New Girl "Coach" Review: Boys' Night Out

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Nov 06, 2013

New Girl S03E07: "Coach"


After taking a week off, the New Girl gang returned all refreshed and rejuvenated, and they even brought a friend. What up, Coach? (Sry 'bout Happy Endings, btw.)

I just don't remember Coach being such a douche canoe in New Girl's pilot. It's all good, though, because frankly, I don't actually remember much of New Girl's pilot. In fact, in the name of full disclosure, what I do recall is that I didn't much care for it. But whether or not Coach really was as much of a raging ass back then as he was in "Coach" is almost irrelevant, not only because the writers scribbled themselves a justifiable explanation for Coach's woeful ways, but because "Coach" itself was a very good episode. I was worried there for a minute—I really, truly was—but in the end, I genuinely enjoyed it.


Partly it's just that I really, really hate the boyfriend-goes-to-strip-club-and-girlfriend-is-angry-about-it trope. It's such an overdone shorthand plot for bringing up trust issues in a relationship, while simultaneously reinforcing the usual stereotypes about men being horny, untrustworthy, pigs and women being jealous, irrational psychos. You are better than this, New Girl!

There. That's my one, lone complaint about "Coach," which—despite its overdone-like-a-McDonald's-hamburger setup for boys' night and girls' night shenanigans—managed to prove that even New Girl knows it's above relying a tired, dated, storyline like "boy ditches girl for strip club." Thankfully, Jess's issue with Nick, Schmidt, Winston, and Coach setting out for the Velvet Rabbit wasn't so much that there'd be naked chicks there; in fact, she was totally ready to join them. No, it was that she was banned from attending, and then—and THEN—Nick couldn't acknowledge her as his girlfriend in front of his guy friends. That's an absolutely legit complaint. If anyone would like to make the argument that "Nick struggles with his man-child tendencies" is a tired-ass storyline for New Girl, I'd be game. I'm not ready to make that argument myself, but it's close.


Exiled and pissy, Jess called up Cece and they retaliated with the saddest, awkwardest girls' night out I've witnessed in a long time. Cece's Schmidt-angst quickly tainted the evening, and when Jess started complaining about Nick, Cece didn't defend Nick (which isn't her job) or try to make Jess feel better (which is kind of her job). No, she put on her bitter, drunk mini-skirt and ranted about how horrible men are, like it was after-hours in the ladies' room at my senior prom. Ain't no bitterness like the bitterness of a scorned 17-year-old in a $1,200 dress.

Now, there are definitely worse possible outcomes from a night of good old-fashioned man-hating than ending up with Taye Diggs being all naked and suave in your bed, but by that point in the evening, Cece had realized what kind of monster she'd created, and Jess was having second thoughts about getting back at Nick by boning the local coffee shop king. Still: naked Taye Diggs. 

Thankfully, nothing actually happened between them, and when Nick walked in on Naked Taye Diggs, he listened to Jess and believed her when she told him as much. He also called her his girlfriend, which solved about 99 percent of their problems in "Coach." Winston also earned a small victory, briefly standing up for himself after spending an entire evening as Coach's punching bag. Not that it made Coach stop, but it was nice to see Winston show a little confidence. I worry about him. :(


Less victorious this week: Coach and Schmidtty, who've apparently decided to shack up in Schmidt's sad, lonely, rejected-man cave across the hall. Coach's douchebaggery and over-the-top anti-relationship stance was rationalized as the byproduct of his girlfriend breaking up with him. Schmidt is no closer to reconciling with Cece (and I'm actually still kind of bothered by how swiftly and completely Elizabeth was written out of this show). BUT there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Schmidt. One of my favorite running gags in "Coach" was that Schmidt was super angry at Nick, but every time he tried to explain it or exploit it, he couldn't. It was a nicely nuanced way of showing that Schmidt is starting to come to terms with the Cece/Elizabeth fallout, and to accept responsibility for it. He wants to blame others, but he can't. He literally can't. He couldn't even come up with an irrational or douchey comeback to Nick calling him a dillweed, because there's just nothing there and Schmidt knows it. 

By moving in with Schmidt, it looks like Coach is going to be sticking around for at least another episode or two. I'm okay with it. How about you? What did you think of "Coach"?



NOTES FROM THE DOUCHEBAG JAR

– One-liner of the night, "Hey, did you hear the joke about the two white guys and the two black guys who walked into a police station? The white guys walked out." —Winston

– "Put on pants?" I mean, who hasn't written that note themselves at least once, right?

– I loved that Coach didn't remember Jess. Who's with me?

– I also loved that Schmidt kept stealing stuff from the loft. 

– Naked Taye Diggs' "come hither" legwork was both cringeworthy and amazing. 

– "You're drinking on a Tuesday! And you're a teacher!" "Whatever, those kids are watching a movie tomorrow." I'm glad Cece called Jess out on her hypocrisy concerning the Tuesday drinking drama. However, Jess's response was also pretty amazeballs.


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  • joy9585 Nov 13, 2013

    The last comment about Jess saying, "whatever, those kids are watching a movie tomorrow" was both hysterical and (speaking about reinforcing stereotypes) and unrealistic about what happens inside the classroom. Teachers don't just have the option to throw on a DVD just because they went out drinking the night before. I can count the number of times I showed a movie in my class in a school year on one hand...

    Funny episode, otherwise, though! I loved how Coach didn't remember Jess.

  • AngelColn Nov 08, 2013

    Another great episode! Everybody was great, but as always, Winston stole the show with his one-liners and the "Bunny Money"!

  • heatherke Nov 07, 2013

    Taye was definitely an added bonus (And that leg work, helloo, is that leg even attached to his body?). The whole stripclub thing is very over the top, and almost reminded me of How I Met Your Mother if I'm completely honest.
    Elizabeth seems completely out of the picture which is a shame, because if Schmidt actually felt the way he did about her (first girlfriend etc etc) then she should at least feature a bit in his post-break-up anger? And why won't Cece just get all her anger out and tell Schmidt and get on with it?!

  • gzeigler3 Nov 07, 2013

    Coach is staying!

  • AngelColn Nov 07, 2013

    Is he? That would be cool!

  • hbf716 Nov 07, 2013

    Nick and Jess are obviously in love with each other. When this finally happens with the right person - your personality and behavior begin to change sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. It is a natural progression for these characters. I am loving it because at least New Girl is going there - unlike most sitcoms that drag the tension out for-ever. Heartbreak also changes your personality. I don't find any of the behaviors from these characters unrealistic. People who are hurting can be sad, annoying, and bitter. Certainly they are exaggerated for our benefit but I love it because I get to laugh for half an hour. Loved the episode, loved the progression, loved Winston's strip club swag.

  • joy9585 Nov 13, 2013

    I like how even thought they're clearly falling in love, it's a progression. They're not jumping in too quickly and saying it to each other. Nick and Jess aren't there yet, but they're on their way. It's like in the first episode of the season when they kept saying that they really liked each other.

  • LarissaPeixot Nov 06, 2013

    This episode was perfection!!! I was laughing out loud the whole time! So, Dear Internet elves, if you could indulge a lonely Brazilian woman, a gif of Taye Diggs saying "Brasil" would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  • BriannaKirkla Nov 06, 2013

    I thought Schmidt just meant for Coach to crash at his place since they were so drunk. Is coaching staying on longer? I was under the impression it was a one episode guest appearance.

  • vcivi Nov 06, 2013

    I really like New Girl and all there characters, but this was truly the worst episode of all the seasons. Boring, not funny at all. It seemed all forced this time.
    The only funny thing was Shmidt, stealing stuff, and in the beginning with Nick that they started to talk to each other like old friends and then suddenly like...i am stil mad at you...

  • Grumpyclown Nov 06, 2013

    Disappointed with what they did to Coach, but it seem's like a symptom of New Girl recently - unoriginal idea and lacklustre writing.
    I hope it gets out of this funk soon.

  • safibwana Nov 06, 2013

    It's only wrong to drink on a Tuesday if it's 9am (7am and noon are just fine).

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