New Girl "Menzies" Review: Everybody Into the Pool

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.

Comments (49)
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I was very put off by the way that the Menzies were handled in the beginning, I was very nervous that it would be an over the top episode regarding them. While it wasn't perfect it was still handled much much better than I imagined and this was a pretty good episode afterall.

I don't think that Carla Gugino's character was over-compensating as much as Schmidt. That's actually sort of insulting to the Schmidt character, considering we know he's gotten real freaky naughty with Cece in the past. Bit of an issue with the Cece/Schmidt thing in the episode when he said he would never run away from her, despite the fact that that is basically exactly what he did when he White Fanged her in last seasons finale.

Also while it was nice to get some Winston action, it was still as just a prop to Jess. I want a story where it is just Winston being Winston, not Winston being used as part of Jess' story. I want an episode like the one where he first started working for the radio station or the one that followed up when his boss went all Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on him.
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Nick improved his reaction, but has along way to go. This show needs to add one more female character in its cast by Season 3. This new female character better be good.
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It's going to be Olivia Munn.
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Am I really the only one who has favored Nick from the start? I love Shmidt and all, I know why he's a fan favorite, but I was sold from the second he had a freak-out of the broken television. And Winston is damn funny. If he had more stories, like everyone always says...I think I love him more than Shmidt, too. Nick and Winston are just crazy funny but maybe that's just me.
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you are not alone my friend, nick is my favorite from day one.. I love everyone but nick is something else!
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More little Nick, please!
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I loved this episode!
Especially the end when Nick and Winston are in the pool and you can see that Schmidt can barely keep from laughing out loud and breaking character :D
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I can't believe the flute lady kept it together and did NOT laugh.
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So true! :D
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Don't feel too bad about the whole Jess crying over a puppy thing, as Nick made her realise in the end that it wasn't all just PMS, and that she'd been in a funk for weeks :) so it wasnt bad PMS TV, it was our quirky girl having a unconscious breakdown lol

I watched this episode and was like "FINALLY!", i literally LOL'd so much, which I havent really done this second season, as opposed to every episode first season. Nick is back in action! and yes, bring on the crazzies in Jess's classes, booya!
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Is Carla Gugino the sexiest woman in TV or what?
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Also, why the heck does TV.com show my stupid hideous face from FB profile?.. The new upgrades did something bad...
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Way to invade other people's privacy, TV.com.
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OMG All the pool scenes were great! I however didnt like the whole schmidt's story this week i found it boring. the rest i rlly liked
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should I watch happy endings? New girl is one of my favorite comedies right after community and I don't know if happy endings fits the profile! I've been tempted to watch it several times but with so many shows going on I can't find the time so what do you guys say?
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It's REALLY REALLY FUNNY, but I didn't find that out for a while, because the pilot episode was kinda weak, but it's very funny. Comedy is a difficult recommendation, though. Just because someone likes New Girl, Community, and Happy Endings doesn't necessarily mean you'll also like Happy Endings. But it's definitely worth a shot.
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Walked (or typed) myself right into that one, eh? :-D
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I'm sure that if you like Happy Endings you necessarily also like Happy Endings :P scnr
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Happy Endings is a different style of comedy. It's very joke heavy. And I realize writing that is ironic when you're discussing a comedy, but it's true. The one-liners are fast, furious and bitingly clever. It's a great ensemble cast. Damon Wayons Jr. and Eliza Coupe shine together as the group's "married couple". The only knock I would give it is I feel a little detached from the characters sometimes. It's almost like the show can be TOO clever for its own good, making the facade seem more visible. I LOVE Community. I LOVE New Girl. I care about the characters. And while I really, really like Happy Endings, it's not love. But its funny as hell. I laugh out loud every episode. And I would DEFINITELY recommend it.
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hey guys just wanted to let you all know that I started watching happy endings.. I'm in episode 2 and so far so good this show is funny!
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If you like Community because you never know what to expect and a lack of formulaic setup-setup-punchline comedy, then yes. Happy Endings will hit you with stuff not just from out of left field, but from a different stadium entirely, and on a regular basis, not just once or twice an episode.
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those where the answers I was hoping for.. I will give it a shot and report back, thank you both for taking your time to reply!
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I really don't like this show overall, but Nick in the pool was hilarious, and CeCe is hot.
I guess that's all I have.
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Nick was also my favorite. The look on his face whenTran first got him in the pool and started pulling him around had me howling - rewind!
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One word--no, two words--no, one word: Depo-Provera.
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I think Nick is stealing the show just like Schmidt did last season. Jake Johnson delivers his lines perfectly, and more importantly, hilariously. Most of my laugh-out-loud moments while watching the episode were during his lines. ("I hate doors!!" - "You have a nice face" - "Whatever's about to happen is gonna happen"). I also loved the "red devil in my tummy" line!!
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Great episode! The scene with the puppy in the cup almost made cried!
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"Why are you cradling me like a baby, friend? This is not how guys in my generation hang out." Hehe, that line in particular made me giggle.

"Weren't you here the other day?"
"Weren't YOU here the other day?"
I'm not sure why -- it seems so simple and non-jokey -- but that also made me giggle.

I giggled through Nick's whole exchange with the old Asian man.

I will say though that I have one complaint about New Girl: Watching it makes me, a grown ass man, giggle a lot. IT'S NOT RIGHT.
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Another great episode and Nick's scenes with Tran were hilarious!
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just came for the screen grabs...
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Love this show, it had its ups and downs, but lately mostly ups. Schmidt is funny but I would like to see more Winston. Still laugh when I think about his 'I'm gonna hit you with a SKI!'. Asian silent guy and Nick, man that was gold. Cece is kinda harsh, she knows Schmidt still wants her and just emotionally abuses him a bit lately. I liked Cece's character but now I'm starting to dislike it a bit. Robbie is nice and down to earth tho.
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I loved this episode! And I'm also fond of using 'shark week' as a code name/graphic descriptor.
Are you guys going to start recapping The Mindy Project too? Because those two go together like fat kids and chocolate*. Together they equal one hilarious hour of television!
*No offense intended to fat kids OR chocolate
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AWESOME EPISODE!

New Girl has officially become my second favourite non-animated (Archer), half hour (Psych) comedy on television. It goes:

1. Community
2. *NEW GIRL*
3. Happy Endings
4. Parks & Rec
5. Don't Trust the B (I know! Somehow this show has sneaked its way into my non-animated, half hour comedy top 5.)

I've just really come to love all the characters. None more so at the moment than Nick. That guy has been killing it all season long. If TV shows gave out MHP Awards (Most Hilarious Person), Nick would have my vote. Over on the Happy Endings review, Bill wrote that Max may be one of the funniest characters on TV. Personally, I would put Nick right there in the conversation. And it's not just "Adult Nick" that is serving up the funny, but his younger self, as well. The lemonade stand scene was HILARIOUS! "This is some watered down nonsense! You're some no good shysters!" Oh, young Nick, I'm glad you never changed.

But it's not just how much Nick is OWNING this season in the hilarity department (those park bench scenes with the wise and silent Asian guy almost had me in tears. "I like your hat. I like how it's not a team or a logo, it's just blue."), it's also the really fantastic and heartwarming friendship he has with Jess. Some other show would have put these two together already and that would have been a mistake. They've both admitted they have feelings for the other, but aren't yet in the right place to act on them. This slow and natural progression has been so refreshing to watch. Right now they're just very good friends. So, of course Nick was the one that had to get Jess out of her funk. Nick may not be her boyfriend, but he's the guy that has been there for her when she needed someone.

In the last episode we learned the reason Nick is afraid of relationships is their inherently uncertain nature. Just like Haunted Houses, they're scary and you usually have no idea what you're walking into. That's why the slow dance with Jess is perfect for Nick. He's seen the monsters that go bump in Jess's night and he's not scared of them. Theirs is a relationship that will have first been built upon a strong foundation of friendship. And when they do inevitably get together, because of the mature and cautious way the writers are approaching it, I think it's gonna last.
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!!!! i forgot to type RUINED! it would have RUINED the comedy.. lol brain works faster than my fingers
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I totally agree about Nick and Jess, It would have really the comedy of the show if they were to get togther early on. Hopefully tha wont happen for awhile. Also u mentioned what i beleived to be the best line of the episode about the asian guys hat! solid delivery!
also Psych isnt a half hour.. thankfully we get to enjoy its hilarity for a good full one :)
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I'm glad you liked the blue hat line as much as me! And if the writers can stretch the Nick and Jess relationship into the third season, their restraint will have been seriously impressive.

Also, I know Psych is a full hour. Read my second sentence a little more closely.
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Every time I read a comment of yours that includes a list or ranking, I feel compelled to do it too. It's almost as if you're an Alpha lister, and some of us (or maybe just me) latch on to your listing cycle.

So, my non-Archer non-Psych top 5 comedies:
1) Community
2) Happy Endings
3) The B in 23
4) New Girl
5) Always Sunny
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Haha! I love it! Great list (Always Sunny is just on the outside of my top 5). And thanks for not calling me a witch or a jack-faced butthole. :)
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Totally agree on #1 and #4.

This show's pilot, however, was so awful that I vowed never to watch it again. The fact that she started dating Ben Gibbard in 2008 (which I attribute as a guiding force behind DCFC's decision to give up on making great music) may also have influenced my decision.

Nonetheless, I'm willing to bury the hatchet and give this show another try. Would you recommend your favorite episode(s) that I should start with?

I will not, however, be persuaded to purchase another Death Cab for Cutie album.
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@DukeOfTed - I agree...mostly. My fave DCFC albums:
1 - The Photo Album
2 - Transatlanticism
3 - Postal Service (I mean that's pretty much DCFC + Dntel, right?)
4 - We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
5 - Plans
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Death Cab lost their way way before he got together with Zooey. In fact, the Zooey album (Codes and Keys) is way better than their last pre-Zooey album (Narrow Stairs)
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My favorite comedy wise is Secrets from Season 1. Displayed a good amount for Nick, Jess, Cece, and Schmidt. But the best is Winstons big tirade near the end.
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I say you just jump right into season 2. There hasn't been a bad episode yet. And if you like what you see, go back to season 1.
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Nice synopsis.
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Thanks!
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I say Cece and Robbie make it to the midseason finale.
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You are most likely right since it seems as though Cece has started displaying feelings for Schmidt again. However, maybe they could keep the character around in some capacity afterwards. He plays a good straight man to the antics of the rest of the characters.
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I really like your idea of keeping Robbie around for a bit after the break up. I thuroughly enjoy him an Schmidt on screen together and I'm sure he would mesh well together with the rest of the cast. I'm not sure how the writters could keep him on as that would be very unnatural, but if any show could find a way, it's New Girl... and also Community.
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Probably. Good hook for a finale.
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