New Girl Review: “Clavado En Un Bar” (Season 3, Episode 11)

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Schmidt gets the lion share of the laughs with his tale of how he got into marketing. His fish-out-of-water experience as a Jewish volunteer nurse who discovers a talent for selling Christmas trees, which he parlays into a job in marketing, is a nice little story. I’d say that it could have easily been an episode in its own right, and his complete bafflement at Jess’ refusal to take the new job just because it pays more than the old one was a nice sour note to end what was in danger of being slightly uplifting.

Coach’s story of his natural coachdom exploding out during one of Winston’s Latvian basketball games was great not just because it gave Damon Wayans Jr. a chance to shout at the top of his lungs – something he does often in this episode, and always to great effect – but because it gave us a peek at Winston’s “Dennis Rodman” period, image-wise. His leopard print ‘do is magnificent, and it’s a real shame he didn’t stick with the pierced ears.

If Schmidt’s story was able to sidestep New Girl‘s worrying tendency of trying to get meaningful on occasion, Nick’s manages no such thing. His story is heartening, and slightly unbelievable when you think about it. How so? Well, think of it this way – how has Nick been sold to us up to now? As an idiot? A drunken man-child? A law school dropout? Well, it turns out that all this time, Nick has chosen to work as a barman. He graduated law school, made the California state bar, but just didn’t become a lawyer. He wanted to be a barman, not a lawyer. Being a barman was always Nick’s destiny, apparently. He followed his heart, even though his heart led him to a job that involved a lot of self-loathing, and poverty. Does that count as a Nick win? I’m not sure. It sort of throws away everything we know about Nick thus far, which might be a good thing, but might be a bad thing.

Being a barman is still better than Cece’s career prospects, though. One of my favourite things about the show, that has gone somewhat unacknowledged up to now, is how badly Cece’s modelling is going. Whenever we’re made privy to any of her assignments, it’s an increasingly tawdry job, culminating in this episode’s assignment as being the caller to a sex line. Nick persuading her to work with him behind the bar would suggest that we’re going to be there a whole lot more now, and that perhaps we’ll get a few Nick/Cece adventures, which is probably the only character relationship the show has yet to explore.

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