Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Girl 7x02 Review: "Tuesday Meeting" (Three Men and a Little Lady) [Contributor: Jenn]

"Tuesday Meeting"
Original Airdate: April 17, 2018

Sleep — that thing that you can never have enough of in adulthood. Two of my best friends recently became moms at the same time (their babies are literally born less than 24 hours apart), and a few weeks ago I got to chat with them all about the sleepless woes that new parents face. It's a reality for all parents really, unless your child is somehow an angel or alien who sleeps through the night always. And sometimes, it's even true for toddlers. Like Schmidt discovers in "Tuesday Meeting." While this episode's Jess/Cece story is one of the lesser compelling ones (I much prefer "Girl Fight" or "Walk of Shame"), the major story focuses on the boys trying to get Ruth to sleep, and Nick having a crisis about his future as a writer.


The references to Three Men and a Baby/Three Men and a Little Lady alone make this episode worth viewing. Beyond that though, I love whenever we get the chance to watch our favorite boys bond over things. Now, as they are all adults in settled relationships, their problems look a little different than they used to. But they're still tinged with the silly and absurd (and yet also oddly real) that brings New Girl into focus. Schmidt is not sleeping, nor is Cece. And Ruth? Well Ruth is just a boundless ball of energy and it's driving Schmidt to the brink of insanity. Luckily, he has some things that keep his mind off his lack of sleep — namely, taking care of his other child: Nick.

Nick returned from a European book tour with Jess feeling inspired and refreshed. He turned in his pages to his editor, expecting to receive positive feedback. Sadly, that is not the case. Nick's editor is disappointed with how fluffy and sappy Pepperwood has become. And it's true: Nick's life has settled, he's in love, and things are great. When things in your life are great, it's hard to write. My AP Literature teacher in high school taught us that. We examined our reading list for the year, thoroughly bummed out about how many depressing books were listed. And then she reminded us that writers often do their best work when they're in a point of emotional upheaval or self-discovery. Great work doesn't often happen when you're incandescently happy. And since Pepperwood is such an extension of Nick to begin with, it makes sense that Pepperwood is stable and in a sappy, sweet place — just like Nick.

Unfortunately, sappy and sweet don't sell in the teen crime market, so Nick has a decision on his hands: Either Pepperwood ends, or he has to figure out a great idea for another book/book series ASAP. And as we know, Nick Miller does not do well with a tight deadline. So he does what he often does: He panics. And he panics hard.

That's when Schmidt and Winston step in. Rather than tell Nick that his idea notebook is full of garbage, the two try their best to bolster Nick's confidence. Not by supporting those ideas, mind you, but by lying to him. They copy some phrases out of Mao's Little Red Book... and then Nick turns in those notes to his editor, who recognizes them immediately. Nick is furious at Winston and Schmidt. How could they lie to him like that?

But these three have been friends for long enough that Winston and Schmidt admit that they didn't want to crush Nick's spirits. And it's in the most unexpected moment that Nick begins to churn out some actual good, interesting ideas. In a last-ditch effort to try and get Ruth to sleep, Schmidt curls up in bed with her (after he, Winston, and Nick sing "Goodnight Sweetheart" from Three Men and a Baby), and Ruth requests a story from her Uncle Nick.

And when Nick concedes, he begins to tell her crazy tales from his childhood — which sparks an unspoken idea from Winston and Schmidt. Maybe Nick does still have stories to tell... ones he didn't even realize were interesting. It's hard to say whether or not Nick's little memoir will turn into anything, but I loved that his creativity has returned. And that Schmidt got a little bit of shut eye. And that Winston got to do Three Men and a Baby.


"Tuesday Meeting" also focuses on an actual Tuesday meeting — one that Jess is not invited to. Having accepted a job with Russell, Jess is feeling a bit disheartened. Russell brought her on for her expertise, but he's relegated her to cold-calling people and doing busywork. And she's not really excited about it. Furthermore, when she meets with Cece, Jess says that she feels the reason she's being singled out and given menial work is because she's a woman. Cece — having downed a whole bunch of coffee and chardonnay — tells Jess that she needs to stand up to Russell and demand to be treated like an equal.

And that starts with Jess demanding an invite to Russell's standing, all-male, Tuesday meeting.

You can guess where this is going, of course, because it's New Girl: Russell isn't keeping Jess out of a meeting because he's sexist; he's kept her out of a meeting because it's not work-related. It's his divorced dad support group. While Jess does feel embarrassed at her error, Russell admits by the end of the episode that he's been treating Jess a bit poorly. He vows to give Jess more responsibility and get her off of phone duty.

"Tuesday Meeting" is one of the quieter episodes this season. It's not my favorite of the batch I watched, mostly because whenever an episode removes Jess from the A-plot (it's hard to tell which plot was the A and which was the B, but I feel the boys' story was more heavily featured), I feel like it tends to suffer in terms of comedy. Nevertheless, New Girl is still as endearing and fun as ever — complete with adorable three-year-olds who really, really hate sleeping.

And now, bonus points:
  • I love that the magazine is called Tween Between the Lines.
  • "Tell me of the world. Remember me to the people."
  • Does anyone else love that Ding Dong... Murder! is the title of a Pepperwood Chronicles book? No? Just me?
  • The fact that we get nods to Three Men and a Baby and Three Men and a Little Lady in this episode makes me so happy. Also because my friend Laura and I had this dream of casting Joel McHale, Nathan Fillion, and Adam Scott in a remake of this movie. True story. Also if you have never seen those films, please remedy that immediately. They're so fun, and so cheesy.
  • "She nodded off on the toilet. It was very cute. Honestly, it reminded me of you. I took 70 pictures."
  • "Words sound weird to me when I'm this tired."
  • "How's that wine and coffee combination treating you?" "My heart is beating really fast but time is moving really slow. So it all kind of evens out."
  • I love the recurring "Babe?" "Yes babe" dialogue that the show uses.
  • MALE PATTERN DUMBNESS. I'm using that now.
  • "The system is broke and... I can't feel my face."
  • "I'm done." "I'm three!"
  • Seriously the girls who play Ruth are way too perfect. Ruth's little thumbs up at Nick was absolutely adorable.
  • "I am drunk right now and VERY awake!"
  • "Oh I'm scared of this energy."
What did you all think of "Tuesday Meeting"? Sound off in the comments below!


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