?

Cece’s new gig. Just as quickly as Cece is promoted, she’s demoted. She had set Donovan up with a photographer who ends up wanting to work with him. The photographer gives Donovan contracts to sign, but Cece looks them over and thinks the terms are unacceptable. “I’m going to get on the phone with them, because if we start treating our attractive people like this, our society is going to collapse,” she says, fighting the good fight. She leaves one hell of a message that Nick and Winston overhear, leading to the aforementioned demotion. Nick brings in a bunch of male models and tells Cece that she should manage them, and Cece — who you’ll recall used to be a model herself, and as such, knows the business — seems to be on board, which is a nice change because it seems she’s found some direction.

Schmidt’s body dilemma. Schmidt had been struggling with his body image throughout the episode because a scarf of his wasn’t fitting the way it used to. Cece later buys him an extra long scarf, which he presumes to mean that she thinks he’s fat, so he starts going to the gym with Jess. That’s a mess because of the Robby situation, but the good thing is, it eventually leads to Jess telling him that maybe he hasn’t been hitting the gym as much because he’s happy being at home with his wife. He agrees, but the glass-half-full attitude doesn’t last long. When he gets word of Cece’s new gig and sees her half-naked clients in the bar, he’s proud of her, then kind of upset. “You’ll just be swimming in beefcakes all day, then you’ll just be coming home to this… meat loaf?” So, he commits himself to getting back in shape.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Schmidt’s thoughts on early Beyoncé: “I used to crush it at the gym and now I’m just mediocre, like early Beyoncé. Nobody will say it, but you know it’s true.”
  • Donovan’s “patriotic” and “unpatriotic” modeling looks.
  • Jess’ “pushup bra,” which is a bra that flattens her breasts and that she does pushups in.
  • Robby joking that his upper-body workouts are going to make him look like The WB frog, which he then imitates.

Episode grade: B+

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Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.

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