' Cinema Romantico: New Girl: Cece Crashes

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

New Girl: Cece Crashes

Once when I was with a lady friend (and I mean that in the most literal way possible - a lady who was just a friend) I noticed a striking blonde on the street adorned in black tights tucked into black boots (my favorite look for the opposite sex) and I admit to staring perhaps longer than was necessary and making a tasteful if nonetheless, shall we say, guy-oriented remark. My lady friend shook her head and said: "I thought you were better than that." I did not answer "I know - I am.....sometimes" but that is how the Nick of "New Girl" responded when Jess said the exact same thing to him in the wake of him checking out her pal Cece.


This past Saturday during college football's so-called "Game of the Century" between LSU and Alabama that ended up more along the lines of The 2nd Best Game (Probably, But Maybe Not) On Saturday November 5th With A 7 PM Kickoff, a couple of my friends and I wound up on the topic of television which led to them both into advising they have been watching "New Girl." They seemed to be enjoying it. Not loving it, not even liking it a whole lot, just, you know, enjoying it. Less than outright adoration, but certainly more than indifference. Having seen every episode I immediately begin ticking off my problems with it. My two friends wondered if perhaps I was being too critically-minded.

I confessed that on account of the fact I watch very few television shows and the one that I do watch most religiously and most excitedly being "Parks and Recreation" that, well, I can't help but compare "New Girl" to NBC's critical darling. Is this fair? Perhaps not, but I also don't subscribe to The "Rocky Balboa" Theory which stipulates that simply because something isn't terrible it's also good. Nope. No chance. I think "New Girl" should be held to a high standard and so should every single show on every single television channel. So imagine my surprise when I found myself sort of enjoying this week's episode of "New Girl."

Jess has arrived at this bass-pumpin', booty-shakin' club to pick up her model friend Cece. (Why is someone like Jess friends with model? Never mind. Move along. Nothing to see here.) Jess uneasily forces her way through the crowd and to the dee jay both where Cece is admonishing the dee jay, who she has apparently been sorta seeing, for kissing another woman, to which Jess says to the dee jay, "Yoooooou, get away from here." And I laughed. I did. Specifically because of how the mercurial Zooey Deschanel says the line. And then they flee from the club and the scene switches to the sidewalk outside and we realize Jess is wearing......soft pants (i.e. pajama pants). I, if you didn't know, am a lifelong supporter of The Soft Pants Movement. The first thing I do when I get home from work? Get in the soft pants. You're damn right, I do, and here was the mercurial Zooey Deschanel in soft pants......in public.

So Jess takes Cece back to her place and immediately the douchebag (what happened to the douchebag jar in the Pilot? Never mind. Move along. Nothing to see here.) Schmidt and Winston begin putting the moves on her because, you know, she's hot, and poor Nick is annoyed because Nick just wanted some alone time. I, if you didn't know, am a lifelong supporter of The Alone Time Movement.


Eventually, though, this episode will reveal what we all knew was coming from Day 1 which is that maybe, possibly, Nick has a thing for Jess which Jess doesn't take so well because Jess thinks they should - say it with me! - just be friends but also because Jess is slightly neurotic and leads to my favorite scene of the episode when Jess is in the car with Nick and becomes convinced that he does like her and she becomes so freaked out she simply gets out of the car and runs away.

Eventually the two of them deal with it by not necessarily dealing with it outright but dealing with it via little looks exchanged while they both brush their teeth which is ripped straight outta "Bring It On." (Not that I would know that. Never mind. Move along. Nothing to see here.) Look, the show ain't perfect. They keep winnowing down Zooey's opening credits song to the point where by Episode 10 it's merely going to cut off immediately after she asks "Who's that girl?" and the show's occasional decision to attempt an "Arrested Development"/"30 Rock" flashback always ends woefully and the plotting is and will undoubtedly remain awfully familiar but this episode - this episode, "Cece Crashes" - was at least 62% better than that one episode of "Big Bang Theory" I subjected myself to solely because it was about Nebraska Football. God, was that a mistake. Which is to say I can simply keep taking comfort in the fact that "New Girl" isn't as bad as "The Big Bang Theory." Or "Whitney." Or "Perfect Couples." Or "Outsourced."

Reader: "Wait, isn't that essentially the same thing as subscribing to The Rocky Balboa Theory?"
Nick: "Well, yeah."
Reader: "I thought you were better than that."
Nick: "I know - I am......sometimes."

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