New Girl, Season 4, Episode 2, “Dice”
September 23, 2014, 9:00 pm, Fox
New Girl has attempted a full reset for its characters and their love lives. The mess of season three, and the writers attempting to navigate the relationships, Schmidt’s sad two-timing, and Jess and Nick co-habitating together and dating. Though this is a fictional world, if Jess and Nick were real life people, it’s likely their relationship would have lasted a lot longer had they not lived together. Either way, the season premiere and second episode in season four have been all about getting Jess “back out there”, first at a wedding, where people are desperate to hook up, and now with Dice, New Girl‘s Tinder.
When Jess sees yet another girl Schmidt has hooked up with, leaving the loft, she begs him to help her learn its ways (which leads to a hilarious educational session). Schmidt is reluctant, Jess isn’t ready for such a vulgar app, because ultimately, she’s looking for love, not just a swipe, a bang, and if you’re lucky, a coffee in the morning. She’s also far too trusting of people. The sequence of men she meets up with is so authentic that the comedy almost turns into horror; there’s the guy without a job, the guy who was in prison, the guy who still lives with his mom. I have tried the online dating thing, just because - don’t openly mock something until you’ve traveled down that horrific rabbithole, and it really is that bad. The first guy has a braided rat beard, spends his time in a fluorescent, hippie styled living room and walking on his treadmill. “The photo cut off before the braided beard started.” Schmidt takes her to the bar in the morning, set up with a flipchart, a buzzer from the game Taboo and notepads. “Is this a game to you Jess?” He cries out angrily, while pressing the buzzer that came from a game. After a painfully hilarious montage of getting out of dates with terrible men using excuses written on cue cards, Jess gives Schmidt a heart-to-heart at a restaurant after casting off a man she thinks is just trying to bone her. Lecturing him on how he should use the app to try and find a deeper connection with one girl, and how she’s looking for love. In the ironic twist, when she convinces Dice guy to give her one more shot, she finds out that, not only is he an aspiring comedian, but a comedic magician, THE WORST KIND.
The second story-line running tonight was a far less satisfying one. Jess and Schmidt’s worked as it played with Schmidt’s sense of self, and both characters learned something from each-other in the end. This side of things felt forced and too messy. Coach divulges that he’s never smoked weed (first of all, wouldn’t Nick and Schmidt know this about him already?). Either way, Coach, Cece and Nick make plans to get high. Winston in a hilarious flashback, complains that the guys at work don’t like him. Everyone has a nickname but him. Not only does Winston, not have a nickname, he’s also referred to by his full name “Winston Bishop.” After a meeting of the minds which Schmidt refers to a “meeting with 12 year old idiots”, the three characters get wicked stoned, what follows is some poor stoned acting skills. Cece drifts into a haze and keeps monotonously repeating that her life is in shambles, Nick gets really weird, twitchy and paranoid, and Coach doesn’t “feel it” until they end up at a giant cop BBQ with Winston, and becomes very affectionate with everyone he meets. It was clearly filler, a background story to Jess’, the only facet that worked was keeping with Winston’s oddball character, and of course his colleagues would find him a bit socially awkward. I’m still convinced they don’t give Lamorne Morris nearly enough screen time or story.
This season seems poised to give Jess and Schmidt both a lot of growth as characters, but I certainly hope Nick doesn’t take a backseat on this. I’d like to see the next few having Nick deal with the rebounding, or perhaps reacting more to Jess’ willingness to move on.
- “Ma called! The bees are back!” - Schmidt kills it with the excuses.
- Winston’s new nickname at police academy is “Toilet” for having to put up with all his roommates crap.
- Schmidt asks the Dice hook-up girl out to coffee “I don’t think you know how to use Dice.”
- The world according to Nick: Hummingbird’s don’t exist, they sing, not hum. Birds practically invented singing
Jess poorly attempts the world of mobile dating as Schmidt has to become her Yoda.