Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Girl 6x06 Review: "Ready" (Back in the Saddle Again)

Original Airdate: November 15, 2016

"Ready" opens with Jessica Day popping out of bed, realizing that she's now ready to date again. It happens in the same manner that children open their eyes on Christmas morning, realization of the day ahead dawning on them. And while it might seem a little far-fetched that Jess awakes one morning and is ready to date again, it's probably not. I think if you ask someone who fell in love or someone who had to start over after falling in love when, exactly... they probably wouldn't be able to tell you the moment in time in which they realized they were finally ready. It just happened, as quickly and abruptly as Jess wakes up in the morning. And it was delightful.


I love Robby, and I'm so glad that New Girl brought him back and has been able to utilize him in progressing story and Jess' character. But what I love even more is how adorkable he is. Not since season one (bless you, Genzlinger) have we had a wacky match to Jess' dorky humor. That's one facet of her personality that has evolved while keeping the spirit of the first season, and Robby is her perfect counterpart — making jokes about the people in their singles' group and referencing pop culture in the same way Jess does. So when New Girl started to set them up as a potential couple, I was intrigued. Because Robby is a genuinely good guy, with the same kind of aspirations as Jess. He's kind and loving, and doesn't want to hurt the people around him.

Which is exactly why Jess can't bring herself to tell him that there's no romantic spark between the two of them.

Let's back up a moment here: Schmidt convinces Jess that she should give Robby a chance, considering the fact that they already know one another and seem to have chemistry. Jess is hesitant at first, but agrees to a date with him. But as they pause at the front door for a goodnight kiss, Jess gives him the "Pittsburgh goodbye," instead (a punch on the arm and a handshake). When she debriefs with Schmidt the next morning, she explains that she can't see a future with Robby: a long-term, in-depth future.

I've often said that I love Jess because I relate a lot to her, and this is one of those areas in which I understand why she freaks out the way that she does. She looks at the people around her and she sees how happy and in love they are, and she can just imagine the next ten or twenty years of their lives together. I'm the same way. I admit to being prone to long-term thinking — I don't enjoy the ride of relationships because I'm often thinking ten or fifteen steps ahead. And sometimes I even write people off, unfortunately, for the same reasons Jess did. But we all need a season six Schmidt in our lives (seriously, he was so great in this episode). He tells Jess that she's putting way too much pressure on this relationship with Robby. They haven't even kissed yet, and already she's overanalyzing their future.

Schmidt encourages Jess to essentially pause, take a few deep breaths, and look at this relationship with fresh eyes — without putting too much pressure on it and herself. Once she's able to do that, Schmidt says, she'll be able to tell whether or not there's any spark. But if she writes off Robby before even exploring whether there could be something there, she's dooming herself. This encourages Jess, and she decides to heed Schmidt's advice.

Unfortunately, heeding that advice lands both her and Robby in the emergency room (turns out that kissing someone while they're bench-pressing isn't a good idea)... where she tells Schmidt that there was no spark. Schmidt is understandably sad — he really wanted Jess to be happy — but he's glad that she at least now knows that there's nothing there. But "Ready" wouldn't be an episode about Jessica Day if she didn't do something rash because of her inability to tell someone how she feels. Feeling so bad for injuring Robby, Jess doesn't tell him that their relationship is doomed. She spends the last few moments of the episode caring for her injured non-beau and regretting every single moment of it.


But in spite of the way that her brief relationship with Robby ended, I think Jess is ultimately thankful that she took Schmidt's advice. Sometimes moving forward means that you leap right into a relationship that works; sometimes it means just trying and not putting any pressure on yourself to find "the one" on your first date. Jess is the kind of woman who needs encouragement from the people around her whenever she's in her head too much or overthinking things. 

"Ready" proved that Jess is back in the game and ready to give people (who are not Nick) a chance. I'm not worried by her decision to move on, from a Nick/Jess standpoint. Because the truth is that she can't wait around forever for a guy who she might never be able to get back together with. She is forcing herself to move forward and I'm excited to see her try. 

(While also knowing that Nick/Jess is probably, most certainly, endgame.)

And now, bonus points:
  • "Are you implying you gained six pounds in your neck?"
  • "I used to be so good at dating!" "... I don't think you were..."
  • "He's as tall as you can be before it's weird."
  • I absolutely love when we get Jess/Schmidt and Nick/Cece storylines.
  • "He's super hot." "If you say so." "I don't say so. The LORD says so."
  • "Babe?" "Yeah babe?" "Babe?" "Yes babe?" I love Winston and Cece's ever-changing dynamic so much.
  • "The opposite? So you... gave birth to him?"
  • "... and Winston and Furguson..." "Aly." "Sorry, that just came out."
  • Max Greenfield's physical comedy during the "fat man scarf" scene had me laughing for a solid minute. I actually had to pause my screener in order to recover.
  • Nick and Winston's inability to pronounce Joe Manganiello's name and remember who he's married to is so perfect and so in-character for everything I know to be true about them.
  • The fact that there's a story about Winston akin to "Table 34" (his confidence makes women instantly attracted to him) makes me so happy.
  • Cece is going to manage models! I love that she's on this career path because it's something she's good at, and that fits her personality so well.
What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments below!


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