A few weeks ago, with “Menzies,” New Girl devoted an entire episode to the tired old joke about women going crazy during PMS. This week, it was baby madness. I keep hoping that this current obsession with ladybits will burn itself out, especially because it’s almost impossible not to fumble such storylines somewhere over the course of an episode. I’m also holding out for a prostate exam episode since we’ve gotten two installments in the past month addressing the sucky side of womanhood. I think it’s the guys’ turn to resent their biology.
The ticking of Jess and Cece’s biological clocks suddenly became louder when their friend Sadie and her wife, Melissa, announced that they were expecting a baby. Like so many conversations do, this one derailed a bit, going from “YAY BABY!” to “Hey ladies, did you know that 90 percent of your eggs are GONE by the time you’re 30?” Wow. Way to ruin this beautiful moment, show.
The problem with “Eggs,” outside of the vaguely sexist notion that if a woman hasn’t procreated in a timely manner, then she has FAILED as a woman, is that the story attempted to take a rather complicated matter and simplify it with the addition of a stopwatch. The 90 percent statistic came from a 2010 study done by the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh University, so it’s not total crap, but at the same time, ONE study is hardly anything to panic over. I mean, look at chicken eggs: They’re good for you, they’re bad for you, the white part is okay but the yolk will kill you, etc. etc. blah blah blah.
Regardless, Cece and Jess freaked out a little. Neither woman is really in an ideal place in life to have a kid. Jess is just coming out of a period of unemployment and probably hasn’t even really settled into her new job. She has no romantic relationships to speak of, or at least, none so serious or stable that she’s ready to raise a child.
Does Cece have every right to be upset about the state of her eggs? Absolutely. But is the correct response to her predicament to hurry up and have a baby RIGHT NOW? No. It’s a more complicated matter than that. Does it become harder to conceive as a woman gets older? Sure. Are there additional health risks involved with “older” pregnancies? Yes, there are. But we also live in the 21st century and there are options. Frozen eggs, fertility treatments, adoption—the revelation that Cece’s egg count is on the low side does not condemn her to the sad, lonely life of a barren spinster.
Furthermore, fertility isn’t an exclusively female problem. Cece’s “Make me a guy so I don’t have to worry about this,” is telling of society’s default take on procreating, that it's a “female thing”, but biologically, being a dude wouldn’t necessarily save Cece from difficulty. Low sperm count, a tube blockage, or varicocele (enlarged veins that lead to elevated sperm temperature), among other things, can all complicate baby-makin’ for the menfolk.
I’m pretty sure this is all just a conspiracy to get the good ship Cece/Schmidt sailing again. The characters' current situations are sort of mutation of their Season 1 pregnancy scare; in “Kids,” Cece fretted over a possible unplanned pregnancy while Schmidt contemplated marrying her “to do the right thing,” only to come to the conclusion that he sincerely liked her and was kind of okay with it. He was just as surprised to realize how much he cared about Cece this time around, too.
Schmidt's 50 Shades of Awkward relationship with his boss, Emma, came to a cordial end when, well, the sex just wasn’t that good. No, not even when he met with Sadie for some pointers and dressed like Emma’s ultimate fantasy: a Studio 54 busboy. She lamented that even though she saw her divorce as a chance to indulge in new experiences, her arrangement with Schmidt just wasn’t working. As much as she didn’t want to, she was going to have to re-enter the dating pool. Schmidt got nostalgic for the good ol’ days of sex with Cece, when everything was easy and they just connected and the sex was amazing.
“That’s called love, you idiot.” I like Emma. I wouldn’t mind her popping in from time to time to talk some gruff sense into Schmidtty.
While Schmidt’s “problem” (which isn’t necessarily a problem at all) isn’t grounded in cold, hard facts of life like Cece’s, their issues serve to complement one another and could very easily pave the way toward them eventually getting back together. With Cece contemplating where she currently is in life and where she wants to go, and Schmidt coming to terms with the fact that as much as he wanted to pretend that his relationship with Cece was shallow and meaningless, he actually loved her, Schmidt and Cece are in an ideal place to take an honest look at their relationship.
It seems that the only loft-dweller who found some semblance of stability and purpose this week was Nick, who finally finished his zombie novel. It was a big moment for him. Z Is for Zombie was terrible, but hey, he finished! (And rough drafts are always terrible, man, don’t sweat it.)
Deciding he needed some real life Ernest Hemingway experiences—or at least, what he assumed were Hemingway experiences—Nick dragged poor, sleep-deprived Winston to the zoo for some adventure. Of course, his adventure seemed to be more of an exercise in procrastination than inspiration, especially once the flask made an appearance, but then again, Z Is for Zombie DID feature an ode to a zombie zoo, so I don’t think it was a complete waste of time. Inspiration comes from weird places.
What did you think of this episode?
– One-liner of the night: Schmidt’s entire innuendo-laden monologue to Sadie about his (attempted) methods for pleasuring Emma. I wonder how many takes were required to get through that with a straight face? Everybody gets a churro!
– Z Is for Zombie sounds terrible, but I agree with Schmidt’s demand that Winston never stop reading it aloud.