New Girl "Santa" Review: Happy Moon Festival!

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New Girl S02E11: “Santa”

'Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through New Girl, not a creature was stirring but— actually, that’s a lie. There was quite a bit of stirring as New Girl wrapped up its final episode of 2012 (and possibly ever if the world ends in T-minus nine days, but judging by what a flop Y2K was, I’m thinking that’s a negative).

Nick insulted his stripper girlfriend, basically by calling her his “stripper girlfriend” and implying that she was used to having sex in public because she’s a stripper. Stripper, Nick, not hooker, and even then, I’m pretty sure that there’s an extra fee for exhibitionism or something. Winston got a cranberry stuck in his ear after an argument over whether or not Santa Claus is real devolved into a berry bitter battle. Schmidt and Cece clashed over the events of last week’s Worst Second First Date ever, and all seemed lost. And Jess ran into Sam at Sadie and Melissa’s cookie party, where he claimed to want to get back with her. She immediately ran away and then later, did the very best impression of a trapped bird.

It all seemed rather dreary heading into the long winter’s hiatus, but three parties and (probably) a bunch of cocktails later, Nick and Angie were giving each other Christmas lapdances—with pointers from Schmidt, including “eye-contact”—and after unsuccessfully avoiding Sam the entire night, only to change her mind and track him down, Jess was back on the boyfriend express. Even Schmidt and Cece appeared to be calling a tentative truce, which was probably the biggest relief of the night because they were starting to get pretty bitter about their situation, or at least, that’s how it was starting to look. I cringed so hard when Schmidt appeared to give Cece’s gift to Random Hot Blonde that I thought my face was going to get stuck like that.

Oh, and somewhere in all of that dashing through the snowless streets of L.A., Sam found the time to use his doctorin’ skillz to take that pesky cranberry out of Winston’s ear.

“Santa” was almost as exhausting to watch as hitting three holiday parties in one night, but it was also just as satisfying as getting pulled over by Black Santa, mending a bad breakup, or happily shooting your eye out with that Red Rider BB gun just like your parents warned that you would.

It was only a matter of time before Nick’s NICKness ruined things between him and Angie. Despite his assertion that he was totally okay with Angie being a stripper, the fact that he kept obsessing over it betrayed his real sentiment. His issue wasn’t necessarily that he didn’t approve of her career choice so much as it was that Nick is unable to see the career as a choice. Nick is a bartender and sure, I know a few bartenders who sincerely love what they do and never want to do anything else, but that’s not the case with Nick. His job is just that, and he does it to pay the bills. He was eager to call himself an author when the subject of his zombie novel came up, despite not actually, as far as we know, ever making a dime off of his writing. It’s important to Nick to be proud of something he accomplished, but he failed to understand how his girlfriend could have that same feeling toward her stripping job. Angie isn’t ashamed to be “just” a stripper the way Nick is ashamed, from time to time, ashamed to be “just” a bartender. Nick dreams of moving past what he perceives to be a low station, but Angie seems to be pretty content with who she is and what she does.

Nick, to his credit, at least recognized that his Angie-logic was flawed, and with a little holiday magic in the form of wise, sage Jess sitting him down and calling him a chicken—while noting that the problem wasn’t Angie’s job itself or even her positive take on it, it was Angie's “fearlessness” that intimidated him—Nick reverted to his usual clueless and curmudgeonly state.

With Nick booted off the Island of Misfit Roommates, Jess made an escape for herself. After initially avoiding Sam, then hoping to repel him by pretending to date Winston (who didn’t realize he was part of an elaborate con due to his cranberry-infused deafness), Jess was forced to face Sam after Winston regained his hearing and “dumped” her. Jess refused to take Sam back because she didn’t want to be led on again. She made a point of walking away from Sam this time around in order to reinforce the idea that she was different now and she wouldn’t be hurt again.

And then a traffic stop by a man in blue who bore a striking resemblance to the man in red turned out to be the sort of holiday miracle all the cheesy movies airing at this time tend to be so rife with. Jess, who despite swerving across several lanes of the road was not actually drunk, plainly told her story to Officer Santa who, simply put, believed her and sent the gang on their way with “Sometimes, people tell the truth.”

Despite her determination to be a newer, tougher, less-gullible woman, Jess took the cop’s words to heart and gave into her lingering feelings for Sam. With Jess giving into her trusting nature and Schmidt failing to maintain any kind of grudge against Cece due to his feelings for her—“I didn’t really give the bracelet away. I’d never do that to you.” (Aww!)—I’m guessing Nick’s days of brave badassery are numbered, but we’re going to have to wait until next year to find out. You know, if we skip the apocalypse or whatever.


What did you think of New Girl's crazy Christmas party shenanigans?



NOTES


– One-liner of the night: It’s not really a one-liner, but the gang’s improvised caroling at Sam’s hospital resulted in awkwardly charming hilarity, complete with Schmidt determinedly adding menorah references to the holiday mash-up. Also “White Anglo Saxon Winter Privilege Night” and “All wreaths. No trees.” It was a very Schmidtty New Girl Christmahannukah.

– And the award for best cookie-decorating skills goes to...

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