Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Top 5 "New Girl" Episodes (According to... Well, This Chick!)

I keep meaning to do a review of New Girl (be it a random episode, a marathon from the very beginning, or the start of season two), but I have yet to get around to it. In lieu of that, I decided to do a "top five" post, highlighting my favorite episodes of the quirky comedy. The idea was, in part, courtesy of Kim (of "Head Over Feels"), as we spent yesterday narrowing down our top five favorite episodes of Community.

So, are you ready to see what I chose as the best of the best for Zooey Deschanel's FOX comedy series? Well, venture to the loft, take a seat, but make sure you're using the correct bath towel. Here we go! :)

#5: “Pilot”

When I heard that Zooey Deschanel was going to be given her own comedy series, I knew that I would have to check it out. The pilot, of course, did not disappoint – it introduced Jess Day, a quirky and sweet teacher who moved in with three guys (Nick, Schmidt, and Coach) after a devastating break-up. Moreover, it set up the relationships between the characters and provided heart. Even though Nick was initially skeptical of Jess moving in, and all three men were intent on going about their lives, they all managed to find a spot in their hearts for Jess.

Favorite moment: Nick, Coach, and Schmidt showing up at the restaurant where Jeff was stood up and serenading her with “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”

#4: “The Story of the 50”

I loved this episode because it was told entirely in a flashback, where Schmidt tells the story of why he had to put $50 into the Douchebag Jar (which is the best and most wonderful intimate object in a comedy series, honestly). It was perfect because it provided a nice Jess/Schmidt storyline – two characters who really don’t get to spend a lot of time together throughout the course of the series – that ended, of course, hilariously.

Favorite moment: “We built this Schmidty, we built this Schmidty on Tootsie Rolls.”

#3: “The 23rd”

The most enjoyable types of episodes to watch, in my opinion, are holiday-themed ones. New Girl’s first Christmas did not disappoint. Set at Schmidt’s office Christmas party, each character has their own storyline, and Jess – in particular – has a difficult time when her boyfriend confesses his love for her. In the end, the two break up. As Nick heads to the airport in order to make a flight home for Christmas (with Schmidt, Ce Ce, Winston, and Jess in tow), he makes a last-minute decision and stops on a street called Candy Cane Lane that is notorious for its brilliantly lit Christmas decorations. Due to the late hour, however, none of the houses are lit up. Which then leads to…

Favorite moment: … the entire gang getting out of the car and yelling through the neighborhood for the house owners to turn on the lights and decorations. Finally, the street lit up with Christmas decorations. The group celebrated, hugged, and it was absolutely perfect.

#2: “See Ya”

In the first season finale, Nick decides to move out and live with Caroline. This doesn’t sit well with Jess, who thinks that Nick deserves more out of life and – more importantly – deserves someone who will treat him better, love him better than Caroline did. Headed with a moving van, all of his possessions, and his roommates in tow, Nick drives to Caroline’s… actually, drives PAST Caroline’s and into the desert and tosses his keys away. Jess and Ce Ce come to the rescue. That is, until JESS throws her keys into the desert oblivion, effectively stranding the group. The friends lament growing up, sit in the desert, and Jess and Nick have a serious heart-to-heart about him leaving. In the end, Jess “locates” the keys she never actually tossed away in the first place, and the group heads home. Nick, however, decides not to live with Caroline and returns to the loft (where the roommates all have their own separate dance parties to close out the season).

I loved this episode as a stand-alone episode and also a season finale. It tied up all of the storylines nicely, but also provided a great jumping-off point for the season to follow. It had amazing character development, too, in terms of Nick and Jess individually, with the latter acknowledging that she will be all right because she met Nick. Heartbreakingly, it was also a great episode for Schmidt and Ce Ce.

Favorite moment(s): Nick and Jess dancing to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s;” Winston: “He’s a Jew in the desert. I don’t want him to wander.”

#1: “Injured”

Forever my favorite episode, “Injured” provided the perfect amount of humor and heart and also gave us wonderful insight into each of the characters. When Nick gets injured at a flag football game (thanks to Jess), he ends up seeing Jess’ friend, who is a doctor, due to his lack of medical insurance. The woman finds a lump and requests that Nick have it looked at. Googling provides Jess, Winston, and Schmidt with a grim prognosis of Nick’s fate, which causes him to come to grips with his own life and decisions. Jess is stung when Nick insinuates that she can’t be serious about anything, and counters that he can never commit to anything – he never actually LIVES. The group ends up spending the night on the beach, with Nick and Jess and Schmidt and Ce Ce each discussing their lives and what it means to get through the tough things. The Schmidt/Ce Ce scene is particularly wonderful.

And then, the following day, as Nick goes to pay his medical bill (after receiving a cancer-free prognosis), the receptionist informs him that it’s already been paid – Winston, Schmidt, Ce Ce, and Jess covered it for him.

“Injured” is one of those episodes that I’ll never tire of watching. It’s so poignant and tackled a subject that could have easily swayed dangerously into oversentimentality or ignorance. Instead, it created an episode beautifully showcasing Nick’s insecurities and fears, while also providing a cohesive group storyline. Nick needs his friends, and they all need one another.

Favorite moment: Nick Miller’s sad song.

So what do you think? Did YOUR favorite New Girl episode make my cut? Sound off in the comments below! :)


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