by Clio McConnell
From pillow talk, to shower encounters, to crying in the bathroom, this episode of “New Girl” gets a bit more intimate than is to be expected on this show. However, the awkwardness is pulled off with just enough panache that the discomfiture turns to amusement.
A goof on the Meryl Streep film “Julie & Julia,” “Jess and Julia” involves Jess going head to head with Julia, Nick’s new lawyer paramour (played by guest star Lizzy Caplan, of “Mean Girls” fame). The tale of Nick’s leading ladies is one that has been done on sitcoms time after time– current lover gets jealous of potential lover, because potential lover can bake and has pretty eyes. Such is the case as Jess tries to befriend Nick’s new squeeze, but ends up alienating Julia due to how friendly she is, and fear that Jess will eventually hook up with Nick.
Among other things, Julia’s antagonism towards Jess seems to bring out the best in Cece, Jess’ model friend. For the duration of the show, Cece has mostly served as the object of Schmidt’s lust, and has not accomplished much else. In “Jess and Julia” it comes out that Cece is aggressively supportive, which is a much more interesting side of her than the usual lackluster supermodel role.
It soon becomes evident that Julia has a not-so-hidden fear that Nick is eventually going to leave her—“the mean lawyer girl who wears suits and works too much”—for Jess, “the really fun teacher girl with all the colorful skirts.” Julia makes a fair point—Deschanel’s character often seems like she lives in some Technicolor universe where pollution doesn’t exist and everyone wears polka-dots. To put it more simply– Jess can very easily rub some people the wrong way. “My checks have baby farm animals on them, bitch!” Jess exclaims at one point.
And so, the J vs. J dilemma rages on. Meanwhile, back at the loft, Schmidt complains about having too many women around, while Winston laments there being too few.
Unfortunately, there is no appearance of everyone’s favorite Douchebag Jar (though I think that Schmidt’s mention of his “Irish walking cape” deserves some appreciation), but we do learn about Nick’s greatest fears: sharks, tap water, real relationships, and blueberries.
Also, while the whole episode is quite entertaining, and the feud between Jess and Julia is particularly fascinating, the last two minutes are especially hilarious, so stick around. And while you’re at it, stick around for the rest of the season—even with its eleventh episode, “New Girl” seems to be holding up quite nicely.
Clio McConnell is the Theater & Books editor. Email her at email@example.com.