New Girl Review: “Keaton” (Season 3, Episode 6)

"I'm a public serpent."

The reveal that Schmidt believes he’s been receiving letters and emails from Michael Keaton (“Keaton”) for almost his entire life was, at turns, funny and enheartening, although completely insane. I really liked how the show never tried to convince us, the audience, that the real Michael Keaton would have anything to do with it – a lesser show would have perhaps brought Michael Keaton in at the end or something, but for either internal logic or budgetary reasons, they didn’t. Getting Jess to dress as Batman, and for her to drunkenly try and convince Schmidt that she actually was Michael Keaton, was such a uniquely New Girl-ian conceit to oddity that its bravadao is something to applaud.

The show has always revelled in bizarre punchlines, but this episode felt like it had more than its fair share – “I am [email protected]” is funny for about eight different reasons; “I’ll just always be the fat boy who eats fat boy cheese” is punctuated perfectly by a huge bite of a block of cheese (really, it’s huge. Rewind and watch it again: see how much cheese Max Greenfeld fits in his mouth).

Of course, there were others, but I don’t want to spoil them here. It seemed like there were also more set-ups for punchlines closer to the end of the episode as well, like the episode prologue taking place in an empty loft apartment – which also allowed for some spooky ghost talk – which would go on to become Schmidt’s new living space.

Yes, that’s right, I’m as shocked as you. Schmidt moved out! He actually just upped and did it. Gone. He’s only across the hall though, as Nick pointed out, “It’d take me longer to walk from the kitchen to the bathroom than it would from here to where you are.” The discussion before was so serious and important that the move felt genuinely surprising. After the disastrous (for Schmidt) halloween party, and Cece’s realization that she was over him, I suppose something had to change, but I really did not think he’d leave the apartment, even if he is just a few doors away. Quite how he’ll afford it, given that he hasn’t been at work all week, is another issue for another episode. But I’m sure he’ll find a way.

With Schmidt gone, it means that Coach – who returns next episode, folks – has a space in the apartment. Will they call him up to share the rent? Will he respond to an ad in the paper? Will he just be there? Is he the one having sex in Winston’s room at the end of this episode? Who knows? Aside from, you know, the creative team behind the show? I certainly don’t.

I was never a fan of Coach, but he probably wasn’t in New Girl long enough to really make an impact. I’m not a fan of any of the Wayans brothers to be honest, but I’m willing to give him a chance. There’s bound to be interesting conflict between Coach and Schmidt about the jealousy of the latter over the former’s new relationship with his old room mates, which could be fun. I guess there’s only one way to find out!

Watch the show. That’s the way to find out.

Random Roberservations

  • The incredibly slow-loading image of a barely-clothed lady on Nick’s dorm room PC was a nice little visual gag pertaining to that time period. I liked it.
  • Nick’s College Moustache also made a welcome return, as did Fat Schmidt.
  • The idea of Jess accidentally trick-or-treating on the way home is just perfect. Of course she would accidentally trick-or-treat. Of course she would.
  • “Batmobile.” “Batmanmobile.” “Batmobile.” “Batmanmobile.” “Batmobile.” “Batmanmobile.”
  • The cutaway to the explanation of Winston’s costume. Genius.
  • “I’m a public serpent.”