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New Girl Review: “Prince” (Season 3, Episode 14)

Pushing New Girl to a post-Superbowl slot is effectively giving the show its highest profile shot in years, so it makes sense that Elizabeth Meriwether and her crew would see fit to deploy a superstar cameo in such a way. The fact that Prince gets stuck into the meat and potatoes of the episode is commendable, but this is one of the weakest episodes of the show to date. I think the correct way to take "Prince" is to treat the episode as an exception due to elevated circumstances. I know the episode is canon, and the events of this episode aren't a dream or flight of fancy, but the only way to make peace with the episode is by remembering that Prince requested a cameo in the show - apparently one of his favorite shows - and when the Superbowl's a-coming, you don't turn down Prince. The ad breaks for this episode alone probably paid for next season. In financial terms, and from a production standpoint, this episode is a highlight. Creatively, it isn't.


When the limo arrives to pick up Jess and Cece to take them to Prince’s purple palace, Nick instinctively tells her that he loves her, almost in passing. It’s a really lovely moment – clearly it’s been on his mind a lot for it to slip out so easily – but Jess is blindsided and doesn’t reciprocate, opting instead to use the old finger guns as the car pulls away. We’ve all done it.

The subsequent awkwardness Jess and Nick feel is enough to compel Nick and the guys to attempt to bust into the party, and for Cece and Jess to dwell on what happened while at the party. Winston and Coach’s “fire and ice” routine was completely baffling – both acting as two parts of a fake reunion, reminiscing over the death of a friend – and I just didn’t get it at all, but they managed to get in. Nick and Schmidt tried the same but of course, it didn’t work, allowing Nick to Trojan horse his way in hidden by a tight group of models and leaving Schmidt bereft outside.

You might say that the ongoing crime of this season is not using Schmidt. Like, at all. I get that with the re-introduction of Coach into the group some jiggery-pokery needs to occur plot-wise to give him space to work his magic, but not at the expense of Schmidt.

Yet, episode after episode Schmidt is kicked to the curb, or given nothing to do. He steals his scenes this week, but has a story that goes nowhere. He appears to be getting some of his mojo back – spending $2000 on a suit and nuzzling his head in Cece’s cleavage being highlights – but he should by rights be the star of every episode. Less Prince and more Schmidt would have been great.

Anyways, Nick meets Jess in the party, and they both meet Prince. Prince takes Jess aside and, through just being Prince, gives Jess the courage to tell Nick that she loves him right back. Such is the power of Prince. Then he gets onstage and performs a new song, inviting Jess up as he does so. This is where the episode takes a turn for the vomit-inducing, as Jess not only sings the song, but knows all the words. She sings Prince’s brand new Prince song, by Prince, with Prince. So what we’ve been watching is effectively a very long music video for Prince, at the end of which Prince performs the brand new Prince song and everyone talks about how bloody brilliant Prince is. I’m a Prince fan, and I don’t like this. Imagine watching this episode and not being a Prince fan.

It makes me wonder who the next celebrity cameo will be on the show, if the Prince episode does well. Will we see Donald Trump when Celebrity Apprentice comes round again? Piers Morgan? I hope that in the years to come this isn’t seen as when New Girl jumped the shark, but I have a horrible feeling it might be.

Random Robservations:

  • Why so much Prince?
  • Jess’ finger guns are never not funny.
  • Why is everyone calling Winston “Winnie” all of a sudden?
  • Winston’s “I LOVE YOU!” might be the funniest moment of this whole season.
  • Man, Prince really can’t act.

See you at some point in the not too distant future for more New Girl!

About the author

Rob Batchelor

Male, Midlands, mid-twenties.