New Girl – “Julie Berkman’s Older Sister”

Season Four, Episode Three

new-girl-julie-berkman

Grade: C-

Once again, Jess and Schmidt find themselves in the center of the episode, except this time they have separate story-lines. The thing they share in common is that they’re both trying to upgrade from their situation. Jess has always protected her father from terrible choices in women, and Schmidt is trying to land the man-sponge account to make more money and hopefully move out of the messy, unorganized loft.

So the relationship story of the episode finally doesn’t have to deal with Jess, instead it involves her father, Bob and his super young girlfriend Ashley, played by Kaitlin Olson from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. To Jess (and Cece), Ashley is everything that she doesn’t want her dad to involved with. Jess and Cece know Ashley from high school and know her as “Trashley,” the skank who slept with a D.A.R.E. officer and had sex with Jess’ high school boyfriend underneath the bleachers (while Jess sat above them!).

What happens is that Jess wrongly accuses Ashley of cheating on her dad, which gives us a cute conversation between Jess and Bob that he doesn’t need her looking after him anymore. He’s capable of making his own decisions and if they’re wrong, then he’s capable of being hurt. Does Jess really seem like the person who should be giving any kind of parental advice, even if it is to her father? There is just something about this A-story that doesn’t make sense and on top of that, it was supposed to be the emotional story-line, except it had little-to-no pull on my emotions. Sorry, but this was a bust all around.

Onto Schmidt’s attempt to land the man-sponge account, he’s driven because of Nick’s sloppy habits. Schmidt and Nick have always been the great odd couple of sorts, but here Schmidt’s friends just come off as dumb and careless. Sure, it was a bad idea to have Nick, Winston and Coach read lines that Schmidt wrote to rig the focus group, but if these guys are all friends wouldn’t you think they’d actually put some effort into it? Schmidt can definitely be a douche, but it’s not until after the fact where Nick steps up as the best friend and saves the day (in ridiculous, typical New Girl fashion). Should we expect Schmidt to move out of the loft sometime during this season? As much as I love the gang together, these bunch of friends have to grow up and move on someday, right?

After a promising start to the fourth season, New Girl struck out here. The heart of the series used to lie between Jess and Nick, but now it’s to be determined. When will the writers give Nick a major story-line? Will Winston and Coach ever make it to the front from the corner where they’re seen every episode? Let’s get some more awkward Jess and Nick moments and keep moving forward!

New Girl Character Ratings:

Jess (C+): She wanted to protect her dad from Ashley, and while she almost ruined them two, got hit by a cyclist to witness Bob’s proposal. It was kind of cute, but really just a mess.

Schmidt (B-): I thoroughly enjoy Schmidt when he’s at work, so that was a plus. But really? Man sponges? Wouldn’t Schmidt realize that’s just a terrible idea to begin with? As ridiculous as he is, Schmidt comes across to me as one of the smarter individuals in the gang, so I wasn’t totally buying the B-story.

Nick (C): Though he chooses the girl over helping his best friend during the focus group, he does end up helping Schmidt land the account. Still, there is a lot more potential for Nick to achieve that the writers aren’t producing.

Winston (D): He really likes pizza.

Cece (D): She gets giddy watching Jess try to break up her dad’s relationships. But really, why was she in this episode at all?

Coach (F): After watching the episode, I actually forgot he was in it. Why was he added to the cast again?

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