After finally showing some actual sexual tension between Nick and Jess, this week New Girl brought a New Guy into the picture with Justin Long’s character Paul. As Nick so correctly states, “Oh my God, there’s two of them.” After which we said, “Oh my god, what have they done?”
In theory, Justin Long’s character is a good idea because he has potential to make Nick confront his feelings for Jess. It seems to us, though, that he was introduced too soon after the sexual tension became palpable and is probably going to overstay his welcome. We really thought he’d be gone at the end of the episode, like a guest star thing. Instead it seems to be like a Paolo (it even sounds like Paul) from Friends thing. Now it would appear that to get out of this mess, New Girl has to indulge in one of the oldest clichés in the book: having Paul make Nick realize he and Jess are meant to be.
In funnier news: New Girl took our advice and kept Cece in the mix this week. This, of course, allowed for Schmidt to once again be at his funniest, complete with cooking advice, telling Cece to use, “long, sustained mashes.”
This, of course, is in reference to mashing the potatoes for the New Girl family’s Thanksgiving dinner. To impress New Guy, Jess has bought all of the ingredients for a classic turkey dinner. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know how to use any of them. This leads to thawing the turkey (named Hank—like Hanksgiving, get it?) with her body heat. And putting it in the dryer to cook. Schmidt is, unsurprisingly, a control freak in the kitchen. Cece is bizarrely turned on by this bossiness and anger, and tries to egg him on. (“Did you touch his whisk?”)
Winston doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose this episode except to make a few funny remarks and help show the difference between Paul and Nick. While this episode certainly doesn’t define his character, it does make him more likeable. He only flinches when New Guy refers to halftime of the football game as intermission, much more restraint than Nick can manage.
From this week we can see that New Girl has really started defining itself as a show. We just think they might have jumped the gun on adding a new character to the mix when we’re still grappling with the five they gave us to begin with.