New Girl, Season 4, Episode 4, “Micro”
October 7, 2014, 9:00 pm, FOX
This has been the strongest episode of the season thus far, and even stronger than much of season three. It finally feels like New Girl is getting back on the rails this week, putting its characters into situations that are outlandish, but still relate-able to normal humans. In an episode that begins with the roommates bickering over superficiality and Jess arguing that men have unreal expectations of women thanks to porn, I couldn’t help but laugh hysterically. This is a conversation I have had with my male friends on numerous occasions. “You don’t like real women,” “women like that don’t exist in the real world,” these are things that Jess is saying to the guys, that I have said to my friends.
It is true, that the porn culture (aside from HD, because that highlights all the flaws and scars!) and fashion magazines with all their ridiculous photo-shop, have created a version of the female that doesn’t exist outside of the page, or without some hefty augmentation. So this is Jess’ argument. All the guys are superficial and have unreasonable expectations when it comes to women. She’s someone who sees past that, attracted to someone’s inner-self, and doesn’t consider herself shallow. Until she stalks away from them and sits down face to face with a perfectly chiseled, perfectly fake-tanned, “street artist”. As soon as he opens his mouth, you can tell he’s a terrible dude. He’s a street artist, he has a tattoo that says “90% angel, 10% devil”, and he tipped the waiter with a sketch of a hip-hop mouse. On top of that, he has a micro-penis. Now, if you are unsure of just what exactly a micro-penis is, do yourself a favor (not at work), and Google image search that bad boy.
As soon as Jess tries to escape him and runs smack into Nick, she immediately has her own argument thrown back into her face. They had previously made a bet and if she broke up with him for a superficial reason before a month was up, then she had to pay for the roommates online porn subscription. Her self-doubt immediately kicks in, questioning - is she shallow? Micro (his name is Matt, but calling him Micro is better), continuously uses his micro-penis as a means of explaining his terribleness. So she tries to go with it, wanting to be the better person. But she shouldn’t have to be, because this dude is legit terrible.
The underlying theme of the episode becomes the characters’ insecurities. After Cece and Winston decide to pull a classic Cece-Winston mess-around, “that’s not a thing”, and in the goofy side-plot, convince Coach and Schmidt they could be male models, hosting a photo-shoot. They get in over their heads, when they realize that Schmidt wants this more than anything, because it would mean he’s broken free of the fat-man living inside of him, because according to Coach, in one of the many brilliant lines of the night, nothing solves self esteem problems like modeling! What really works best in “Micro”, is that even though there’s a main focus plot with Jess and her Micro guy, that theme loops back around tying the side-plot together. The micro-penis becomes the metaphor for all of their insecurities and faults. Jess’ micro-penis is her wonky knee, Schmidt’s micro-penis is his nipples, which resemble “kitten-teats”, Coach’s micro-penis is his “geisha waist”, and on and on. With this realization, Jess runs to Micro’s house, drops her pants, showing him her wonky knee, and telling him it’s okay to have a micro-penis, until his girlfriend shows up. Legit, terrible dude. Coach tells Cece and Winston that they need to make Schmidt a real model for a day, or else it will crush him and his metaphorical micro-penis. So he ends up on a billboard in Korea town. Because he’s the OG Jewish-Greek God, “Chercules”.
The Round Up
- So many golden lines tonight. Among my favorites:
- “He’s a hero for making it through middle school with that raisin” - Schmidt salutes Micro
- “Like climate change, we pretend they’re not real.” - Schmidt, again, on real human women with flaws.
- Coach refers to Nick as a “Depression-era garbage-man”.
It finally feels like New Girl is getting back on the rails this week, putting its characters into situations that are outlandish, but still relate-able to normal humans.