NEW GIRL Debriefing: “Sex fist” works about as well as you think it would.


The gang returned tonight, all single and ready to mingle, after a summer of attending weddings and trying to get lucky as much as they could, with varying results. At wedding number twelve, the last of the summer, things come to a boiling point on New Girl, and everyone tries to get one last roll in the hay before the social calendar resumes its regular schedule. As you can imagine with the likes of these goofballs, things didn’t exactly go as planned.

In the aftermath of Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick’s (Jake M. Johnson) breakup last season, the roommates are still determined to carry on as usual in the loft, including acting as each other’s wingmen for the wedding hookups. What I felt with this episode is a rebooting of sorts: it’s as though the show is trying to return to its first season dating trials, only, for me at least, the tone was a little off, simply because the characters have grown so much in the previous three years.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Take, for instance, Schmidt (Max Greenfield): while he’s always been a horn dog, he seemed to have at least gained other traits (like, you know, his loyalty to his friends) in the last year or two. So watching him chasing tail tonight and making inappropriate comments about his arousal just seemed like a little bit of a rehash of season 1. (Not that that hasn’t always been part of his character, mind you.)

Unfortunately, Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) didn’t get much to do tonight, either. To be fair, I thought Winston having to ice his knees and pop ibuprofen in preparation for the night because his body can’t handle that much dancing anymore hilarious — having attended several weddings this summer, I knew exactly where he was coming from! Coach had the predictable run-in with a waitress with whom he couldn’t remember having hooked up. Here’s hoping the writers finally give them something to do this season, as they are consistently underused, and underrated.

Despite the fact that I was never really a Jess/Nick shipper, I do think they have a nice vibe, and while I appreciate that the show is making strides to make their new friendship believable, I do think it’s inevitable that they’re going to end up back together. I mean, that was the whole point of the bathroom stall confessional, right? Nick’s problem when they were dating, or at least in the later stages of their relationship, was that he was an immature man-child, so to see him gently reassure Jess that she had a lot to offer a romantic partner was sweet. Similarly, Jess is a character who can often irritate me, but I thought her self-awareness about her awkwardness was a welcome change from the occasional “adorkable” overload her plots can promote.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Like the “sex finger” subplot with Reid Scott’s eligible bachelor: initially, I thought the competition between Jess and guest star Jessica Biel tedious. Really, guys? We’re going to watch a couple of thirty-something women fight over a man so they can get laid? (This is another example of regressing stories, I thought.) Yet, I liked how in the end, Jess put her cards on the table to her potential date, and was unapologetic about who she was. It might not have put another notch on her belt, but I think it spoke volumes about her confidence. I loved when both women finally rejected their target when they realized he was taking too long to make up his mind, and they were worth more than that.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

My favorite part of the episode, hands down, was the last scene in the loft, with the whole gang sharing beers and jokingly getting rid of all the wedding invitations on their fridge in a sort of cleansing ceremony. That is the heart of the show, and what makes it so good when they hit the mark. While I couldn’t really care less about any of their sex lives, it’s moments like this one, or when they’re jumping around their living room for a game of True American, that makes me tune in for more.

Hopefully now that wedding season is over, we get more of our regularly scheduled zany adventures, too, because I’ve sure missed those, too.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ice my bum knee, too.

What did you think of New Girl‘s premiere?


Nels knew how to operate a TV remote control before she knew how to talk. As a result, she has spent an inordinate amount of time pretending she actually lives on a soundstage. When she isn’t watching whichever show is currently capturing her heart, she is writing about how said show is currently capturing her heart. She loves pie.

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