New Girl "Menzies" Review: Everybody Into the Pool

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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.