New Girl: Season 2, Episode 4 “Neighbors” (B)
This show tends to be funnier when it’s not pursuing an explicit plotline, instead allowing its characters to room free and make fools of themselves without the assistance of a manufactured scenario. The arrival of the young hipsters next door was a familiar sitcom device that allowed Jess to be intoxicated by the careless world in which they lived and Schmidt to try way too hard to be liked, nothing unusual for the well-dressed man. What was considerably more hilarious was the intensity with which Nick aimed to ruin Schmidt’s life by making him think he was getting old, namely changing his height measurement mark on the wall so that he would think he was shrinking and shaving down the heels of his shoes so that nothing would fit probably. It’s no surprise that he spent almost $1300 on the project, and Jess’ reaction to that horrific amount was perhaps the best part. Schmidt’s serious conversation with Jess about teaching, maybe in the field of driver’s ed or CPR, was great, and it’s nice to see them buckle down and be sincere with each other for one, something that doesn’t tend to happen as frequently between Jess and Schmidt. In a Cece-less episode, Winston, of all people, got his very own plotline, and by wildly running into a meeting and making a big crazy speech, he may just have gotten something productive to do with his life. The hours may be awful, but it will be good for him to be able to focus on something, and maybe even take a larger part in the show as a whole.