Home Reviews

New Girl Review: “Menzies” (Season 2, Episode 7)

Physical comedy is divided by a fine line between being truly funny and just being dumb. Certain comedians, like Chevy Chase or Dick van Dyke, could tell the difference, and execute pratfalls or other moments of physical humor with class, telling us something about their character as they fell. The challenge of tonight’s episode of New Girl was to create a series of situation that relied on physical payoffs and build ups while still keeping the reins on those character-centered moments.

Nick attempts to perform the water cute on Jess, which of course does not work, but which leads to one of their many heart-to-hearts, which helps her realize her fragile emotional state can’t be blamed on menzies alone. She has to pick herself up, brush off her defeats, and go back to re-interview for that adult education center job!

Well… at least she’ll be teaching.

Winston likewise comes to an epiphany about this state of emotional solvency – he misses Shelby. The breakup of these characters during Halloween was easy and necessary, but it’s obvious that Winston is still reeling from the loss of the first person he really cared about. This is a good step for the character, and hopefully the beginning of getting him out on some of his own adventures.

Schmidt’s tale this week is fractured and very separate from the main narrative, but not without its peaks and moments of character interest. After Schmidt tells Robby and Cece a story about being rather aggressively propositioned by his boss, Robby makes the mistake of calling Cece a good girl. This disconcerts Cece, who knows in her heart she isn’t deserving of the monicker, worrying that when Robby learns about the real her, he will leave her.

This leads to a tense scene wherein Cece and Schmidt come to within an inch of rekindling their relationship, both certain of their inner demons’ strengths. But Cece pulls out, leaving Schmidt with the realization that he might really be alone now. Thus, he signs the contract that will let him sleep with his boss (“guaranteed mercury poisoning?”) and heads to the office. Thus, another moment of inspired comedy as Schmidt attempts not to be disappointed by the lousy followthrough on his boss’s part.

The show ends with Nick attempting to help Winston, cradling him in the water as everyone else looks on. It might be one madcap beat too much, but with Jess back in a job, Winston ready to move forward from Shelby, Schmidt at a new personal low point, and Nick… being Nick, we have a lot to look forward to.

Sound off below if you agree with me, or if the physical comedy rubbed you the wrong way. I’m willing to bet that, in spite of my protestations to the contrary, this is an episode of New Girl that didn’t work for a lot of people. But hey, if you didn’t like it, maybe you just need to take a dip in the pool.

About the author

Brian J. Roan