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NEW GIRL Season 2 Premiere(s) Recap – Katie…er, Jess Gets Canned

New Girl is back and is changing things up for Jess, keeping things fresh to start Season Two by throwing her a curve ball of life changing proportions.  Fox was clever about bringing the show back in not one but two installments on the same night, but thirty minutes apart to ensure built-in viewership for new shows Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project.

Episode One of Season Two, “Re-Launch” finds Schmidt in what Jess calls his shower diaper, which is fashioned out of a trash bag in order to keep the penis cast safe from getting wet.  We are obviously picking up right where we left off with Schmidt and I was a little dismayed to find this joke still in play, not to mention fashioning an entire episode around Schmidt’s penis being free to roam once again.  Our favorite douchebag decides he will throw a rebranding party for himself and his new found freedom.  He invites CeCe though they broke up, possibly hoping to reconnect.   Schmidt somehow convinces Nick to bartend the party as well, despite his lament, “please don’t make me work for you, you can have everything else”.

Schmidt’s member is not the only re-launch that occurs during this episode.  Jess is laid off from her teaching job in a skit rife with sight gags, including the principal donning a sombrero to “try to make it more fun”.  Jess’ consolation is getting to pick a prize from the lost and found (in a life imitating art side note, the YMCA actually did with the kids on the last day of my daughter’s camp this year) and chooses a tiny hat and sunglasses, though she laments not choosing a slap bracelet or yoyo instead.

The boys desperately want to avoid a crying scene when Jess reveals her lay off.  The three go to try and do something about her emotional state and she insists they treat her the same, doesn’t want them to act like anything is wrong, telling Schmidt to “stop looking at (her) like (she’s) a fat kid riding a bike”.   When she discovers Schmidt needs shot girls for his party, she volunteers even though the guys don’t believe she has the trashy sexiness to pull it off.

Schmidt’s party goes off well, with a few necessary flubs.  Jess starts her stint as shot girl with an old-timey cigarette girl costume which Nick quickly dismantles.  She is working along side Parker Posey as Casey who informs Jess she has a PhD (pretty heavy drug problem) and informs Schmidt that she lost half her brain in a horrible accident).  Nick is duped into making “panty dropper” drinks and Winston gets silly drunk off of them.  When CeCe does show up with her new boyfriend, Robby (Nelson Franklin) Schmidt loses focus on his mission of getting laid and makes it his mission to find out about this guy.  In the end he tries to impress CeCe by juggling flaming torches and almost burns down the bar, she in turn still leaves with her new boyfriend.  Jess realizes she isn’t a shot girl, but a teacher and gives up the gig.

Re-launch” was Pretty typical New Girl fare for the soft opening of season two.  A few good laughs, but it didn’t hit with it’s typical big laugh at the end of the episode which was a little disappointing.

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Episode Two of Season Two, “Katie” was more fun than the first episode.  Though it focused more on Jess, it focused on a different side of her.  It’s not a pretty side, but it gives her a little edge and gives us a little break from the woe is me,  poor cute little girl image.  Our favorite character, the Douchebag Jar makes an appearance as well!

Jess is not handling being laid off well, but Nick tells her to take advantage of the time to do whatever she wants.  Many of us are familiar with this as a lot of our friends, family or ourselves were probably laid off over the past few years at some point.  Hopefully they have come back from the blow, but a lot of people, especially younger ones without families took advantage and did exactly what Nick suggests, took time to breath.  Speaking of Nick, he meets himself from the future, “Old Nick” and learns a secret about Jess that scores him points.

Jess not only takes time to breath, but to date.  She meets Sam (David Walton of Perfect Couples) with whom she has the best sex of her life, the caveat being that he thinks her name is Katie and she is a dancer.  In a hilarious bit, Nick and Schmidt pretend also to be dancers and Nick “leaps” around the apartment demonstrating to Sam why his dancing nick-name is Cricket.  Immediately after saying goodbye to Sam, Jess gets a text from what she thinks is a hot guy from the bar but turns out to be Nick’s friend Bearclaw (Josh Gad), a roly poly goof of a guy.

When Bearclaw shows up to cook Jess dinner after she has sent him suggestive texts thinking he is someone else, Jess immediately starts plotting her escape.  She tries to tell him the truth, but finds out that he thinks this is the best thing that has ever happened to him, so tries to move forward with the date.  When she gets a text from Sam suggesting she meet him at the bar bathroom to get it on, Jess fakes sick with Bearclaw.  Granted, a lot of women have had some version of this scenario happen to them, and a lot of people have taken the same way out, but usually in highschool or college, maybe even their early twenties, but I have a hard time accepting it in a thirty-something year old woman.  The only redeeming factor is that Jess’ character is shown to be naïve to multiple dating opportunities arising at the same time.

Things come to a head at the bar when Jess goes to meet Sam in the bathroom of the bar for a little sumthin’, sumthin’.  She’s entitled, she’s been a good girl for so long.  Bearclaw finds the two together and a New Girl version of Who’s on First breaks out between Bearclaws confusion as to whether or not Sam is a doctor since Jess is supposed to be sick and Sam wondering why everyone is calling “Katie” Jess.  Oh yeah, and the guy she meant to have Nick give her number to, Andy, is also there. In the end Bearclaw’s heart is broken, Andy is disgusted with her but silver lining; Sam doesn’t care what her name is, what she does, he just wants to hook up with her.  Jess needs this and she learned her lesson.

Katie” rounded out “Re-launch” well, I would have liked a few more laughs and a stronger opening, but then where would they go I suppose.  So, it was a decent start to the season, but I’m looking for more.

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Cat Edison

Cat Edison

Cat is an Austinite once removed with an affinity for film, TV, comics, graphic novels, and really anything she can read or watch. She gets emotionally invested in movie, television and literary characters, to an unhealthy degree. Cat has always had a passion for writing and there is little she loves more. Hopeful cynic and funny lady.