New Girl Season 3 Premiere Review: Fun With Paradise Nick and Jess

New Girl S03E01: "All In"

Oh New Girl, you slay me. That was a pretty meta season premiere. I know, I know, gettin' meta tends to be a love or hate thing, but the way New Girl seemed to eagerly anticipate and embrace all of our questions as they inevitably arose was no accident. The show knows exactly what it's doing. Pairing up your endgame couple halfway through the second season might seem premature in the face of non-sucky ratings, you know? It is, and New Girl was right there with us, standing in front of the door to the loft thinking, "Now what are we supposed to do?"


Way back at the beginning of time, when New Girl first premiered, lots of people shared the not-entirely-unfounded concern that what we were witnessing was basically The Zooey Deschanel Show. Sure, there were three dudes, but they mostly existed just there to give Jess someone to bounce her quirkiness off of—plus, well, it's hard to move a story along when you don't have any other characters for your protagonist to talk to. Knowing what we know now, those of us who side-eyed half of the first season (guilty as charged) are aware of the error of our (okay, my) ways and embrace New Girl as the high-larious ensemble show that it is—but a fear that the show will somehow lose that inclusiveness remains. Winston, in particular, has suffered from a spotlight deficiency in the past—and I'm not sure that featuring him almost exclusively as "the batshit crazy" roommate is any better when Nick, Jess, and Schmidt all get to revel in their respective big, important relationship stories—but it's certainly a start. 

And let's face it, batshit crazy Winston makes you laugh until you pee a little. 


When we left off last spring, Nick and Jess had ditched Cece's failed wedding to suck face as they drove into their quirky and no-doubt-more-complicated-than-we-initially-believed-it-to-be future. Cece and Shevrang had called off their sham of a union so he could marry Taylor Swift, which left Schmidt in the awkward position of being fawned over by two women between whom he genuinely couldn't—and still can't—decide when it comes to choosing one to date exclusively. His situation with Elizabeth and Cece echoes Jessica's similar predicament with Doctor Sam in the early days of the S.S. Nessy. Deep down, I think we can all agree that after Nick and Jess, Cece and Schmidt are New Girl's OTHER "endgame" couple—and yet, Elizabeth is no cardboard placeholder girlfriend. She's different than Cece, but she's not a "bad" girlfriend" by any means, and it's readily apparent that Schmidt enjoys spending time with her. As of this writing, my personal allegiances are equally divided between Cece and Elizabeth, and I can honestly say that even with my acceptance of Schmidt and Cece as the probable upcoming sequel to Jess and Nick, I'm not passionately pro-Cece and anti-Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a complex, interesting, and fully-developed alternative to Cece, which makes her relationship with Schmidt just as enjoyable to watch as the one he once had, and may have again, with Cece. (You know, up until he was conveniently douched up to pave the way for Nessy's formal launch. but whatever. Last year's holiday episode was still totally PRESH and I still need Jess's coat in my life.)


Nick and Jess fled to Mexico on a whim to avoid dealing with real life back at the loft—or more specifically, to avoid the distractions that living with Schmidt and Winston might impose on them, up to and including those of the exclusively romantic flavor. I loved how, as soon as Jess said "Hey, remember when we lived in a loft and had all those problems?" the phone rang. Jess and Nick can't just hide from the challenges that will inevitably pop up in this new phase of their relationship—we know that, the writers know that, and by the end of "All In," Jess and Nick had come to know that. After a brief stay in Mexican "resort prison," they're finally ready to re-enter the real world, where they have to actually work at things. 


The S.S. Nessy's course is plotted for the foreseeable future on New Girl, but most ships are incapable of travel without a highly skilled crew, and any worries about the terribly shiny and squee-worthy Nick-and-Jess adventures overshadowing the stories of their roommates were quickly sunk with a line from Jess that translates to both a literal meaning and a gross, mushy, touchy-feely one.

Jess calmed Paradise Nick's panicky butt with, "There's no 'us' without Schmidt and Winston," which is true in the sense that New Girl would be a drastically different (and arguably less-awesome show) without them, but the notion is also revealing of the esteem with which Jess, and New Girl's writers, have for Winston and Schmidt. We can scream and flail over Jess/Nick week in and week out—and you know I'mma be right there with you—but at the end of the day, New Girl is a weird little show about four roommates who each bring something important to the table and enable the others to be the best people they can be. Case in point? Schmidt's frantic calls to AWOL Nick. Schmidt knew that dating Cece and Elizabeth at the same time was wrong, but he needed some guidance from his best friend in order to sort out his feelings. His inability to connect with Winston was played for laughs, but like so many points on New Girl, underneath all the lulz was a heartfelt story about a guy who needed help from his friend... and unfortunately, Winston just couldn't fill that role in the way Schmidt needed. That's not a point against Winston or Schmidt, btw, that's just how some friendships work. 


ANYWAY, despite that unfortunate passport-shredding incident, the gang made it back from our neighbor south of the border relatively unscathed, and IDK about you but I am "all in" for the impending awesomeness of Season 3! Bust out the monkey-shaped pinatas! 


NOTES FROM THE DOUCHEBAG JAR

– Quote of the night (OMG SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM): "I'm not just a plug with her... I'm also a socket." —Schmidt

– Why was Winston wearing a sweatshirt as pants? Was it some sort of reference to this guy? You know what? I don't want to know. 

– Poor Schmidtty spent a lot of time being disgusted this week. "DISGUSTING GARBAGE TRASH PERSON!"

– Hopes and dreams for the rest of the season? I'm crossing my fingers that Nick/Jess doesn't devolve into a cycle of breaking up and making up. C'mon, New Girl, you're better than that! 


What'd you think of the season premiere?

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Feb 19, 2014
I am finally catching up with watching this series, that I thought had a fantastic season 2. This episode was a big let down for me, I'm afraid: I couldn't disagree more with this review. I was so disappointed. The story was awful. It was like the scriptwriters had no idea what to do next and were stalling. Every line of the episode was over-acted, with the characters becoming caricatures of themselves. I hope the rest of the season will be better!
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Sep 20, 2013
Crazy Winston is one of my favorite characters on TV. Everything he said this week was funny.
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Sep 19, 2013
Winston as always my favorite, I couldn't stop laghing with his puzzel problem. And I have to say, Jess looks beautiful with that tan.

Oh, and I vote for Elizabeth, it is time for normal people to be chosen.


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Sep 19, 2013
Nice comeback episode. And is it me or the scene between Winston, Cece and Schmidt had a Friends' "I'm Joey, I'm disgusting (...)" feel to it?
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Sep 19, 2013
Loved the first episode...but you know what i miss...Jess being weird and fun...she is becoming more serious as the series move along...she has not those weird things she says or does anymore...

same go's for schmidt, he always knew what he wanted in the series, this episode, he seems annoyed, lost....

Winston rules...Some moment it felt like he was Jess in the first season...the way he did his puzzle thing, weirdness....

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Sep 21, 2013
i dunno i thought they made Jess unbearable at first and almost wish the show was just the guys. toning jess down has been better.
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Sep 23, 2013
That is true also...i liked the weirdness she had in the first season...i just hope that this whole relationship thing, doesn't make her to serious...that would be boring....

What did you think of Schmid????
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Sep 25, 2013
nah jess and nick are both still goofy.

schmidt was funny but the fallout for not choosing is going to be horrible. or maybe both girls will be mad but then decide to forgive him and he'll end up right back at having to choose between them
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Sep 19, 2013
Both New Girl and The Mindy Project shows have an odd-numbered cast. New Girl needs a sixth member, which is a young woman character as both Jess and CeCe type. The Mindy Project needs an eighth member, which is a cranky old man doctor character to keep Beverly from both getting isolated and desolated.

New Girl is still in the lead, but it looks like both The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine are tied second place right now, but later on, they will exchange places from second to third or third to second.
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Sep 19, 2013
I'm yet to be convinced that New Girl can sustain Jess and Nick's relationship (Nessy, really? I hadn't heard that term before) without becoming tedious and repetitive. All this episode did was purposefully delay the question of how they'll work as a couple in the context of the show, despite, as you said MaryAnn, referencing it directly.

'Nick and Jess fled to Mexico on a whim to avoid dealing with real life back at the loft—or more specifically, to avoid the distractions that living with Schmidt and Winston might impose on them', but these are all things that await them in the coming episodes, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Did anyone else find Schmidt really really annoying in this episode? He used to be so lovable, and while Nick overshadowed him in Season 2, I was hoping Schmidt would bound back, but alas. Not sure if I care for his dating-two-women storyline either, it's going to be dragged out for a while, and I'm assuming Jess will get involved at some stage, her being Cece's best friend and all. It's just not something I'm interested in watching, maybe because I really don't care if Schmidt ends up with either of these women.

And while I thought Schmidt was annoying, Winston just has to be one of the worst supporting characters on a sitcom that the writers are trying to force to be a main one. ; I'm not sure that featuring him almost exclusively as "the batshit crazy" roommate is any better when Nick, Jess, and Schmidt all get to revel in their respective big, important relationship stories—but it's certainly a start. And let's face it, batshit crazy Winston makes you laugh until you pee a little. ' No. No it's not. The problem I have with Winston is that he's just crazy because he can be, or more importantly, the writers need him to be. The other three leads are all quite manic in their own individual ways, but their behaviour directly links to their character - Winston is just ridiculous for no other reason than he needs to be just as entertaining as the other characters on the show.

I really wouldn't know where to start to fix him, other than some long overdue character development, but at this stage I dislike him so much I can't imagine I'd even want to see that from him. Perhaps they should try to ground the character some more and then build him up again from that. But storylines of his own? No thank you, not until he's a drastically different character.
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Sep 19, 2013
I reaaaally hope they are going to give Winston a slightly bigger role this season. I'd be lying if I don't enjoy the Crazy-Winston but seriously..

Lamorne Morris can do so much with so little, it makes me wonder what he can do when Winston is given a proper storyline.
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Sep 19, 2013
i was conga lining in my head all day yesterday (since I still can't put weight on my leg).

This was my first thought while watching the episode (after *squee* of course): PUZZLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Any small doubt I had about Winston being my long-lost imaginary BFF went completely out the window with that one. I just love him. And of COURSE he's color blind. In all seriousness though, what color DOES Winston think he is?

Nessy made it official pretty quickly there. Although the uncertainty of what to do next and the worry about how well the relationship could succeed once the pressures of life were factored back in more than made up for that. And how freaking adorable was Nick????

I hope the Schmidt/CeCe/Elizabeth thing doesn't get dragged out TOO long, although I'm not seeing an ending where this doesn't just blow up in Schmidt's face.

All in all, it was a very solid episode. Not perfect, but still so much stronger than a lot of things on TV.
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Sep 19, 2013
First, that coat looks totally unremarkable to me. Second, it isn't available anymore. Third, Oh my holy jesu--you better be prepared to do some pretty nasty things to get a coat that costs that much. Describe them. Slowly. With smooth jazz.
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Sep 19, 2013
But then I can have the coat, right? You can keep my dignity. I just want the coat.
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Sep 19, 2013
Some day you're going to make some rich dude a very happy man. But his wife won't be happy at all.
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Sep 19, 2013
The way I see it season 1 was Schimdt's season, he was the character we all fell in love with through a standout performance by Max Greenfield. Last season Jake Johnson stepped it up big time and made Nick the best character of the season. This season it is time for Winston to get his time in the spotlight! He has always been hilarious, but from what I saw in this episode this season is going to be even better! I am really excited!!!
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Sep 19, 2013
I could not agree with you more! The best parts of season one were Schmidt's hilarity, and then in season two the writer's started exploring just how weird Jake Johnson could get as Nick...ah, Pepperwood! But seeing how Winston stole this episode, comedy-wise, I'm hoping season 3 will be his season.
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Sep 19, 2013
This may be too deep but i thought that jess and nick were trying to sought our there weird and wonderful relationship puzzle and come to terms with you have to accept life and the quirky people in it, just as winston was trying to figure out the puzzle and in the end having to come to terms with his not good at puzzles and is colour blind, but he still tried and that shows he's come to terms with his own relationship with himself. OR i could be completely wrong and looking too deep into it. but does it make sense? I loved this episode
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Sep 19, 2013
That makes tons of sense! I don't think it's really possible to get *too* deep. Anyone who tells you different is mistaken :D.

I loved this episode too!
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Sep 19, 2013
Thank you, i love your articles!
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Sep 19, 2013
This was exactly what we excpected. Still very fun. I think I will watch New Girl until I die.
On a sidenote: When Nick said, Winston and Schmidt go crazy without him, I feared we would be in for some silliness, but their problems were played out very nicely.
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Sep 18, 2013
Good episode
-Always love it when Winston goes subtly insane
-Schmidt wasnt great, solid not great
-Nick and Jess being in a relationship hasnt really changed their characters yet, which is good

I'm looking forward to Damon Wayans appearances, i think Coach and Winston will bond over annoyance of Schmidt (which hopefully leads to a Winston prank episode)
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Sep 19, 2013
Subtly insane? That was 'batshit crazy' insane.
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Sep 20, 2013
It was subtle for me
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Sep 18, 2013
So glad that New Girl is back. I lost it watching Winston trying to put forwards and backwards puzzle pieces together. Totally saw the Schmidt storyline coming. Only a mature and secure person could have made that choice - perhaps someday for our dear Schmidt. Love Nick and Jess. I love how they talk about everything. Acknowledging that their situation is wonderful and horrible is dead on - just like in any relationship. I just appreciate that the writers are going to go for it. Can't wait for the whole "I like you so much" to turn into "I love you". That is going to be dramedy at its best!
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Sep 18, 2013
Somebody needs to review The Mindy Project too! It's just as good as New Girl :D

But yeah really funny episode - love Winston!
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Sep 18, 2013
Really disappointed.
They had a whole summer to figure out what to do with Winston and clearly didn't. All those pointless making-him-completely-retarded scenarios are making me wanna rewind. I'm sure they could've given him a proper storyline instead of time-filling crap, really.
Also, I'm pretty sure the whole 'him sleeping with Elizabeth' thing won't be mentioned again (thank god, cause it was absurd not in a comedy way) and even if it is, the Winston stealing panties and all reminded me waaay too much of Joey covering for Monica and Chandler, pretending to steal underwear and making porn.
Other than that it was fun but way too over the top for my taste.
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Sep 18, 2013
Great comparison! I loved the whole Joey-knows-and-everybody-else-doesn't storyline.
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Sep 19, 2013
I have a feeling this storyline is already going there. Obviously Winston already knows Schmidt is seeing both Cece and Elizabeth (even though there wasn't a scene in which the pair explicitly discuss it). Nick will find out soon enough, and that'll test his relationship with both Jess and Schmidt. He could tell Jess, but that would be betraying Nick. And by not telling her, he's betraying their trust and their relationship.

I don't really want this to be the case, because it means the storyline is predictable if I can see it coming this early on, but it really does seem like the natural progression of the whole storyline this season, with Jess and Nick's relationship etc. Sidenote: This prediction also highlights how Winston will continue to never have anything important to do.
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Sep 18, 2013
New Girl was the best out of Brooklyn 99 and Mindy mostly because of Winston.
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Sep 18, 2013
I've actually managed to forget what a good comedy feels like during the summer. Thanks for reminding me, New Girl!

Winston!
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Sep 18, 2013
This show has never been able to figure out what to do with Winston. First they ignored him and gave him insignificant and detached stories (remember when he was a nanny?). Then they figured out that he is hilarious when he gets over-excited. Guy-who-loves-pranks-but-is-terrible-at-pranks fit him so well, and one of my favourite moments of last season's finale was Winston in the vent. They tried to fit that in last night with puzzle-lover Winston, but to me, it felt forced more often than not.
I fear he's turning into comic relief and I want him to be deeper than that. The closest he's ever gotten was the truncated storyline between him and Brenda Song's character (I actually liked Song on New Girl), but even that was completely overshadowed by the budding Nick-Jess relationship.
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Sep 18, 2013
Hm, with this show I'm at both extremes, I either love the episode, or hate the episode. There's just no inbetween. With that said, I have to say that I didn't enjoy the premiere one bit. Here's why:

I hate Schmidt. the guy is a tool, and he's annoying me 24/7. everytime they show his face, I cringe a little. I think that Winston has been terribly unfunny too, but there was this one episode where I was in love with his character because him and Jess (Zoye's) incredible chemistry together! I can't remember exactly, which episode it was, but it was something concerning a bathtub and they had one on the roof. that episode was truly hilarious. I just wish more time was spent on Jess' relationship with Winston and NOT Schmidt.

Also, I'm not so fond of the whole Nick and Jess thing. they were silly in this one but not fun or funny in any way. I like grumpy Nick. I like when he's always down and he hates the world, and he is always yelling. LOL

Hopefully, things will improve. This show has it's ups and downs.
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Sep 19, 2013
The episode you're thinking of is 2x10 "Bathtub" :) Winston and Jess wanted a bathtub and they filled it on the rooftop, but it ended up falling down the ceiling and ruining Schmidt's suits so they ganged up to pretend they had been stolen by meth-heads, and you're absolutely right, their chemistry in that episode was great! A lot of funny moments between Winston and Jess!
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Sep 19, 2013
ah thank you! that was by far my favorite episode on this show. XD
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Sep 19, 2013
This comment has been removed.
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Sep 18, 2013
i'm so glad winston overshadowed everyone this episode he totally deserves more screen time and it was used perfectly in this episode
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Sep 18, 2013
It was pretty hilarious... The puzzle obsession for some reason was genius as was how they dealt with the Jess & Nick are together ie they both go mental in Mexico... And loved to see doucheSchmidt back double timing Cece & Elizabeth which of course is going to end really badly for him... I'd say a bit frantic but New girl is in good form
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Sep 18, 2013
Winston owned this episode. Did anyone notice that he was stabbed in the arm when he opened the door? And hoodie as pants should have made it to New York Fashion week!
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Sep 18, 2013
I loved the premiere, it was so funny. Winston doing the puzzle was hilarious.
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I can't wait to see what is going to happen this year. I am starting to understand why Nick is a little worried because look what happened to him after his breakup with whatshername (seriously I don't even remember it now) that almost made him leave for good in the first season finale. I understand why he is worried what would happen should Jess break up with him, I don't think he would even make it because he actually loves her. I hope that we don't go down that kind of a path.
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Sep 18, 2013
Caroline! Yeah she really messed him up, I consider her the reason he is so emotionally retarded now. Well, I mean he's unstable sure but she messed with his head pretty bad. Dammit Caroline!
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Sep 18, 2013
I can't believe there was no mention of Winston and his puzzle, nor his favorite "brown" shoes in your review. Winston had a storyline in this episode. He gave Schmidt rules for being his friend and one of them was "Don't lie to me." We know why you shouldn't lie to Winston, he is horrible when confronted with lies. And because of Schmidt's lies, Cece now thinks that Winston has her panties sewn into his own. How do you even come up with something like that? She also thinks that Winston slept with Elizabeth, which will make for another awkward moment later in the season.

And the best part that you didn't mention was the fact that there was a pecan in the puzzle at the end of the episode! At first it was an almond, then it became a pecan.
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Sep 18, 2013
This show started losing it as soon as Nick & Jess got together in my opinion. The first season and a half was really funny and it was refreshing to see men and a woman sharing a house with no romantic ties.
I didn't manage more than a chuckle this episode. I came late to New Girl and just recently caught up. Watching more than one episode a week is probably not the way to view this show with Schmidt's weird pronunciations going from funny to verging on the annoying, and the sheer lack of anything for Winston to do becoming more and more obvious.
I was looking forward to new weekly installments but now I'm not at all excited about the direction of the show. The writers seem to have themselves trapped by Nessy.
Lay off the relationship stuff and bring back the funny, this was a great comedy not drama.
Coffee inspired rant over, sorry.

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Sep 19, 2013
My verdict's still out on Nessy, I myself don't think I've seen enough to gauge an accurate picture of how the show will look and feel with them as a couple.

As for your other points, I don't disagree with them in regards to this episode, 'Schmidt's weird pronunciations going from funny to verging on the annoying, and the sheer lack of anything for Winston to do becoming more and more obvious.' Schmidt was annoying in this episode, his traits were once endearing but I'm afraid they'll become tedious. As for Winston, the way he acted in this episode is a clear indication that the writers have absolutely no idea what to do with him, and they seem to have settled that 'batshit crazy' as MaryAnn put it, will do (but it certainly doesn't).
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Sep 18, 2013
Totally get your concern. I think a lot of us share it. Putting them together this early was a bold move. But it's a move that was always going to be made. Fans were "calling" for Nick and Jess's eventual Nessy-ness by the second episode of the series. Not because they're weird shippers (like me), but because it was heavily implied. So there was always going to be a trap.

Maybe they have a plan. I've heard of TV dramas hashing out a rough guideline for the entire series before the first frame is shot, but not so much for comedies. Would it be crazy to think the writers aren't just winging it, but know exactly what they want to do? .... Probably.

I don't deny the dubiousness of Nessy, but for me New Girl has been consistently funny throughout its first two seasons, even with the relationship stuff. Sometimes especially with the relationship stuff. Let's hope for the best and remind ourselves even if Nessy inexplicably makes the show worse or less funny, it can never be as bad as the 4th season of Community.

(Okay, I've really got to move beyond this incessant 4th season bashing. Harmon is back now, I can let it go... am I typing this?)
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Sep 18, 2013
Ah man! There are no words to describe the opening episode. They continue right from they left and connect everything just in first five seconds - WONDERFUL.

The best part of it, Jess spend entire episode in a Sari and she was looking great. Cece is in big trouble and how will she ever see Winston again! They both are going to be an awkward-at-best item for several episodes I think.

And I don't even want to run any thoughts about who will be Schmidt's girl in the end because personally I feel sorry for either of them in either cases for the moment. I mean, it is Schmidt we are talking about.
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Sep 18, 2013
"I feel sorry for either of them in either cases for the moment."

Dude, exactly! It's not like one is horrible and the other is awesome. They're both awesome for different reasons!
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Sep 18, 2013
Wow! I swear I wrote my comment before I read this fantastic review. You get me, MaryAnn.
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Sep 18, 2013
Oh FringeFanatic, you complete me.
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Sep 18, 2013
:D
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Sep 18, 2013


Was this tremendous show really off the air for a little over 4 months?!

It feels weird to write that when there has been a very noticeable New Girl shaped void in my Tuesdays over the summer (I somewhat worryingly got by writing NG fan fiction with the Douchebag Jar as the narrator, whom, as it happens, hates the name "Douchebag Jar", and repeatedly points out it was originally a pickle jar before all this douchebag business). I'll say this though, once we were back in the car with the laughing, lovestruck and lascivious couple, beginning the next chapter right where New Girl left things at the end of season 2, it felt like the show had never left.

It was just an effortlessly seamless transition. Somehow this episode simultaneously felt like every other good episode (which is basically EVERY episode), and also a solid season premiere. There was no needless buildup and premiere-itis (the better looking, albeit excessively freckled cousin of pilot-itis), yet at the end it also felt like a turning of the page to new, exciting and slightly scary horizons. Such as...

NESSIE IS ON LIKE A CRYPTID LAKE MONSTER WHO IS AS EQUALLY FICTITIOUS AS DONKEY KONG!

(Question: How are we all spelling the Nick+Jess shipping name? I alternate between "Nessie" and "Nessy" to keep both the Loch Ness Monster and ship puns in play. They're not as consummate as "Schmece", but they work alright.)

Of course we knew Nick and Jess were going to be an item at the heartwarming end of season 2, but now it's happening for realz, and everyone knows that when "z" is at the end of "real", it means shit is about to get serious... or needlessly zany, either one.

I don't WANT to be uneasy, but I'm one of these weird people who gets irrationally invested in fictional TV relationships (there's a name for this, but for the life of me I can't remember what it is. Will-they-or-won't-they-ing? ... No, that's not right. It'll come to me), and I've been worried for some time about the sustainability of Nessy. TV relationships are a tricky business, especially ones with seasons of tender and loving URST buildup (a la: Ross+Rachel & Niles+Daphne). Behind every corner there is an iceberg just itching to fuck it all up. Too soon and you've got the colossally contrived cycle of breakup/makeup doom that was Ross+Rachel. Too late and you've got Niles+Daphne, where interest wanes until you don't even care anymore. It's a razor-thin wire that makes a state of balance supremely difficult to achieve.

I know I've written about these concerns in previous comments (as have many others), but the dynamic of New Girl has functioned with such beautifully ordered chaos, I desperately don't want anything to screw it up.

I don't know what's going to happen. Do we have a Ross+Rachel or a Chandler+Monica situation on our hands? (And can I ever escape the "Friends" comparisons? I'm a "Seinfeld" guy, dammit!) All signs point to Chonica. The indestructible love table, Jess's eerily Nick-like dad, Nick's helplessness coupled with Jess's nurturing character. And let's be honest, they're freakin' adorable together with enough sexual chemistry and compatibility to burn, but I just don't know what these writers have in store for us. What I do know is they've managed to deftly avoid any dickish icebergs up to this point, while maintaining a marvellous level of freshness and originality in the marquee relationship. So despite my OCD tendencies, I trust whatever direction the writers decide to go in will be the right one, or at least, the funny one.

Although, I very much appreciated how the whole issue was quickly brought up with Paradise Nick's (who looked like he just crash landed on a mysterious island) fear of going back to the loft and justifiably worrying that the strain of living together would ruin his relationship with Jess before it even began. That was a clever way to alleviate the audiences apprehensions within the context of the show, while addressing and acknowledging the elephant in the writing room.

So what I found quite encouraging was Jess's touching and well timed Winger Speech at the end of the episode (ah, it feels so good to be able to use Community references without sobbing afterward - I love you, Harmon!).

"Listen to me! We're a family. You can't choose who you love, sometimes they choose you. And sometimes it's just because you got a really great deal on craigslist. I got a really great deal on craigslist, I got all of you. There is no us without Schmidt and Winston. It's gonna be really, really hard, but so what, Nick? So what? I believe in us. I'm all in."

Awwww, Jess! You make me want to start living with three random people in a ridiculously beautiful top-floor loft that would be far too expensive for Nick to even pay 1/4 of the rent. For realz.

Strange shipping worries aside, this was a hilarious premiere that for me signalled the unofficial inauguration of the Fall TV season. Welcome back, New Girl! Here's hoping for another monkey cracker commercial!

RANDOM NOTES:

- Do I focus too much on Nick and Jess? I think I focus too much on Nick and Jess. There are others characters, FF!

- Speaking of other characters, Winston KILLED it this episode! "Hey you guys, I've been doing a lot of thinking and I know everyone's going through a lot, but I think it's time for me to start a puzzle!" By far my biggest laugh of the night! The first season highlighted Schmidt. The second season established Nick as one of the funniest characters on TV. But I'm hoping season three is...

THE SEASON OF WINSTON! Puzzles and pranks galore!


- Paradise Jess was SUPER hot! Like an extremely attractive homeless hippie or a ruggedly sexy genie. Let's go with the sexy genie.

- You're an idiot, Schmidt! Not even the Douchbag Jar (sorry, sorry, PICKLE Jar) is enough penance for lying to Cece and Elizabeth.

- In case I didn't emphasize it enough, this episode was HILARIOUS!

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Sep 19, 2013
Um, I wanna read Douchebag Jar narrated fan fiction!
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Sep 20, 2013
Sample below!
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Sep 18, 2013
I hope we see more of "Prank Sinatra" Winston, he's the best!
I think the consensus about Nick/Jess ship name is "Ness".
P.S.: are you for real about the fan-fiction? If so, please link us to it! I wonder what are the douchebag jar's thoughts on the loft's shennanigans...
P.S.2: I missed reading your reviews!
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Sep 20, 2013
"Have you ever mused back at your life and wondered where or when it all went so wrong? Have you ever wished for more? Something greater. Something with meaning. Something that would allow you to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and not see a hollow, opaque reflection glaring back at you...

Like a candy jar. Or a nails/screws jar. Maybe a refashioning into a makeshift flower vase of some sort. I mean, I didn't expected to be a pickle jar my entire life. Eventually I was going to run out of pickles. That's just math. I had hopes. Dreams even. People say jars can't dream, but those are just stupid "can" people. But I will honestly say I never, NEVER saw a docuhe like Schmidt coming.

My name is Douchebag Jar, and this is my story..."

Just a taste. :)
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Sep 22, 2013
Oh what a tease! Did you just come up with that on the spot? Because if you didn't, you will have to show us the rest of this fic!
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Sep 18, 2013
I love that Winston starts a puzzle by taking off his pants. And when Schmidt finds out Winston is color blond he asks him what color he thinks he (Winston) is and Winston doesn't have an answer.
And of course I am rooting for CeCe. No offense to the actress playing Elizabeth, she just needs to go. Let this year be about Jess and Nick figuring out who they are surrounded by the regular crazies and Schmidt trying to get CeCe to forgive him when she realizes he was still with Elizabeth.
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Sep 18, 2013
Only Schmidt could pull off this "dating two girls at once" storyline without it feeling as old as it is.
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Staff
Sep 18, 2013
Right? I keep feeling like I should hate the storyline out of principle...but I just can't and I don't.
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Sep 18, 2013
Loved it!!!!! I am so happy this is back!!!!! Winston is so odd.
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Sep 18, 2013
Loved it!!! I'm so happy New Girl is back. Winston was awesome this episode, I'm glad they are finally giving him more storylines and more funny one liners. Plus the pull over as pants and the Cece underwear bit were hilarious. Schmidt was fantastic as always and I love the Nick and Jess relationship more than ever. I don't want to wait for next week for more New Girl.
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Sep 18, 2013
Pretty good season premiere! It was pretty funny and I guess it's setting up what this season's gonna be about: how Nick's and Jess' relationship affects the loft dynamic, how Schmidt continues his journey into maturity and how Winston makes puzzles, I guess? Please please please give Winston some well deserved storyline. I mean, Lamorne was hilarious as usual, and it's amazing how much he can do with so little he's given. But I think Winston deserves to be more than just the comic relief (hey, remember when he used to be the voice of reason?)
So many good lines!! Winston was the funniest! Will he be this season's MVP? (In my opinion, Schmidt stole the show in the first season and Nick did it in the second). It was a fun episode, but not stellar. Good start, though.
Highlights:
  1. Winston wearing the hoodie as pants.
  2. "Nick's my bitch"
  3. "Hey you guys, I've been doing a lot of thinking and I know everyone's going through a lot but I think it's time for me to start a puzzle!"
  4. “If those shoes are brown, what color do you think you are?”
  5. "Sayonara masturbation for the rest of my life.
  6. "OH MY GOD! PULL OVER! THAT PIÑATA IS SHAPED LIKE A MONKEY!
  7. “I’m not just a plug with her. I’m also a socket”
  8. “I just looked down and thought this girl must be wearing sneakers with shoelaces. And those shoelaces must be tied together because this girl is straight tripping..yo.”
  9. "What's it gonna look like? The picture’s on the box! It’s a Japanese garden!”
  10. “I needed your underwear… to sew… into my underwear”
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Sep 18, 2013
The season of Winston! Couldn't agree more. The show may be centred around Jess, but in the past two seasons both Schmidt and Nick have tucked the limelight under their arms and humorously walked away with it. Is this Winston's year? I can't wait for his interaction with Coach. Whichever way the writers have him react is sure to be hilarious.

And number 3 made me laugh so hard I had to rewind my legally obtained download!
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Sep 18, 2013
Oh, and I forgot Schmidt's: "Just wait in the car. You have to deal with this disgusting trash person garbage child!" Priceless!
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Sep 18, 2013
Well, hello there, my friend! I wondered about Coach as well! How will he fit in the show? I don't know about you but I trust the show's writers so much. Lamorne is hilarious, and I really do hope they give him an interesting story arc other than puzzles. I mean, all his bits with the puzzle had me in stitches but he deserves more than that, right? I'm calling it, it's Winston's season!
And about that line: he was still in the stupor from the badger's bite, he delivered that line in the same way he delivered the line in the season's finale: "Hey, bartender, can you call an ambulance? I'm about to bleed out".
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Sep 20, 2013
Hello back! It's feels good to be commenting with you again!

Winston killed me this episode. I wasn't kidding when I said that first puzzle line forced me to rewind my download. I think I'm one of the few people who was RELIEVED when Damon Wayans Jr. left New Girl for Happy Endings. Lamorne's understated yet hilarious comedic acting is the perfect counterpoint for the constant zaniness of the other loft mates. Don't get me wrong, Winston is zany as shit too, but his zaniness is a cooler, usually less frenetic flavour. Even though he's prank and puzzle crazy I feel like he provides this stabilizing presence to the show overall. Knowing Damon Wayan Jr's propensity to vigorously chew the scenery (albeit hilariously) I think, he would have eventually damaged the comedic balance of the show.

Plus, Lamorne is just straight-up awesome. I absolutely agree with you and likewise hope this will be his year to break out of the side story mould he's been kinda trapped in, but I can't really complain too much when he's getting funnier every season. Zooey, Jake and Max's characters were all distinctly established early in the show, while I feel Lamorne has grown into his role as NG has progressed.

I can't get over what an amazingly talented cast New Girl has. You can't just throw 4 random people into a show and expect them to be funny. There needs to be comedic chemistry. And it truly seems like these four have a lot of fun together.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season.
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Sep 18, 2013
I like that Winston can be the voice of reason between those two. But after years of putting up with them a reasonable man would walk away, he has to have crazy of his own or it doesn't make sense.

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Sep 18, 2013
It's a loft thing, probably. They're all a bit cuckoo for cocoa puffs. But he still manages to be the voice of reason, he always gives his roomates great advice.
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Sep 19, 2013
I actually wish he went back to being more reasonable. I know I'm in the minority here, but I really disliked him in this episode. Just too ridicoulous for my taste.
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Sep 19, 2013
Totally agree, I never liked him :( I would rather have fist episode Coach instead!
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Sep 18, 2013
Never understood Nick and Jess, especially since Nick gets dumber every year...but CeCe's still hot, so I'm good.
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Sep 18, 2013
Great first episode! Had me laughing the whole way through and the plot was great as well. If I had to nitpick one thing it was the Nick and Jess relationship. I'm not a huge fan of it. Sure they have great chemistry and really good comedic chemsitry together but having them date sort of changes Nick's character for the worse. I prefer semi miserable, goofy but charsmatic Nick more so than a more responsible dried down one. Maybe because he reminds me of an exagerated version of myself... ha! But hopefully the scale back the in your face nature of that and have Jess be Jess and Nick be Nick more but other than that Winston, Cece and Schmitt were spectaular and I really enjoyed this episode.

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Sep 19, 2013
I was worried where Nick's character would go last season when Jess and him started to get together, especially since he was really coming into his own as a character.

I don't think I feel as strongly as you, that having them together 'changes Nick's character for the worse', but I do feel that the characters work more strongly a part then what I've seen of them together. But then again, he haven't had too much of a chance to see them living as a normal couple yet (this episode didn't give us any normality) so I'm waiting to see how it turns out before I judge their relationship.
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Sep 18, 2013
Winston.

That is all.
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Staff
Sep 18, 2013
WINSTON! :D
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Sep 18, 2013
The Jess/Nick in this episode was eh, but the Winston/Schmidt dynamic was great.

Winston wearing the hoodie as sweat pants...
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Sep 18, 2013
Completely agree!
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Sep 18, 2013
Should I Point Break it right now??!! That was a pretty good line.
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Sep 18, 2013
So good! Glad to have them back.
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Sep 18, 2013
good episode, im happy its back! and cant wait for next week
And OMG Winston is slowly turning into one of the craziest characters on TV... is it just me or cant he do anything right :P
Best quote was from Schmidt to Winston which went something like "If you think those shoes are brown then what do you think you are?"
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Sep 18, 2013
Winston and his favorite "brown" shoes FTW! The puzzle had a pecan as a piece! SERIOUSLY! Loved it!
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Sep 18, 2013
Winston WAS this episode LMAO!

I <3 this show so much. Glad to have you back New Girl :D
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It was as Nick and Jess as it gets!!! Winston needs to never stop being awesome and I like watching Schmidt having to deal with something he's never experienced before. I mean, I root for CeCe all of the way, but its nice to see him growing.
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Sep 18, 2013
Amazing. As usual.
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Sep 18, 2013
SO EPIC AND AMAZING AND FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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