New Girl "Menzies" Review: Everybody Into the Pool

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Nov 14, 2012

New Girl S02E07: "Menzies"

Half the guys I hang out with probably won’t be able to get past the title of this week’s New Girl. It’s okay. Sometimes I catch the fiance having a stare-down with the box of tampons in our bathroom. We even code-named the occasionally blessed biological event “shark week” for ease of communication, and I applaud Jess’s “red devil” addition to the nomenclature. Very nice.

Jess’s already inherently craptastic week was shoved further into the realm of suckitude when Schmidt demanded her portion of the gas bill and she didn’t have it—and none of her other roommates would step in to cover her any longer. “Why can’t you just get a job?” may or may not have come up and it was soooo not the right thing to say while Jess felt, as she put it, “... like I laid a million eggs and they’re all hatching. Also I want to kill someone. And I want soft pretzels.” Word.

Nick pointed out that periods (and PMS) are inherently unfair for just that reason—women are given a monthly free pass to be crazy, irrational people and to that I say, “Shut up, Nick.” Someone once tried to explain to me that periods are the reason a woman can’t be president: She’d enter shark week, go nuts, and nuke Russia because her cramps were INSANE, man.

With that in mind, I’m torn, OH SO TORN, on the scene where Jess blew her initial teaching interview. It was a lazy play on the “ovaries make women cray cray” trope—and therefore it was kind of annoying. But at the same time, it was hilarious and Zooey Deschanel’s face was priceless. I mean, who hasn’t wept over a freaking adorable picture of a puppy in a teacup? Who wouldn’t be completely heartbroken to learn that said puppy had been dead for two years, card-carrying ovary-owner or not? It’s the sort of thing I could see Jess losing it over even if she wasn’t in the throes of over-the-top TV PMS, so I’m leaning toward giving it a slide, but still, ovaries =/= crazy. You’re better than that, New Girl!

Despite the Jess-centric episode title and introduction, “Menzies” featured solid stories for all of New Girl's leads, with Nick attempting to quell his perpetual anger with the help of a mute stranger he met on a public bench, Schmidt signing up for a Fifty Shades of Grey experience with his boss (guest-star Carla Gugino), and Winston working through his break-up by borrowing Jess’s PMS.

While I’m doubtful that Nick’s newfound mellowness will last very long, he was the odd center of calm in an otherwise tense environment after Schmidt had the gas turned off to “teach Jess a lesson” about not paying her share of the utilities, Jess blew her initial job interview, and Winston indulged in his acquired “sympathy PMS.” Even Cece joined the party, suffering a personality crisis after Robbie referred to her as “nice.”

Cece, unfortunately, stuck around only long enough to kiss Schmidt and run, and totally missed out on the massage pool party that Nick dragged his frustrated friends to, one by one, after his new BFF Tran gave him a water massage that apparently cured his rage. I appreciated New Girl’s restraint in not somehow using Jess’s pool time to make a crack about tampons and swimming. For a while there, a few years ago, it was like every freaking tampon commercial had to gloat about a tampon's ability to bestow upon "afflicted" females the freedom to swim.

Of course, Nick’s calm couldn’t hold a candle to Tran’s, and his fumbling attempts to soothe Jess and Winston led to much screaming, flailing, and near-drowning. So maybe Cece was the lucky one after all. Besides, her problem wasn’t being angry—it was actually quite the opposite.

Still, Jess DID score a real honest-to-God grown-up job after her dip in the massage pool, so maybe Nick is on to something? All I know is that I would totally watch a Nick and Tran spin-off, in all of it’s awkward glory.


NOTES


– One-liner of the night: “We sold our qualms. We used the profits to buy perfect bodies.” —Schmidt to Cece, regarding her guilt over kissing him. OH, JUST GET BACK TOGETHER, YOU TWO.

– “Guaranteed mercury poisoning?” I loved the build-up to Carla Gugino’s character, where we were all led to believe that she was some kind of super-hardcore dominatrix type, but in the end, she was just as awkward and over-compensating as Schmidt.

– Winston got a story! Winston got a story! How did we feel about Winston’s story? I thought it was cute. I’d still like to see MORE Winston action, honestly.

– I’m eagerly anticipating the awkward creepy writer-types in Jess’s creative writing classes. I can’t wait. It’s going to be amazing. (Please be amazing?)

– How much longer do we give Robbie and Cece? A week? I give them a week.

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  • FoxZerro Nov 19, 2012

    I was very put off by the way that the Menzies were handled in the beginning, I was very nervous that it would be an over the top episode regarding them. While it wasn't perfect it was still handled much much better than I imagined and this was a pretty good episode afterall.

    I don't think that Carla Gugino's character was over-compensating as much as Schmidt. That's actually sort of insulting to the Schmidt character, considering we know he's gotten real freaky naughty with Cece in the past. Bit of an issue with the Cece/Schmidt thing in the episode when he said he would never run away from her, despite the fact that that is basically exactly what he did when he White Fanged her in last seasons finale.

    Also while it was nice to get some Winston action, it was still as just a prop to Jess. I want a story where it is just Winston being Winston, not Winston being used as part of Jess' story. I want an episode like the one where he first started working for the radio station or the one that followed up when his boss went all Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on him.

  • irehawk20 Nov 17, 2012

    Nick improved his reaction, but has along way to go. This show needs to add one more female character in its cast by Season 3. This new female character better be good.

  • BriannaKirkla Nov 18, 2012

    It's going to be Olivia Munn.

  • CiaraGlynn Nov 15, 2012

    Am I really the only one who has favored Nick from the start? I love Shmidt and all, I know why he's a fan favorite, but I was sold from the second he had a freak-out of the broken television. And Winston is damn funny. If he had more stories, like everyone always says...I think I love him more than Shmidt, too. Nick and Winston are just crazy funny but maybe that's just me.

  • smarcos3 Nov 18, 2012

    you are not alone my friend, nick is my favorite from day one.. I love everyone but nick is something else!

  • TypeB Nov 15, 2012

    More little Nick, please!

  • Maartje Nov 15, 2012

    I loved this episode!
    Especially the end when Nick and Winston are in the pool and you can see that Schmidt can barely keep from laughing out loud and breaking character :D

  • TypeB Nov 15, 2012

    I can't believe the flute lady kept it together and did NOT laugh.

  • Maartje Nov 15, 2012

    So true! :D

  • CarlyBrowne Nov 15, 2012

    Don't feel too bad about the whole Jess crying over a puppy thing, as Nick made her realise in the end that it wasn't all just PMS, and that she'd been in a funk for weeks :) so it wasnt bad PMS TV, it was our quirky girl having a unconscious breakdown lol

    I watched this episode and was like "FINALLY!", i literally LOL'd so much, which I havent really done this second season, as opposed to every episode first season. Nick is back in action! and yes, bring on the crazzies in Jess's classes, booya!

  • bicelis Nov 15, 2012

    Is Carla Gugino the sexiest woman in TV or what?

  • bicelis Nov 15, 2012

    Also, why the heck does TV.com show my stupid hideous face from FB profile?.. The new upgrades did something bad...

  • TypeB Nov 15, 2012

    Way to invade other people's privacy, TV.com.

  • Gilda Nov 15, 2012

    OMG All the pool scenes were great! I however didnt like the whole schmidt's story this week i found it boring. the rest i rlly liked

  • smarcos3 Nov 15, 2012

    should I watch happy endings? New girl is one of my favorite comedies right after community and I don't know if happy endings fits the profile! I've been tempted to watch it several times but with so many shows going on I can't find the time so what do you guys say?

  • CiaraGlynn Nov 15, 2012

    It's REALLY REALLY FUNNY, but I didn't find that out for a while, because the pilot episode was kinda weak, but it's very funny. Comedy is a difficult recommendation, though. Just because someone likes New Girl, Community, and Happy Endings doesn't necessarily mean you'll also like Happy Endings. But it's definitely worth a shot.

  • CiaraGlynn Nov 22, 2012

    Walked (or typed) myself right into that one, eh? :-D

  • XY Nov 18, 2012

    I'm sure that if you like Happy Endings you necessarily also like Happy Endings :P scnr

  • FringeFanatic Nov 15, 2012

    Happy Endings is a different style of comedy. It's very joke heavy. And I realize writing that is ironic when you're discussing a comedy, but it's true. The one-liners are fast, furious and bitingly clever. It's a great ensemble cast. Damon Wayons Jr. and Eliza Coupe shine together as the group's "married couple". The only knock I would give it is I feel a little detached from the characters sometimes. It's almost like the show can be TOO clever for its own good, making the facade seem more visible. I LOVE Community. I LOVE New Girl. I care about the characters. And while I really, really like Happy Endings, it's not love. But its funny as hell. I laugh out loud every episode. And I would DEFINITELY recommend it.

  • smarcos3 Nov 18, 2012

    hey guys just wanted to let you all know that I started watching happy endings.. I'm in episode 2 and so far so good this show is funny!

  • docspector Nov 15, 2012

    If you like Community because you never know what to expect and a lack of formulaic setup-setup-punchline comedy, then yes. Happy Endings will hit you with stuff not just from out of left field, but from a different stadium entirely, and on a regular basis, not just once or twice an episode.

  • smarcos3 Nov 15, 2012

    those where the answers I was hoping for.. I will give it a shot and report back, thank you both for taking your time to reply!

  • Acrobit Nov 15, 2012

    I really don't like this show overall, but Nick in the pool was hilarious, and CeCe is hot.
    I guess that's all I have.

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