by Clio McConnell
Last week’s episode of “New Girl” was upsettingly lackluster, especially after a streak of terrific episodes. Thankfully, “New Girl” seems to be the kind of show where
one bad episode is immediately redeemed by an extra-funny one, such as this
The show begins with a freak out, courtesy of Schmidt, whose “booty-call”
relationship with Cece is “ripping the side block out of [his] mental jenga.” When she
insists that he really needs to relax and be “spontaneous,” Schmidt proudly claims that he is Marine-like in his lack of spontaneity.
To reinforce his rigidity, he immediately condemns Jess’ first furniture contribution to
the loft–a nice hutch, found street-side. According to Schmidty dearest, “pine has no
place in this loft; it’s the wood of poor people and outhouses.” Things he’s banned in the
past? High-waisted shorts, much to Jess’ chagrin.
After attempting various methods to make Schmidt calm down, Jess decides that her
roommate is legitimately crazy (“like, aging ballerina/child chess prodigy/professional
magician crazy”)—which, in stereotypical fashion, Schmidt blames on his Jewish
Eventually, though, Schmidt embraces Jess’ and Cece’s suggestion to “let go”—but he goes over the top. This puts his three friends in a pickle, since Schmidt was basically the mother of the family (despite his insistence that he’s the “cool rebel brother”), what with his being the only roommate who cooks, cleans, or buys groceries.
Meanwhile, we learn that Nick is just about as bad at playing poker as he is at getting
over break-ups. In a flashback clip of the previous night’s game, we see a very drunk
Mr. Miller declaring (with an impressively applied slur): “I’ve never been more sober
in my whole life! I’ll remember this as long as I live. I’m all in. UNO, bitches!” It is by
this strategy that he ends up owing Winston close to five hundred dollars at the end of the evening.
The situation of Nick’s debt is apparently one that’s been ongoing for the past fifteen
years. When Winston confronts his friend about the problem, though, Nick tries to
talk his way out of paying. Naturally, this argument devolves into fisticuffs at the
Jess, made desperate by the squalor of the apartment, and by the rift between Nick and Winston, pleads with Schmidt to get back to his normal, neurotic self, and with a little bit of bribery, he complies.
Late in the season, it comes to light that Schmidt is a less obsessive—though similarly
high-strung, and similarly caricatured—and better-dressed version of Dr. Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory.”
Like Jim Parson’s Sheldon, Max Greenfield plays Schmidt endearingly on the
screen, although he would probably be a pain to live with in real life. Nevertheless, it’s great that the “New Girl” team recognizes what a comedic goldmine that is Schmidt, and hopefully the episodes will continue to reflect this acknowledgement Greenfield’s talented performance.
“Control” easily draws out laughs from the audience, reminding us (especially after the
mediocre episode last week) that “New Girl” is the perfect way to lighten your mood on
Clio McConnell is the theater/books editor. Email her at email@example.com.