New Girl – “Thanksgiving IV”

Season Four, Episode Nine


Grade: A

I think it’s safe to say that this fourth season of New Girl has been a great improvement from last season. Everyone is at its comedic best when they’re single and together. Sure, realistically it doesn’t seem likely that two exes could keep on being roommates, but Nick and Jess are making it work even though Jess is trying really hard to date and Nick is just messing around.

Another thing that New Girl has done better this season is giving its supporting characters more material. Jess and Nick are great, but the rest of the cast are more than capable of delivering hilarious quotes and situations. So in “Thanksgiving IV” we get a premise straight out of Barney Stinson’s book, Bangsgiving. They pick each others’ names out of a hat (Secret Santa style) and must present a date for them to sleep with on Thanksgiving. Good enough for me. By the way, I loved Nick’s reaction after they picked their names as he desperately wanted to reveal who he picked, because he picked himself.

As expected, there is something wrong with everyone’s date that their friends picked out. First and foremost, since Nick picked his own name, he didn’t bother asking someone out on a date and just brought Tran to Thanksgiving (which is never a bad thing). Cece and Schmidt picked each other and she suspects that he’s not going to set her up with anyone so they can rekindle their past, but he insists that he set her up with a guy named Geoff, who is late because of a loose peacock on the freeway. Cece picks Lucy for Schmidt, who hit it off but Nick isn’t okay with it since he dated Lucy a few years ago.

The main story revolves around Coach picking Jess’s date, who ends up being the British teacher that they work with, Ryan. She’s conflicted because as vice principal, she cannot have a relationship with any staff member, but they’re totally into one another. What’s a dork like Jess to do?! Her friends tell her that to get her mind off of him she should “bang one out” with him. Yeah, like that makes any sense to the most emotional character on the show. When she tries to seduce Ryan, he maintains his perfect track record and rejects her “bang one out” idea because he has genuine feelings for her.

My favorite pairing of the episode was Coach and Pepper, a member of the police force that Winston chose for Coach. She’s very attractive aside from one issue, she’s ripped! Her muscles bulge out of her arms and it makes Coach very uncomfortable. If that wasn’t funny enough, she flips him to the ground when he touches her in her blind spot. I admit, Coach has had a great past two episodes for New Girl. Meanwhile, Winston gets set up by Jess with the lunch lady.

This was a very good episode, including the highlight of Nick trying to make Schmidt jealous by flirting with Cece and pretending they’re having sex as he looks for her money in his room. At the end, everyone looks like they got what they wanted. Jess and Ryan, Winston and the lunch lady, Coach and Pepper. In addition, Nick snags Tran’s granddaughter’s number and Cece turns down Geoff (who ends up being real) just to hang out with Schmidt. New Girl is at its best when it can start out wild and crazy, and can tie up the half hour with some touching moments. This is one of the better episodes this season.

New Girl Character Rankings:

Jess (A): Who doesn’t like seeing Zooey Deschanel wearing only an apron? Even better, she sides with principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! She has her standards and she wants to stick to the rules even if they’re dumb rules (like Coach puts it). Jess was a winner this episode.

Coach (A-): His scenes with Pepper were hilarious. Coach has always come across as the macho man of the group, and it was great to see him cower whenever Pepper was around. Plus, the scene where he gets flipped was some fine physical comedy.

Nick (A-): First, bringing Tran to Thanksgiving was brilliant. Then he has some leftover feelings where he doesn’t want Schmidt sleeping with one of his exes. Nick is a human after all! And to get back at him, Nick childishly flirts with Cece to make Schmidt jealous. An all-around classic Nick episode.

Schmidt (B): It was his idea to have Bangsgiving, which got the ball rolling, but for most of the episode he was just getting along with Lucy (until he finds out she’s an anti-Semite). Still, it was nice seeing him and Cece get close once again.

Cece (B): Playing the only normal one of the group can be tiring, but she does it well again. Her expression when Nick was looking for her money in his room was spot on. To top it off, she helps Nick understand why he feels so terrible all the time hooking up with meaningless girls. The moral here is that if you sleep with terrible women, you’re going to feel terrible. But hey, at least Nick can do his own laundry.

Winston (D): Sorry, but he just didn’t have anything to do with the episode. But still, I loved the chess line when he said it’s time for this bishop to take the queen.


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