New Girl "Models" Review: Turtle Power!

New Girl S02E05: “Models”

New Girl got philosophical this week to answer that age-old question, “If we met each other today, would we still be friends?” Let's consider our nearest and dearest. We love ‘em, right? But if we’re honest, we realize that in many cases, our friendships came to be because we happened to click with the right person at the right time. I met one of my best friends in college (okay, I met A LOT of my best friends in college) and we eventually realized that we'd attended rival high schools that were, quite literally, right across the river from one another. If I had lived a block down the street, we would have gone to the same high school at the same time and probably known each other well before college. And we probably wouldn’t have been friends. “I wouldn’t have talked to you," that same friend has pointed out. "I would have thought you were a weirdo.”

I can’t even argue with that. I have an ongoing quest to track down every single copy of my senior yearbook and bury them deep underground. So, uh, former classmates, hit me up.

The point is, luckily we avoided meeting in high school, hit it off insanely well in college, and now, through the magic of technology, routinely terrorize each other despite the fact that he lives on the other side of the country. Yay for us.

However, even those wonderful relationships that are born at just the right time under the right circumstances have their rough patches, which is where New Girl picked up—Cece’s birthday coincided with Schmidt and Nick’s 10-year friendship anniversary and the age was beginning to show in both relationships.

Cece and Jess have always spent Cece’s birthday together. They’ve been friends since childhood and that’s just how they do birthdays. This year, Cece proposed hanging out with her model friends at a club. OF COURSE Jess was invited, but unfortunately, Jess was was both hurt by Cece’s move to shuck their tradition and, frankly, uninterested in spending time with Cece’s (admittedly horrible) model friends. She sucked it up and went, had the horrible time she knew that she would, and finally broke down in a rant about how years of modeling have apparently made Cece dumber.

Aaaand Cece heard it all. Ouch. She was, understandably, unamused by Jess’s declaration. It was rude on at least two levels and a little bit surprising coming from the usually peacekeeping Jess. Maybe Jess is still stressed about her unemployment.

Level one, that modeling is a dumb career for dumb people, was quickly quashed when Jess was forced to stand in for a hungover Cece during what I like to call the “Ford Fusion Commercial” portion of the episode. Talk about obnoxious product placement! It was as though someone physically spliced a car commercial into the episode as some sort of joke. Yet through it all, Jess stumbled around on stilettos and accidentally locked herself inside the car and generally just failed miserably at performing Cece’s “dumb” job. “Being a model is hard.” Lesson learned.

Level two concerned Jess’s inability to allow tradition to evolve with the times. It was Cece’s birthday and Cece wanted to go to a club instead of staying home and watching TV while pigging out on cake. Jess was certainly allowed to dislike the club and Cece’s other friends, but to take that unhappiness out on Cece on her birthday was, well, pretty rude. That doesn’t seem like something that should have to be explained to a grown woman, that Birthday Girl picks the party and everyone else accommodates, but Jess’s tantrum proved otherwise.

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Nick panicked over the state of his friendship with Schmidt. Where Jess felt like the unloved party during her fight with Cece, Nick was the opposite. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Schmidt anymore, but Schmidt’s dedication to their friendship had started to cross the line into creepy devotion (turndown service!), where Nick’s was more of an average attachment. Through flashbacks involving Nick with a mustache and Max Greenfield in a fat suit, we learned that Nick and Schmidt met when Schmidt randomly appeared in Nick’s dorm room munching on some ramen. They bonded at warp speed and have lived together ever since, but the Schmidt who showed up in Nick’s room isn't the same Schmidt who Nick currently lives with... and Nick noticed. Schmidt’s doting ways, culminating in an anniversary cookie, drove Nick into a sort of guilt-spiral as he realized that Schmidt seemed to care much, much more about their friendship than he did. Nick’s uncertainty caused Schmidt’s confidence in their bond to waver when Nick considered buying a turtle for companionship, and their episodic tiff led Jess to conclude that they’d watched porn together.... again... which they should really stop doing because it always ends awkwardly. Searching for a way to adequately mirror Schmidt’s anniversary gesture, even though his heart wasn’t really in it, Nick finally just bought Schmidt a cookie as well—and then followed up with a neurotic rant about how he TRIED to match Schmidt, he DID, REALLY, but he couldn’t and and and then everything clicked: “You’re the only turtle I want!”

Awww, you guys, that’s one of the most weirdly eloquent descriptions of friendship I’ve ever heard and it’s the sort of sentiment that elevates New Girl into the stratosphere of “better than average” sitcoms. It's silly and it was certainly meant to elicit a chuckle from we the viewers, but it works outside of the context of the episode’s situation. Go ahead and call up your BFF, let him know he’s the only turtle for you. He’ll get it. Eventually.



NOTES


1. One-liner of the night: “You wanna momma bird me a cookie?” It shouldn’t've been that funny, but because it came from Schmidt, it was.

2. Oh man, the BOOB SLAP. You’d think with all that padding you’d be invincible, like rockin’ goalie pads on your chest, but the girls are pretty delicate when you get down to it.

3. Is the communist monkey cartoon a real thing? I mean, I know that Soviet cartoons totally existed (duh) but does that specific one exist?

4. Someone needs to write a tie-in children’s book called If You Give a Nick a Cookie.

Comments (51)
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Come on, do you really have to ask if that was an ad from Soviet times? ;-)
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I loved all of the subtle shout-outs: 500 Days of Summer, Zooey's high school picture, Hello Giggles, and Our Idiot Brother. Just great.
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Cece's job IS dumb. the fact Jess couldn't do it the first time means she just needed more practice (with high heels, eyelashes, last-minute instructions, etc), but you don't need to be a model to stand on a platform and point at a car. It's not brain surgery, which, by the way, you can't learn with a few hours of practice. What makes a model good, however are her looks and grace. Of which Jess plenty.

The storyline with the two guys, and cookies, and crying because the other guy wasn't thinking about him, was completely ridiculous. I can't believe that kind of thing passes as humor these days.
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well I laughed my ass off!! YOU GAVE ME COOKIE GOT YOU COOKIE! I replayed that scene like 5 times haha good stuff
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I think this was the most funny New Girl episode, and possible the best one. I was dying when Jess was trying to stand on the car platform. Nadia was hilarious and the Russian cracker ad was perfect. It was also really sweet and feel-good.
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Hilarious episode and lots of actual character depth and development! I love how this show does what it does and the actors are amazing! The Flash back scenes were great!
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Please, tv.com , hire people who know the difference between a review and a summary.
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I really liked this episode! It kinda redeemed itself for me.. last season had way funnier Schmidt moments but this season the other ones are really stepping it up.
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Jess all modeled up (3rd picture in the article) looks a lot like Rachel Bilson.
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Yea. I didn't recognize her at all.

I clicked on the review, before watching the episode, because I was like... "Who's that hot lady guest-starring on New Girl??"
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I thought it was Anna Friel, from Pushing Daisies.
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I totally want an If You Give Nick a Cookie book. That would be amazing. I really enjoyed this episode of New Girl. This show in general does a really nice job of balancing the comedy with the emotional stuff and this episode was a great example of that. I wasn't home to watch it live because I work late nights at DISH, but my Hopper was all set up to record it for me. I turned it on as soon as I got home. I love this show and I would hate to be out of the loop with it, so it's nice to not have to worry about that.
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I don't know about everyone else but the car scene was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. I laughed so hard I started coughing and coughed so hard I thought I was gonna puke. My voice sounded funny all day because my throat was raw from laughing.
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New Girl is probably one of my favourite comedies ever. Finally people understand my humour. hahaha
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Somehow, after watching this episode, I'm still not convinced being a model is hard. I'm only convinced Steve Urkel being a model would be hard.
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his alternate personality was a model, Stefan! hehe
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This may have been my favorite episode of New Girl to date. If there was a better one overall, it wasn't as funny as this one. I'm quite surprised at how much I laughed during this episode; while I haven't disliked the show, there also haven't been too many episodes that I thought were hilarious -- this one was.

First laugh: "I so excited. I shake this thing mama gave me." Nadia's deadpan thing is hilarious (mostly because it hasn't been overdone yet).

Second: The blonde model laughing after Jess says: Oh, look. A lamp." after describing a table.

Bleh. I was going to try to list all the times I laughed, but there may be too many. The Nick-Schmidt flashbacks were awesome. I loved them.

Biggest laugh maaay have been the 8 seconds on Cece dry-heaving trying to stop herself from throwing up. Cece was great in this one.

Also, how is it that Zooey was so much better looking BEFORE her model-makeover. She looked hot, got a model makeover, then looked much worse (and not just because one of her eyes stayed half-closed). I think it was mostly the hair.
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"The table is round" - "And it's flat!" - "Yes! The table is round AND flat!"

Probably the best conversation I saw on TV this year.
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HAHA! I agree with everything, the flashbacks and the blonde model lamp thing it cracked me up :)) and also Cece not trying to throw up was really funny. I really liked how Jess dressed up for clubbing that looked way hotter than as a model, was kinda disappointed with that.
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I want more of Cece's Russian friend, she was hilarious in this episode.
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I laughed so hard when Jess was trying to be a model at the car show and I thought the whole ' you're the only turtle I want' was very touching :) I just love New Girl!
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3. u r kidding, right? it's obviously fake.

animation in Russia was always inspiration-based and not commercially driven. so majority of russian consumers associate animation with some form of art, and as a consequence animation was and is rarely used for advertising.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Russian_animation

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I'm not saying any any of what you said was wrong, but I wouldn't use wikipedia as a source to back up your argument. If users can put whatever they want on a website then it's really not credible. Just throwin that out there.
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Wikipedia is sometimes even used as an academic source. It is definitely not the most reliable source, but it is in a way peer reviewed. To state anyone can write anything he wants is purely wrong.
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I'm pretty sure she was kidding. At least I hope so.
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MONKEY CRACKER: The cracker for Comrade best!

FULL VERSION - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ7zLFfpsas

Guys, that oddly sexualized dancing Zooey-Monkey killed me! I literally laughed so hard I had to pause my "illegal" download. Everything about it was weirdly perfect: The deep voiced Russian guy singing, the monkey's eerie Zooey-like countenance, and that dance, oh that dance! The fake cracker commercial was so hilarious, the rest of the episode could have been absolute crap and I wouldn't even have cared. But of course it wasn't!

I think a few of us have been saying this since the beginning of the second season, but Nick has really become the funniest character on the show. For some reason I found his turtle gazing at the beginning of the episode absurdly funny ("You're unbelievable" - "Spectacular"). His "You gave me cookie, I got you cookie" rant was inspired. And his flashbacks with Schmidt made me laugh and miss Napster all at the same time. The writers have really been upping Nick's game.

Man, this episode was good! Now if you'll excuse me, I have a hankering for Marxist Moon-Pies.
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I don't think it would've been that hard to draw this ad one frame at a time instead of fake-Flashing it. Flash obviously did not exist as an animating tool in the 1960's. But very limited cheap-looking animation did. That is just as easy to reproduce, so why not do it right?
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Thanks for the link. So much greatness in only 28 seconds. The big blue eyes, the tiny monkey body twisting right and left when swinging on the vines, the constant creepy smile, the pelvic thrust dance (in front of a field of workers) and the tiny flappy hands.

And thinking about Jess' rendition of the dance at the club makes the whole thing even better.
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I love Nadia the weird Russian model. Her delivery is fantastic!
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"We go party tonight. Let dogs out. Catch Gypsie. Ha!"

Her schtick never gets old! And I'm sure she'd anti-semitically insult me for my use of the Yiddish word "schtick".
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Her deadpan "I'm so excited. I shake what my mama gave me" (or something along those lines) just killed me. I HAVE to see more of her!
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Her deadpan delivery makes her hilarious. "Make me a salad, bitch" and "Monkey, no!" were great too.
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But did it work? Do you want a Ford Fusion?
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No. But by the end of the episode I did want a cookie or a cracker.
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Hmm. I wanted a model.
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Man, I loved this episode! Not only did I laugh hysterically the whole time, I could totally relate. And, honestly, there is no good time to have the "you're different now and should love me more" fight. As a matter of fact, a birthday gone wrong seems like the perfect storm of pent up emotions. And the boob fight was hilarious.
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Observations:

- The Russian monkey+cracker commercial was hilarious! It cracked me up, pun intended. I watched it on repeat many times. The resemblance between Zooey and the monkey is uncanny. Whoever came up with that joke deserves a prize.

- It felt uncomfortable to watch the boob slapping, because apparently female boxers are at high risk of damaging their breast tissue in the fights. Punches to the breasts can damage the mammary glands. So I couldn't help feeling bad for Hannah's and Zooey's boobs, and worry that they would suffer.

- I think this episode broke the record in how much dialogue can revolve around cookies and crackers in one sitcom episode.

- Rebacca Reid (who plays Nadia) deserves much more work. Her list on IMDB is shamefully short.
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You TOTALLY took the fun out of something as awesome as boob-slapping.
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Thanks a lot for ruining boob slapping for me, dude! - Jk :)
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I loved the flashback to how Nick and Schmidt met..."He was just there!" Nick is just awesome and Schmidt says the wierdest and funniest things ever! Super funny episode!!
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om my god this is the funniest episode of New Girl ever the entire episode was very funny but two scenes were blowing you're brains out funny

1- Jess and the car i kept laughing through the entire secene i couldn't stop.

2- when Nick said you gave me cookie i gave you cookie over and over that was hilarious.

btw i think Nick is funnier that Shmidt it's not that Shmidt is not funny he is but Nick is awsome
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Zooey is very talented at seeming clumsy without over doing it.

Best. Episode. Ever. I don't think I stopped laughing once.

Do Not watch any other comedy after this. It will pale in comparison.
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Add your comment...No mention of Winston, what a crying shame. His whole speech about him always saying good night to Nick and Nick never saying it back ("Do you not want me to have a good night?") was oddly heartbreaking. I like how they balanced what Schmidt was currently going through against what Nick's childhood friend in Winston had long known. It was a great addition to the storyline and I'm sad that it didn't even get a footnote.



Speaking of sad and crying those moments when the guys called each other out on crying were brilliant.



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After Nick, personally, Winston is the best. I adore Shmidt, but in a different way. Winston needs to get some big episodes soon. Need some Winston time.
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I loved him in last episode with the imma hit you with a ski!! that was i think his funniest moment.
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I agree. I'm sorry Winston didn't get the nod he deserves and "Do you not want me to have a good night?" was sweet and kind of sad. I just wish Winston got some of his own stories as well. It seems like so much of his input is only in relation to everyone else's stories. :/
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Yes, and the whole Nanny thing could have been great but it only got brought back when he was trying to move on. I was hoping for some more stuff with him and his boss, that episode where they went to Yard Sales was very entertaining. Plus when he was singing Wicked driving down to Mexico. There have been all these great moments and its sad that his only real stories have been about him and Shelby or him and knowing how to play the bells.
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Meh. Winston is still mostly "the guy they put in the show because Damon Wayans Jr. has another job" to me. AND Damon's show is funnier.
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I thought the flashbacks with schdimt and nick were very hilarious!!!! Wow!

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There was some great set design work - especially the Napster poster on the college dorm wall.
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YES! Loved the Napster poster.
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