NEW GIRL “Fluffer” Recap – Do the Hump
New Girl, “Fluffer” continues this season’s beginning theme of a “new Jess” who can randomly have sex with no emotional attachment. How long did we really think that would last? Jess just can’t become another version of the myriad of Sex in the City-esque characters that seem to be everywhere. Deschanel’s character has to regain some of her naivete and (though I hate the term) adorkableness that America fell in love with for the success of the show to remain intact.
We discover that Jess isn’t fulfilled with just a sexual relationship with Sam, but doesn’t want to ruin what they have going, which doesn’t sound like much. She laments to the guys that Sam isn’t the kind of guy you cuddle up with on the couch in your pjs, but that “he’s the kind of guy you bone”. No fear, Jess has a hairbrained scheme to make certain she can keep up her bedroom time with Sam and still get her date on. She suggests Schmidt, Nick and Winston help as her stand-ins and go on “dates” with her before she gives it up for Sam. This way she can get dressed up, have a nice conversation, and in theory feel like she has fulfilled the ” you have to buy me dinner first” requirement and can finally have gratifying sex with Sam.
For their first night out Jess does get dressed to the nines and Nick is flustered at how well she cleans up. He does a terribly awkward and very un-Nicklike Jerry Lewis impression that left me giggling. The two roommates are forced in to an accidental one-on-one date when Schmidt and Winston flake. The two men have gone out clubbing together and Schmidt finds that Winston and Shelby are in the middle of a dry spell. Winston is having a hard time keeping himself from playing out sexual fantasies in his head with almost every woman he sees. Schmidt gives him permission and alleviates Winston’s guilt about the fantasizing, but in doing so, he may have created a monster.
Winston and Schmidt find themselves being barred from one of the clubs they are determined to get in to. When Winston pulls a security detail scam calling Schmidt “Tug Romney”, one of the best gags of the show is born. I love the moment that Schmidt turns around with his shirt sleeves rolled up and extends a hand to the bouncer saying “Let’s put America back to work.” It’s a clever way to take the topic of the hour, the presidential election and work it in to the show without being preachy or too serious. The ruse works and the two get in to the club. Winston quickly realizes they are only there stalking CeCe, but as word spreads about a Romney being in the vicinity, Schmidt takes full advantage of the attention he gets from a sorority girl who claims to be part of “Kappas for Romney”.
Jess’ night turned out fantastically after her pre-sex date with Nick. She informs the guys that she ruined her dresser during sex with Sam, but doesn’t elaborate to my relief. When Nick agrees to go to IKEA with Jess to get a new dresser, Winston has to help his friend see the light. He lets Nick know that he is becoming Jess’ emotional fluffer. In case you aren’t sure what we’re talking about here…Wikipedia defines a fluffer as, “a person employed to keep an adult film star aroused on the set.” Nick fervently denies this but realizes Winston is right, he is playing the role of Jess’ boyfriend, but without the rewards. Winston stresses that Nick can, under no circumstances build the dresser that the two of them bought at IKEA. If he does he has crossed a line that he can uncross. When Nick confronts Jess with this revelation, she suggests he sounds as though he “wants the rewards”, to which Nick unconvincingly and exaggeratedly gags and sputters his way to a “no way”. Jess admits she’s though about it but the whole discussion just ends in an argument worthy of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
Jess commits to the idea that she doesn’t need Nick to have sex with Sam and decides it’s time to get to know her pretty boy. The two go out to a decidedly unromantic dinner, complete with paper cups and straws. Jess lets Sam know where they stand; essentially that if she hangs out with him she inevitably will fall in love with him (there’s the Jess we know), but that if they are to have sex she needs some conversation ahead of time. She decides to start their conversation by broaching the subject as to under what circumstances he would consider building a dresser for a woman. After a little pontificating, Sam tells her that he would only do this within the confines of marriage, not just sleeping with someone and definitely not as part of just a friendship, citing “I can’t build a dresser and pleasure a woman at the same time, I’m not God”. During the course of this “date” and conversation, Jess realizes that she has been fully taking advantage of Nick.
In the meantime Schmidt has been studying Romney facts so he can back up his story of being “Tug” to the Kappas for Romney. Unfortunately for our dear douchebag the women become suspicious and call him on it. Despite a valiant effort and inspiring speech, he is unable to convince the Romeny-ites that he is related to their candidate and is shut down. Schmidt returns to the apartment a broken man, calling CeCe for comfort with the plea that he is going though a Taylor Swift range of emotions. CeCe tries to comfort him and offers him a snuggle with his favorite part of her anatomy, which he says are like memory foam.
Nick breaks down and builds the dresser, but was there really any doubt that this would be the outcome? Jess tries to stop him out of guilt, but he tells her that he loves doing it, “it’s like high-stakes legos”. Nick and Jess acknowledge that they are occasionally attracted to one another and that what they have together is messy at best. They decide to just keep moving forward with their friendship and don’t discuss any other possibilities, aside from Nick requesting Jess take care of her own fluffing from now on. Nick does share his sexy mix CD with Jess to help with her escapades with Sam. What Nick refers to as “the original fluffer” features such classic panty droppers as “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground and “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon, made famous by the video featuring Chevy Chase (who wants that visual in the heat of the moment?).
I enjoyed this episode and I have a feeling most of the women watching had a little twinge of guilt as they though of their own past or present fluffer friends. I loved the Romney bit, though I may not be a fan of the man himself. I have mixed feelings about where this episode is leading us though. Granted, Jess and Nick would have to acknowledge the tension and intense nature of their relationship at some point, but I’m concerned this was a little early. I would have rather seen this acknowledgment at the end of the season leading in to season three. There was definitely a way to work everything in to this episode without the two having to discuss their feelings. Now that it’s out there it’s just like telling someone you love them, you can’t take it back no matter what their response is. Hopefully they will work cleverly around it, but we didn’t need them to say it for us to see the jealous sidelong looks or the complicated dating situations. Since they did say it, dating may seem cruel or even unnecessary as now we just wait for the two to get together. We’ve seen how this can work with Friends‘ Ross and Rachel, but the on again, off again jealousy has been done and seems tired. We’ve also seen how this can be a kiss of death to a love story with Jim and Pam of The Office. New Girl has it’s own story to create and falling back into old TV patterns cannot be an option.
Do you think it was too soon for Nick and Jess to acknowledge their feelings? Share your thoughts in the comments!