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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Girl: "Thanksgiving"

New Girl hasn't quite finished cooking just yet, but it's getting there, and I have a feeling it's going to be really enjoyable once it's done.

"Thanksgiving" provides me with optimism for the show's future mostly by coming up with a seemingly fresh take on a holiday episode, something that is notoriously difficult for many shows. I liked that the show was confident enough not to spend an inordinate amount of time justifying the fact that their leads would be eating Thanksgiving dinner together. There was also very little cloying sentimentality around the holiday or the fact that these people were apart from their families. The holiday isn't really a big deal to anyone but Jess and her invited guest, Paul (Justin Long, from movies like Accepted and Going the Distance, and of course as the Mac to John Hodgman's PC.)

Jess has been a problematic character in a lot of ways, but if they keep her at the level where she's ditzy enough to plan a first date on Thanksgiving, I think the show can work. It was such an obviously insane, yet curiously believable act. Less believable, but too funny to object to, was her and Nick's conversation about how much she wanted to sleep with Paul and why it was important to her that Nick like him. (I am endlessly curious as to what the sexual act referred to as "giving him the hat" consists of.)

Of course it's a little too obvious to the audience that Jess wants Nick to like Paul because she actually likes Nick, but I think we just have to accept that pretty much every sitcom from now on is going to have a will-they-won't-they relationship at some point.

I got a big kick out of a tyrannical Schmidt getting CeCe all hot and bothered, but then ruining it by trying to be a nice guy. It felt consistent with what we've previously seen of Cece, and it shows that there is room for Schmidt to become a more relatable figure. (Also, we got the triumphant but subtle return of the douchebag jar.)

The dead old lady in the bathroom was probably taking things a bit too far, but it lead to some nice physical comedy from Long trying to avoid the gurney in the elevator, and to the nice bit at the end where he wins over Nick by bringing the gang turkey subs while they wait in line at Best Buy.

There's still not enough for Lamorne Morris to do, but if they can figure that out they'll really be set.

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