Let’s all just agree right now that New Girl is the best sitcom currently happening right now. Let’s all agree on that. Obviously, I’m not in any position to say that, being as I am just a man, with the same flaws and bouts of wrongosity as anyone. But it is. Elizabeth Merriwether’s hit sitcom overcame a weak first season by introducing some key character developments (Jess’s quirkiness gets toned down a little bit, Schmidt gets funny, Winston gets a personality) and allowing all of the characters room to breathe a little bit, and boy, did it work wonders.
“Virgins” is a filler episode, the aim of which is to get some quick exposition out of the way about the characters while providing a break from the main storyline – Jess and Nick’s burgeoning relationship, which we’ll come to later. Essentially, the episode is spent exploring how each character lost their virginity: some humourous, some depressing, some completely unbelievable, but all hilarious.
Cece’s character trajectory has gone from attractive friend of Jess to an almost fully-fledged character in her own right, and the qualities that might have distanced us from her have been embraced in a comedic way, to fill out her character. A running joke is about her inability to be anything less than perfect, and how she always lands on her feet, which didn’t exactly bode well for an episode about how each character lost their virginity. You’d presume the humour would come from each embarrassing situation superceding the last, so how could Cece come into that without ruining what makes her funny? You make her lose her virginity to a very famous rock star, of course. Of course she’d have the story that would make everybody’s suck in comparison, of course she would. The comparison between imagining what her “embarrassing” story could be, and the negation of that with a story that is almost completely unbelievable, represents the best of both worlds.
Nick and Winston share their story, which involves a business trip and the welcome return of Nick’s dad. We’ve been learning a lot about the Miller family lately (“Four Roommates and a Funeral”) and, suffice to say, Nick and Winston’s story involves a sort-of Miller family tradition, involving professionals. Need I say more? On a side not, these flashback episodes provide great scope for the cast to play “young” – young Nick, with unbroken voice, is absolutely hilarious and the hair and braces are just perfect. Young Winston poses and preens himself, and when asked by Mysteria (is that even her real name?) if he is a virgin, he responds with “Just my penis, baby. Just my penis.” Classic.
Funnily enough, Jess’ story is actually the least entertaining of them all. Sure, it’s built up throughout the episode as the only one that’s actually a shaggy-dog story (involving the Gender Equality society, a mysterious guitar playing man, some crazy golf, and a death in the park) but it all ends up very safe and nice. Not a patch on Schmidt’s story.
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