Friday, November 23, 2012

What I’m Watching: New Girl (Thanksgiving Episode #3)

New Girl: Season 2, Episode 8 “Parents” (B+)

This show did a fun Thanksgiving installment last year, and this episode was just as well-conceived and entertaining. Casting Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis as Jess’ parents was great, and they were both terrific as the warring spouses of our spunky young lead. I love that Jess was trying to “Parent Trap” them and that she had done it so many times before. The best part was that it worked, signaled in the bathroom and then confirmed by the intimacy they started to engage in while the elevator doors were closing. Nick bonding with her dad about sports and then discussing his “Twilight” rip-off was great, and I like how he fell for Jess’ mom so blindly and quickly when Jess assigned him to flirt with her to make her dad jealous. Her mom’s hatred of Cece due to her scratching her van and her giving of drugs to Jess was very funny, and it was nice to see Cece in two older contexts: as a longtime friend of Jess and as a former romantic partner of Schmidt. Rob Riggle was the perfect Big Schmidt as his cousin, and Winston’s bored suggestion of a manly contest for the One True Schmidt was brilliant. The whole thing was funniest not for the ending kiss with Winston but for the absurd competitive spirit it fostered in both Schmidts, highlighted by Schmidt’s arguments about emotional honesty and other true defining characteristics of a real man and Big Schmidt’s impressive display of culinary competence with his superb chopping skills.

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