New Girl "Coach" Review: Boys' Night Out
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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