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New Girl 3.20 “Mars Landing” Review: “Nothing You’re Saying Makes Any Sense”

26 Mar

It’s that time of year when the TV stakes are raised and I didn’t expect New Girl to get added to the list of shows that have put me through the emotional wringer this week (I’m looking at you The Good Wife and Hannibal). Thankfully I am not hungover otherwise I don’t know how I would deal with this level of serious talk that begins with building a child’s toy and ends in a break up.

NG_319-7_0008The episode starts with everyone’s favorite nonsensical history infused drinking game and True American is as chaotic as ever. Even with the terrible hangovers they’re all suffering from the next day I still want to play this game. If only to shout random historical names and situations followed by beer. The last game of True American ended with The Kiss; the alcohol of the evening gave Nick the confidence to make a bold move. The opposite occurs in “Mars Landing” as the hangover leads to a different kind of truth sharing. One of the things that has been clear about Nick and Jess is how different they are and the old “opposites attract” can easily be applied here, but what happens if the only thing they have in common is that they love each other?

Scattered throughout their arguments which range from their feelings on education – Jess is unsurprisingly for it, Nick thinks kids should beg to go to school – where they want to live and if they will have a horse. While the content of these shouting matches don’t make a whole lot of sense (Nick is an intergalactic truck driver) the sentiment is clear; Jess makes plans, Nick doesn’t. There is a suggestion made about a breakup which they initially laugh off before returning to the toy building task that started all of this – I’m with Nick on this one, just give it to them in the box – at first they make a great team putting together the part that looks like a meth lab with the pipe bomb looking component. This doesn’t last long and the disagreement erupts again, this time causing a blanket fire. This really is a hangover of epic proportions.

What this leads to is another less shouty discussion and one that references how things used to be when they were just friends; there was no trying to be something they are not and they didn’t fight all the time. It’s a painful conversation and one that gives Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson the opportunity to show how good they are hitting the emotional honest moments on top of the more comedic aspects of the episode. Is it not enough that Nick loves her more than anyone he has loved before?

Apparently not at the moment and this conflict feels very much part of the nearing the end of season “we need to do a big storyline” thing. Other than a few other disagreements, Nick and Jess have been pretty solid all year and this has meant that there has been very little stakes when they have fought as they resolve it by the episode end. The only time this didn’t happen is recently when Schmidt moved back in and scuppered the room situation. This point is revisited when Nick walks Jess to her room, only for her to come out seconds later after remembering Schmidt is in there (naked).

At the end of “Cooler” Nick kissed Jess, the end of “Mars Landing” mirrors this moment, albeit in much sadder circumstances. Jess is the one who grabs Nick this time and instead of a kiss it becomes an embrace, the kind where you don’t want to let go.

New Girl 3.20 Nick and JessTo make it even more of a painful parallel, Nick is wearing the same green t-shirt and Jess is dressed in pink again. Not to rub salt in the wounds and add to the hurt, but here is the shot from “Cooler” just to highlight how consciously similar the scenes are.

New Girl Cooler KissYeah, sorry to do this to you. *Sob*

The B and C stories are a good counter to the emotional heavy lifting going on in Nick’s cabin sized room; the guys duke it out with each other to get the attention of the two new hot women who are moving in across the hall. There are some funny moments with Winston slapping Schmidt and Coach being high on the list. Yes, Michelle (Alexandria Daddario of True Detective) does do a good crazy witch eyes face. No none of the guys get to “sex her.” I’m thankful for this and also for Schmidt’s hangover hair, which is of an epic volume. Cece gets to play “What did I text last night?” The answer ranges from Jewel lyrics to rabbit buying suggestions. Schmidt’s emoticon face impression is a thing that should be savored. Both of these storylines are pretty light weight, but I do like the Buster/Cece thing even if I’m not sure why. Maybe I am charmed by the accent.

So is there finality in this breakup? I don’t think so, they don’t even use the phrase, it just happens. It’s a way to respond to those viewers who have been less satisfied this season and some of that blame has been placed at the feet of the central couple. When the point is raised about missing the time when they were just friends it feels like they are speaking for some of the audience and while this season has been incredibly disjointed at times, for me personally, it has never felt like a Nick and Jess problem. This year will go down as a messy one for New Girl as they’ve struggled to find story cohesion for all of the characters, but it hasn’t been a complete disaster and there has been some very good episodes. It’s ambitious in what it strives to achieve with these characters as they challenge the relationship dynamics and for some reason this season, they’ve just had trouble sticking the landing on several occasions.

 

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4 Responses to “New Girl 3.20 “Mars Landing” Review: “Nothing You’re Saying Makes Any Sense””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Deal with the “What Next?” on The Mindy Project and New Girl | TV Ate My Wardrobe - April 9, 2014

    […] the season. This is the case of New Girl which saw Nick and Jess reluctantly call it quits after an episode of arguing and longing for what they had when they were friends. In a sense both “will […]

  2. New Girl 3.21 “Big News” Review – “Faaaaaaaantastic” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - April 16, 2014

    […] examination of just how different they are and the hangover they were both suffering from in the last episode magnified these […]

  3. New Girl 4.01 “The Last Wedding” Review: Fist of Fun | TV Ate My Wardrobe - September 17, 2014

    […] after the highs of the previous season. I was a bit of a New Girl defender insisting that Nick and Jess weren’t the problem, even with episodes like “The Box” which had the pair yelling at each other for things […]

  4. New Girl 4.07 “Goldmine” Review: “I Live with my Ex” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 12, 2014

    […] other hookup shenanigans occurring this week involve the hot neighbors we met last season as Winston has been trying to work the long game with them. This storyline was less successful for […]

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