Us Vs. Zooey: “We Built This Schmidty On Tootsie Rolls.”

Apparently, the absence of the douchebag jar was noticed by more people than just us, and last night’s episode of New Girl resurrected it in a big way. We start off the episode knowing that Schmidt has done something so terrible that it merits fifty dollars in the jar. The show does a classic flashback to three days earlier to recap just what led up to the jar’s comeback.

For his last real birthday (the big 2-9), Schmidt has booked a party bus that backs out at the last minute when Frankie Mune-yez needs a vehicle with a steering wheel shaped like a boob (“You honk the nipple”). Jess, the conceptual opposite of Schmidt, decides to plan him a party after listening to the woes of his love/hate relationship with old friend and bigger douchebag Benjamin.

And this is when Mean Girls meets New Girl in a massive collision. Actually, it was only a tiny one, but we’re such Mean Girls disciples that we couldn’t help but notice the three small bones the writers threw us.

  1. Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) as Nick’s new girlfriend. Who we will only call Janis no matter what her real name on this show is.
  2. Schmidt saying, “It’s social suicide.”
  3. The concept of Bronemies, originally introduced as frenemies by Gretchen Wieners

Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) joins the men of "New Girl."

This episode was a good one, if not very quotable. Jess throws Schmidt the most douchebaggy party she can muster, ordering a stripper (“Very bendy with a heart of gold.”), decorating a bus from her school, and pilfering the principals confiscation drawer for party favor drugs. Schmidt is so touched by this bizarre gesture of love that he leans in to kiss Jess at the episode’s end, and that is his capital douchebag jar offense. Which, on its face, isn’t that big of a douchebag move since Abby called way back in the earlier episodes that Jess’s intense sweetness might inspire Schmidt to be less of a douche. However, it would seem the writers want us to believe Schmidt only made a move on Jess because old friend and bigger douchebag Benjamin expressed an interest. That concept wasn’t totally sold, but we’ll accept it.

There are two problems with this episode. One: we’ll harp on it forever, but where the hell was Cece? That girl should be in every episode, but there is no way Schmidt would have let her miss his birthday party! There is absolutely no excuse for her absence, and the sooner the writers accept that she needs to be a regular on this show, the better off it will be.

Two: Janis Ian is a super likeable character. It was easy to kill off Justin Long because he was unfunny and brought nothing to the show. Janis Ian actually brings a lot to this show, making it harder to get rid of her, making it harder for Jess and Nick to become a thing. Nick did his very best this episode to push her away, and yet she seems keen on staying. We’re keen on that too. We just don’t know what it means for New Girl.

“Mumble mumble mumble.”

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