New Girl, $50 Worth of Douchebaggery
I have made it no secret that I am very fickle when it comes to this show and Deschanel’s character. I really want to like this show, and I hoped that the break would help resuscitate the show after the disappointing Christmas episode, “The 23rd”. I started last night’s episode, “The Story of the 50” with less than high hopes, so was pleasantly surprised when it did a 180 and pulled out a good episode with some quality gags and laughs. Thank you Liz Meriwether!
The episode started with a shot of my favorite thing on the show, the douchebag jar. This jar exists mainly for Schmidt who does so many douchy things that his roommates came up with something of a curse jar for douchebaggery. I personally believer this jar should be used in real life, all over the place. I truly hope this idea catches on in offices and grocery stores everywhere, goodness knows I could have used one at my last job, I could have retired with what I would have made off of those guys. The purpose of the douchbag jar is that any time Schmidt does anything that warrants would warrant being called a douche, someone automatically says “jar” and in goes the money. To share some examples from the episode, Schmidt gets a box in the mail full of personalized condoms, asks if NWA stands for Never Walk Alone, shows up dressed like a white version of Soulja Boy, and gets excited about a Groupon for hypnosis lessons because he can use it for “sex stuff”. My personal favorite was how upset he gets when he can’t find his “driving moccasins”. We rarely see anyone else being told to use the jar, as Schmidt is obviously the resident douchebag.
It is Schmidt’s 29th birthday and the typical woe is me, it’s all down hill from here talk is going on, especially after Schmidt realizes he has lost his part bus for the occasion and will miss out on the experience, boob-shaped steering wheel and all. This is a lot of what dashed my hopes into the ground for this episode. It all started very cliched and overly juvenile, even for our resident douchbag. Then, we see Schmidt with his old, even douchier friend Benjamin, quite a bit plumper, singing “We built this Schmitty on Tootsie Rolls”, to which I had an instant physical reaction and not a good one. I had lost all hope for the episode at this point.
But then, something wonderful happened. I saw on my screen Lizzy Caplan as Nick’s love interest, Julia! Well…if anything could save this episode, it would be Casey from Party Down, surely. And she does…eventually, but I’ll get to that. Nick is at a work function with Julia and looks like an overgrown 12 year old in a Cosby sweater the way he “dresses up”. He is trying to hide his roommates from her and she decides to call him on it and as an act of good faith, he takes her to the loft to meet the roommates. So…she ends up coming to Schmidt’s birthday party with Nick.
In the meantime Jess is planning Schmidt’s party to make up for the plans that fall through. She calls for a stripper and talks to someone by the name of Fat Booty, which I already assumed was a bad sign. Jess’ boss catches her going through her things and invites herself along to Schmidt’s birthday. She also coined my favorite phrase of the episode “J/K Kidding!”, I like to think it might have been a little tip of the hat to Kristen Wiig.
The party gets under way as a surprise to Schmidt and with a school bus converted into a party bus. Schmidt mentions he is thankful he is wearing his “lap dance pants” which, sadly, I know are a real thing. So…it’s funny ’cause it’s true. When the stripper arrives, my earlier foreboding was replaced with a new concern as instead of a fat-bottomed woman, we find a middle-aged man. A middle-aged man who will not take no for an answer when it comes to him dancing and stripping. We later find him talking with Schmdt who “hypothetically” wants to know how much you can make stripping. The conversation takes a weird turn when the male stripper tells Schmidt that male stripping is all about storytelling and tells him that he is a “wolf hawk”, to which Schmidt tells the stripper he is a “warrior poet”.
Nick seems to have had a little too much to drink during the party and he starts telling Julia all the reasons she will want to end things with him. Not the least of which is that he works out to Huey Lewis. Julia mentions that everyone has things they keep hidden with a little extra meaning behind it. Soon we find out what she is hiding. Benjamin starts hitting on Jess and Schmidt tries to defend her. Benjamin keeps putting Schmidt down instead and Julia handles it by punching the douche in the face. I told you she was awesome (and maybe has some anger issues)!
In the end, Nick and Julia find that they are good together, but just as with Justin Long, we know it can’t last forever. We will enjoy it while it does though. Schmidt has a moment with Jess and completely misunderstands it, then tries to kiss her which she finds ridiculous. Hence $50 in the doucebag jar. Just the douchebag jar itself getting that much attention makes for a good episode, and the the bus party was fun too. This episode was much more well rounded than others, but I’m still missing more Lamorne Morris. Here’s hoping he’ll get his day in the sun soon.