New Girl's "Prince" Review: All Bow to the Purple One

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Feb 03, 2014

New Girl S03E14: "Prince"

Oh Prince, teach us your ways. I'll even personally volunteer to be locked in your creepy closet of love. I don't have a problem with hearing or saying the L-word—but eating pancakes and playing ping pong with the Purple One sure looks like a lot of fun. And when you're airing a super special episode in the coveted post-Super Bowl slot, I think fun is an indisputable requirement. One team's fans are high on life (and, in Seattle, probably actual mind-elevating substances), the other team's fans are bummed out (but at least y'all had, like, the whole game to make peace with it, right Denver?), and the rest of us are all drunk on tasteless light beer and Bagel Bites that were microwaved four hours ago and are now congealed to the plastic football-shaped serving plate but still look somewhat appetizing because beer munchies. I'm just saying, once the game is over, no one feels like sitting down to contemplate the serious side of television. If you're down, you need cheering up. If  you're happy, you don't want to be dragged down. If you've never watched New Girl before, you need to figure out what the H is going on, and New Girl needs to convince you to return during its regular business hours on Tuesdays. 

With so many roles to fill, New Girl's approach was pretty darn brilliant. It also helped that Prince completely stole the show every time he appeared on the screen. He was like the Willy Wonka of love. 

Basically, Jess and Cece were almost killed by an erratic driver, but to make up for her crappy driving, the would-be Jess-slayer invited Cece and Jess to a party at her boss's house. Her boss happened to be Prince. Cece talked Jess out of wearing what had to be a leftover costume from some tour that Dolly Parton did in the '80s, and Jess ended up being, like, a total babe in her little black dress. As the gals were getting into the limo that would take them to Prince's sweet, sweet love pad, Nick was so overcome by Jess's beauty that he told her he loved her—which would've been fine, except it was the first time he'd ever uttered the phrase, and Jess freaked. She gave him the double finger guns instead of saying it back, and then she freaked some more when the limo pulled away before she could work through her momentary existential crisis. Careful with that champagne, girl; those hangovers are rough. 

New Girl's skill at taking the most overdone cliches in the history of sitcoms and making them entertaining was on full display as Nick and Jess went through the motions of panicking, over-thinking things, getting really drunk (well, Nick did, anyway; either Jess skipped the alcohol binge or she just holds her booze REALLY well), and then making up via the magic of song and dance... and Prince. While the boys were busy crashing the party with varying levels of success, Prince saw that Jess was struggling and helped her see the light by kicking her ass at ping pong, locking her in a closet, dressing her up like Stevie Nicks, making her eat pancakes while he watched her like a creep, and showing off his butterfly mind-control powers. Then they wrote and performed a song and even though I would prefer for New Girl to pretend that Zooey Deschanel doesn't have a music career because I'm a weirdo and it just annoys me  when the two worlds touch and I don't know why, all personal hang-ups aside, it was a fun performance. 

"Prince" wasn't merely The Prince and Jess Singalong (1/2) Hour, though. I was pleasantly surprised by the meaningful interactions happening all over Chez Prince, particularly with Winston and Coach (Winnie and Ernie!) and Cece and Schmidt. New Girl made it clear in "Birthday" that the good ship Schmece isn't going to be tossed back in the water before some substantial repairs are made, and those repairs will require Schmidt and Cece to become friends again before tackling their ruined relationship. In "Birthday," Schmidt helped Cece at her new job. In "Prince," Cece helped Schmidt hide from Prince's bouncer and then actually seemed to enjoy hanging out with her ex, even as he took the opportunity to snuggle with her chesticles.  

New Girl seems to have regained its balance in the second half of the season. In the wake of their party at Prince's place, the roommates all contemplated where they were supposed to go next. The answer, of course, is anywhere you want.


– I'll admit it, I didn't think Fire and Ice was going to work either. 

– "Oh, I'm sorry, I haven't given you enough time to freak out. You may do so now." 

– I loved how the whole panties debacle just snowballed from an innocent comment by Winston into a crazy teamwork exercise with the guys.

What did you think of "Prince?"

  • Comments (70)
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  • SarahHagen2 Feb 05, 2014

    Fire. and. Ice. I <3 Coaston.

  • CaitlinRice Feb 04, 2014

    I loved that at the end they had that self-deprecating humor to it all and recognized how ridiculous a scenario it was. That being said, I freaking loved it. I was humming Prince songs all day in anticipation.

  • vcivi Feb 04, 2014

    Prince was awesome.....
    "Oh, I'm sorry, I haven't given you enough time to freak out. You may do so now." was so funny....when Jess and Nick starting to freak....and then right after that, they were sitting with the three of them on the so funny...

    But to be honest, the most fun part were two things..
    the singing part when Jess sang with Prince...that was awesome!!!!!
    and in the end with Cece and Prince that was AWESOME!!!
    What did he say, i will go slow on you and then Cece went like BAM..the face of Prince was priceless...

  • enomo67 Feb 04, 2014

    Poor big star cameo episode that rode on Prince's coattails and featured a lame singing number that supposedly no one had rehearsed but yet was choreographed perfectly. Really disappointing, especially since New Girl's been on such a kick lately after that lame start of season. Only redeeming feature was Schmidt seeing his friends playing that lemon game and realizing he'd rather hang out sucking on lemons with them than make small talk with the famous and rich people around him. Now there's the Schmidt I know and love.

  • LaurenYetter Feb 04, 2014

    Coach actually made a comment at the end to Jess "How'd you know all the words?" It's not like the whole crowd broke out into simultaneous dance moves... they got on staged and rocked back and forth. Even if they went to the Prince's house and we never saw him, it would've been a solid episode... someone must be a Broncos fan. Pouty face.

  • enomo67 Feb 05, 2014

    Didn't even watch the Super Bowl. It is possible for people to have differing opinions about a television show. I am a New Girl fan, incidentally, just thought the stunt casting was something of a cop out when they could have just made an actually quality episode about what it's like to say "I love you" to someone for the first time without wasting most of the episode brown-nosing a famous person. For the record, I root for the Giants.

  • LaurenYetter Feb 05, 2014

    Sorry. No, you're right and entitled to your opinion. I had just come from watching the episode, and your comment took me a little out of my good mood. It just seemed like you were letting Prince and a little musical number ruin the episode for you.

  • enomo67 Feb 06, 2014

    Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the episode. Don't let the opinions of random people you've never met affect your enjoyment of anything. You are just as entitled to enjoy the episode as I am to find it disappointing.

  • StrawDog Feb 04, 2014

    It was smart of them to put the dudes front and center for the cold open. So all the men wouldn't scream and run.

  • alyxkay Feb 04, 2014

    Prince was such a damn good sport the entire episode.

    Also, Nick as a Human Trojan Horse: Brilliant and my new party trick?

  • mekare06 Feb 04, 2014

    i felt very unconfortable watching jess and prince interact

  • torontogirl98 Feb 04, 2014

    Yup, I never got the appeal with Prince he always gave me the creeps in general

  • pa-tan Feb 04, 2014

    The whole pantys situation was really funny I laughed so much at four grown mans handling pantys with a stick
    And yes I though Fire and Ice was going to evaporate not actually succeed. The model trojan horse was funny too.
    I do hope that New Girl will keep up the good work
    Side note: am I the only one who is tired of watching Jess with the same hairdo over and over again? is it some kind of command that she can't brake? Will USA collapse? Will the end of times begin?

  • Vamps Feb 04, 2014

    Best part of the panties incident was that they were not jess's

  • Acrobit Feb 04, 2014

    Prince? My god, I had no idea. I should've DVR'd. Am I gonna have to...Hulu? Damn it all...

  • AndreaMcCooey Feb 03, 2014

    Actually laughed out loud a good few times in this episode. Keep it up, New Girl, and I might just forgive Mindy being better than you all season...

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