New Girl "Models" Review: Turtle Power!

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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.

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