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Tag Archives: Halloween

Teen TV Halloween Episode Round-Up

26 Oct

Halloween is fast approaching and whether you have parties to attend over the weekend, I’m sure you can slip in a few old TV episode faves to celebrate this creepy time of year.

Sitcoms have long delivered on the Halloween theme hits with Brooklyn Nine-Nine upping the game every year; culminating in a very funny and heartwarming 2017 entry. Yes, I was crying by the end of it. But the genre that I keep returning to AND rewatching is teen TV from the ’90s. Because of course. Last year I wrote about nostalgia and looking back at these episodes.

I’m looking at you My So-Called LifeFreaks and GeeksFelicity and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Below is a collection of articles I have written and team-up conversations about this particular topic and these shows. This is the ideal time for teen characters to experiment and most of adolescence is trying to figure out who you are. On Halloween you can explore that in a more explicit and overt manner. Ghosts come in many forms and it is also fun to look back at what was big in pop culture during this time. Costumes choices can be from a very specific window of time and there are some looks that never go out of style during this spooky season.

But if you need costume inspiration that is more 2017 than 1998, I also have you covered in this department.

My So-Called LifeMy So-Called Life uses the holidays to indulge in the supernatural from dead students that are very similar to Angela’s crush—Jordan Catalano—to angels at Christmas. I have written about MSCL a lot and the impact this show had on me when I was a teen cannot be measured in words (even though I have tried). It is surprising that I haven’t gone as Angela for any Halloweens so far and right now with all the ’90s inspired clothes in stores would be the perfect time. But alas, this year I have other plans.

For Halloween costume tips from the MSCL Halloween episode head here and for a discussion of everything about this episode go back in time to This Was TV.

Freaks and GeeksCapturing the awkward transition between childhood and adulthood is something Freaks and Geeks does better than many and in its third episode “Tricks and Treats,” Halloween is the perfect example of this. Whether it is finding out that there is a cut-off age for trick-or-treating or succumbing to peer pressure; this episode has it all. Plus Bill dresses up as the Bionic Woman and he is so pure. We must protect Bill Haverchuck.

I wrote about Freaks and Geeks using this holiday as a way to portray the push and pull that is indicative of being a teenager here. And for This Was TV, I did a deep dive of this episode with regular teen TV team-up partner, Julie Hammerle. Come for the Freaks and Geeks chat and all things pop culture references from 2013 (I see you Red era Taylor Swift).

Update!

I couldn’t not include this A+ TBT from Busy Philipps. 

Felicity Also early in Felicity’s run they give us a Halloween episode—it helps that October is near the start of the school year—and this one is fraught for a number of reasons; Felicity and Ben are robbed at gunpoint, which brings them closer together before pushing them apart. Felicity gets wasted and ends up throwing up in Noel’s lap, thus providing my go to Twitter cover photo for this time of year. There are also a good range of costumes and this brings me to my second Halloween costume tips post via teen TV from the ’90s.

Once again you can head to This Was TV for an in-depth chat about this episode and this isn’t Felicity’s only foray into Halloween shindigs. They head back to that well in season 4 and while it isn’t as noteworthy, there is a pre-Americans wig moment for Keri Russell and the episode is called “Boooz.” And for some reason, I still find that hilarious. You can read our thoughts about this episode on this very site.Buffy the Vampire Slayer 

The first Buffy the Vampire Slayer Halloween episode is in my Top 10 (maybe even Top 5) for this show. It is pivotal for a number of reasons and gets called back to on numerous occasions (like whenever they need anything military training related). And it also captures those awkward teen feelings as well as any of the other shows mentioned above. These are no After School Specials; instead pointing to insecurities and how this holiday can help put those feelings aside. Or magnify them.

Willow’s costume—or the one that Buffy wants her to wear—is the most ’90s, ticking all those nostalgia boxes and I wrote about that here. But don’t head to This Was TV for a team-up chat as we never did get to doing one for Buffy.

I keep returning to these episodes for a number of reasons; part nostalgia and part because they stand the test of time.

Happy Halloween, everyone! And if anyone dresses as any of the above characters please send me pics.

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Throwback Thursday: Angel Wings

5 Nov

On You’re the Worst last week Jimmy oh so delicately named Gretchen’s almost Halloween costume (and Aya Cash’s IRL one) as the “saddest girl at the rave.” This dressing up attire consisted of a pair of orange and gold angel wings sending nostalgic pangs to a time when it didn’t even have to be Halloween or a rave to wear something like this. In a bid to recreate Romeo + Juliet and thereby extending Claire Danes’ influence on my wardrobe choices beyond Angela Chase, I invested not in a pair of stunning white wings, but in a pink set resembling the ones from You’re the Worst.

What I wanted them to look like (complete with fireworks and post dreamy kiss sighs):

[Source]

What they actually looked like:

You're the Worst 2.08Not as outlandish as Juliet’s pair, but easier to work with some flared jeans and a vest/dress worn over the top. Or if it was a very special night my black wraparound skirt. Pulling out the big guns there.

Juliet wasn’t the only famous 90s wing wearer and at my first Glastonbury festival in the summer of 1999, Courtney Love took to the stage in this all pink getup including some wings. Once again they are more spectacular than the pair I owned, but nearer in color and style.

Courtney LoveThis is when “Celebrity Skin” was pretty much a staple in the stack of CDs in constant rotation during this period and this performance was made even more special when Courtney Love got a whole bunch of the crowd on stage including a girl I was camping with. She then proceeded to give my camping buddy her guitar (not the one in the picture above) at the end of the set and I am so annoyed that I can’t find the photo* even if I look a mess (it was taken on the day we traveled home and it had been a long weekend/I’d just got soaked in the rain). This was a huge fucking deal and it extended my wing affection long after the R+J trend (I did also have a Hawaiian shirt because of this movie).

*I will post it when I do – the problem with random shoe boxing storing of old photos is I haven’t kept them in any order so high school is completely mixed in with university. I’m kinda glad that things like Facebook didn’t exist back then (old person ahoy), but it makes finding stuff a little more of a challenge. Relying on memory here. 

Update! Found the photo and the cringe levels are high. Why does my rain coat look like a snuggie?

IMG_3018Now I’m not saying bring back the wings even if everything 90s is new again; however I am happy I kept hold of them as they proved useful for Christmas dress up a couple of years ago. I even used the never really worn before halo that came in the pack.

IMG_3014You can take the girl out of the 90s…

So thank you You’re the Worst for this nostalgia kick and just in general for how heartbreakingly good this season has been, even if each episode ends with me curled up sobbing.

Happy Halloween from Hack Into Broad City

29 Oct

There are a couple more months before Abbi and Ilana return for season 3 of Broad City, but thankfully they have been producing Hack Into Broad City videos and this was a vital part of their original web series. The newest installment is Halloween themed and includes a chat about how insane it is to wear heels in the city, Halloween or not; as someone who can’t make it through an evening in a pair I am enthusiastically nodding along to this point.

The costume reveal is pure joy and I can’t think of anything more perfect than what they have both chosen. I am only sad that this isn’t a full length Halloween episode because I love Halloween episodes (see here, here, here and here).

Due to shooting schedules there are some shows that are summer ones even if they air in winter like Broad City and Girls. This is mostly fine and all, but it does mean we miss out on certain fun holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even Valentine’s Day. Show me a holiday themed episode and I will enjoy whatever tenuously related or cheesy shenanigans that take place.

Thankfully Hack Into Broad City has got us covered on this front.

And if I was dressing up as something Broad City related for Halloween I think my two of my options would be:

Broad City Val

Or

Broad City Bingo BronsonAnd for something truly special Pam is ideal.

So many Broad City costume potentials!

Sarah Silverman and Michael Sheen Join the Guilty Remnant

1 Nov

This isn’t Leftovers casting news for season 2 of and yet Sarah Silverman and Michael Sheen make pretty convincing members of the Guilty Remnant for Halloween. Okay it’s not the hardest costume to make – white clothes, Sharpie, paper, cigarettes and a whole lot of soul sucking platitudes- but I think Patti would be impressed with their getup and disdainful looks. The glasses and disheveled hair really ties the whole thing together and so far this is my favorite celeb Halloween attire so far (Taylor’s Pegacorn is a close second).

Halloween Costume Tips from Felicity

29 Oct

Halloween is fast approaching and as the 90s revival is still very much a thing we are going to look to another teen show for costume ideas. Last year My So-Called Life provided the inspiration and now it is the turn of Felicity and the season 1 episode “Spooked.” It is an episode full of real life horror, dating dramas and an array of costume choices going way beyond sticking the word ‘sexy’ in front of whatever they are supposed to be.

1) Pick a current(ish) pop culture figure 

Felicity Halloween JulieThis episode is from 1998 and while Michelle Pfeiffer hadn’t worn the slinky Catwoman suit since Batman Returns in 1992 it is an iconic look and character that has been through several costume iterations. By picking a pop culture figure from a few years previous rather than whatever is hot right now, there is far less risk of being one of many people dressed in the same costume; 2008 was a sea of Jokers, 2014 there might be a lot less. This also manages to be sexy without revealing any skin. Going to the bathroom might prove challenging.

2) Go classic

Felicity HalloweenA vintage horror movie character doesn’t go out of style, but you might have to spend all evening explaining who you are or get mistaken for someone who is currently in the public eye – Felicity gets mistaken for Courtney Love, it is 1998 – rather than the Bride of Frankenstein. It is a bonus if you have a Felicity amount of hair for this costume and there is definitely a DIY approach as she’s wearing a white dress rather than an actual wedding gown (sadly lacking the cape train of the original Bride).

Also if you plan on wearing a costume that is part of a duo make sure the other person isn’t going to be a total flake. In Felicity’s case the dude is who she is crushing on and his indifference leads to comfort drinking followed by this:

Felicity 1.05 post vomA classic costume with a classic post “I’m so sorry I just vommed on you” face. More on this later.

3) The no effort part of a group costume using stuff you probably have in your wardrobe

Felicity Halloween BenBen is especially flaky during the early Felicity days and nothing sums this up more than his Halloween costume as instead of being the Frankenstein (Ben makes the common mistake or maybe he was going to go as the Doctor rather than monster, we will never know) to Felicity’s bride he is instead swayed by Sean’s idea to go as the Rat Pack. Ben thinks he might be Peter Lawford, he’s not sure and is totally whatever about the whole thing; he’s just happy he gets to look hot in a suit and later hook up with the Pink Power Ranger:

Felicity 1.05 pink power rangerAnother no skin revealing, but super tight costume. Felicity goes all meta for a moment as the real former Pink Power Ranger is someone Ben has already kissed on the show. In Ben’s slight defense he hadn’t fully committed to the doubles costume with Felicity, working against Ben is the many hot/cold signals he is giving Felicity like late night intimate chats and then pretty much ignoring her at the party. Be less terrible, Ben.

4) Make sure you have plenty of pumpkins

Felicity Halloween pumpkinsThe perfect time for low light and intimate chats comes with party prep. Be prepared for later disappointment (see numbers 3 and 4).

5) The “I thought it was funny” option

Felicity 1.05 ElenaNoel told Elena he would sort out costumes, he gets Subway uniforms (almost seamless product placement points +10) because he thinks it is funny. Elena is less sure and while this is very much the anti-Halloween sexy she does hook up with a dude dressed as the Tin Man (the Tin Man does end up cheating on Elena with her BFF at a later date so maybe that’s a con too). Negatives include many requests for sandwiches all night. And wearing plastic gloves.

Felicity Halloween NoelHowever, plastic gloves will come in handy if someone throws up on you. May change your opinion of said person you have just given an epic pep talk to/have a huge crush on. If it doesn’t it must be love or something like that.

For more on Halloween and 90s teen TV check out posts on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Freaks and Geeks.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

1 Nov

Halloween episodes, fancy historical balls red carpet events, award season shenanigans begin and excellent street style all feature on this week’s “Out of the Box” so let’s get to it.

Warren as Ellen Trophy Wife[Source]

It’s the second week in a row that Trophy Wife features on “Out of the Box” as almost everyone gets to place dress up as part of their Halloween extravaganza. There is an array of costumes from Pete’s lawyer visual gag (a hung jury), Jackie’s Elizabeth I (that she thought was Marie Antoinette and Kate mistook for Lady Gaga), Diane’s super scary gargoyle and Kate’s centaur on wheels (courtesy of Jackie). The only person who didn’t indulge was Hillary and it is her brother Warren as Ellen DeGeneres that wins my best costume prize. Warren attempts everything with such enthusiasm including this costume even though he is hopped up on pain meds after a dental procedure and this makes his routine even funnier and hard to understand.

Bert Iron Man Trophy Wife

Bonus Trophy Wife costume mention goes to Jackie’s literal interpretation of who or what Iron Man is, luckily Bert did end up with an actual Iron Man suit and Trophy Wife once again nails the cold open with a very funny visual gag (last week involved Diane and Skype). Having such a huge cast could be problematic but so far this show is doing an excellent job with all the different groupings and because they are all part of the same family in one way or another these moments don’t feel contrived. The only character who they are finding it hard to organically involve is Meg and this is a shame as Natalie Morales has been great so far despite her limited screen time. Margaret Lyons at Vulture includes Bert and Warren in her piece on the “era of awesome weirdo kids” and I’m looking forward to seeing what Trophy Wife will do next (an early plea of “please don’t cancel this show”).

Caroline TVD Bonnie and ClydeIt wasn’t Halloween on The Vampire Diaries but they still got to play dress up thanks to a ball with a historical theme. Caroline is half of the Bonnie and Clyde and she’s pretty much a dead ringer for the Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie from the 1967 movie. Awesome Caroline is my favorite on The Vampire Diaries so I hoping this season goes beyond her pining after Tyler because she is so much more than that.

Julianna Margulies

Considering how amazing last Sunday’s episode of The Good Wife is, it’s not surprising to see Julianna Margulies with a smile this big. The red flared-skirt Philosophy coat is another reason to look happy and my outerwear envy is at an all time high with this outfit. Both the reception and the ratings were high for the appropriately named “Hitting the Fan” and it’s easily one of the best hours of TV that I have seen this year as Alicia and Cary left Lockhart/Gardner and the house of cards fell down and got propped up and then fell down again (depending on which character we are talking about). The Good Wife has shown that even in its fifth season it can do bold things and I can’t wait to see how this will impact the rest of the season.

Chanel Little Black Jacket Event

Diane Kruger is showing exactly why she is has been part of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s Look of the Week on so many occasions in this Chanel Spring 2013 Couture dress at the Little Black Jacket Chanel event in Sao Paulo. The red leather belt and floral embellishments make this a simple but stunning outfit choice. There isn’t anything too fussy about Kruger’s look and the strappy saddles/lack of accessories works and is complimented by the hair down and fresh face makeup approach.

Michael B Jordan[Source]

The Emmys were over a month ago and award chatter has moved onto movies and we can look forward to months of pre Oscars chat with some TV thrown in with the Golden Globes – where we’re mostly looking forward to Tina and Amy hosting and maybe boozy stars. One face that I am so excited to see in the mix is Michael B. Jordan for his performance in Fruitvale Station. Jordan is part of The Hollywood Reporter’s actor roundtable discussion and he talks about influences on his career such as The Wire’s David Simon and Friday Night Lights creator Peter Berg.

It’s worth a watch and the discussion covers stereotypes in Hollywood, what it’s like to portray a real person, roles they’ve turned down and terrible auditions including Jake Gyllenhaal’s Lord of the Rings disaster. The problem with these roundtables is they barely scratch the surface and switch topics at a rapid pace so just when something is getting interesting they move on.  Jordan comes across as thoughtful and smart  and I want all the good things to happen for him. Style wise he has been killing it on the red carpet this year.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Willow’s Very ’90s Halloween Costume

31 Oct

Today we are continuing our look at Halloween episodes of teen shows from the ’90s with Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s season 2 outing. Fashion and TV from this decade is a big source of discussion here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and one of the most representative of this period is Willow’s very un-Willow attire.

Willow Buffy the Vampire SlayerWillow protests that this costume “just isn’t me.” Buffy responds with “And that’s the point. Look, Halloween is the night that not you is you, but not you. Y’know?” Which is Buffy speak for Halloween is the night you get to pretend to be something that you are not. The reason why Willow is dressing from Buffy’s closet is because Buffy wants Willow to get noticed as it’s “the perfect chance for a girl to get sexy and wild with no repercussions.” This isn’t a specific costume per se and Willow isn’t exactly pretending to be Buffy in the same way that Danielle is dressing as Angela in My So-Called Life, instead Buffy is using her clothes as a way to give Willow a new sexy look with Halloween as the excuse.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer BooInstead Willow opts for her original very covered choice and she is clearly not feeling the sexy makeover. This is not the very ’90s aspect of her costume but it does turn Willow into a ghost when Ethan’s spell kicks in and she spends the rest of the episode in her Buffy chosen attire. It’s also a time for Willow to take command of the situation as both Xander and Buffy’s costumes mean they don’t remember anything about who they are.

Willow as a ghost Buffy the Vampire SlayerA super short leather looking mini (with a bonus thigh split), a stomach bearing top and the obligatory choker is why this perfectly represents the latter half of this decade. Dark lipstick, smoky eyes and an up do with the necessary two strands of hair dangling at the front completes the look so if you’re ever wanting an authentic ’90s costume idea this is pretty much it.

This is a big episode in the Buffy verse as it’s the first time we meet Ethan Rayne and get a hint of Giles’ dark past. It’s also the second time that Oz has noticed Willow (the first is in “Inca Mummy Girl” when Willow is dressed as an Eskimo) and he asks to himself in wonder “Who is that girl?” This occurs after the effects of the spell have worn off and Willow has ditched her Boo costume and strides with pride as she finally feels comfortable in her original outfit. While this doesn’t mean that Willow is suddenly going to change her style, this experience of having to lead under pressure means that Willow now has confidence in her abilities and she is a valuable asset to this team. Buffy’s mission to stop Willow from hiding has worked both from a boy perspective with Oz and with her role in the Scoobies. It’s a subversive look at the come as a sexy version of something.

As with Freaks and Geeks and My So-Called Life, Halloween gives Buffy the Vampire Slayer the opportunity to address relationships and the insecurities these characters might be feeling. Plus there is the added bonus of costumes and who doesn’t love a deep and meaningful discussion in fancy dress?

Halloween, Growing Up and Freaks and Geeks

29 Oct

It’s been mentioned on several occasions over the past week here at TV Ate My Wardrobe that I love Halloween episodes and teen shows like My So-Called LifeBuffy the Vampire Slayer and Freaks and Geeks have produced some of my favorite takes on this candy/monster filled event.

Teen shows spend a lot of time with characters who are constantly questioning who they are in that very self-involved but perfectly acceptable adolescent way. My So-Called Life explores a classic urban legend as a mirror to Angela Chase’s personal drama and features a costume moment that is hard to beat as Danielle Chase dresses as her older sister. With Buffy‘s first Halloween outing they become the character of the costume they are wearing and this gives an alternate version of their reality as Buffy turns into the type of woman she mistakenly thinks that Angel is interested in. Remember it’s bad to change who you are just because you think it’s what a dude wants.

Halloween offers a backdrop to not only dress the characters we are familiar with as something completely different but to also explore other larger issues that these characters are experiencing.

F&G ep 3 Trick or Treating

The Halloween episode of Freaks and Geeks “Tricks and Treats comes early in the life of the show (episode 3) and it expands on the boys straddling the line between what was fun when they were kids and how they should behave now they are at high school. After deliberations they go for the first option and venture out trick-or-treating even though they’re probably a tad too old. They soon find this out when they get berated by everyone and end up on the receiving end of Lindsay’s own teen dilemma as she accidentally eggs her brother Sam. Lindsay is still trying to prove to her new friends that she isn’t just a straight A student and all round good girl; she does so by emulating their Halloween pranks.

F&G ep 3 Lindsay mailbox baseballSam and Lindsay Weir are both at crossroads and they should both look to Bill Haverchuck who throughout the series has fun with what he likes and generally doesn’t worry about what others think about him. Bill dresses as the Bionic Woman and has imaginary conversations with Steve Austin as he gets ready because Bill wants to enjoy himself and if this involves make up and stuffed bra then he’ll do it. Bill is a rare flower and you’re more likely to find people like Sam and Lindsay who do worry about the opinions of others because that’s how most of us operate and teendom only magnifies these feelings.

F&G ep 3 Bill Bionic WomanHalloween is when we can become something we are not and the boys go for the childhood aspect they are leaving behind, whereas Lindsay attempts rebellion and finds that she doesn’t really like this side of herself. When I talked about this episode with Julie over at This Was TV I mentioned nostalgia as a key element and this applies to most holiday days as some of the strongest associations come from childhood experiences. Halloween comes with a high nostalgia factor particularly when it comes to trick-or-treating and then before you know it Halloween becomes a whole different kind of event involving booze and sexy versions of things.

One of the reasons why Freaks and Geeks resonates with me even though I didn’t watch it when I was a teenager is that it perfectly captures the many conflicting feelings that come during these teen years; it doesn’t patronize in how it presents this and you immediately get the sense of what it was like to be that age no matter what decade it is set in. This Paul Feig written episode might come early in the run of this show but it manages to get to the core of who Lindsay and Sam Weir are, even if they are questioning the people they are becoming.

Freaks and Geeks makes my heart ache and feel warm in equal measure and this scene from “Tricks or Treats” shows why Bill Haverchuck is always a joy to watch.

 

Halloween Costume Tips From My So-Called Life

24 Oct

Halloween is approaching which means Halloween episodes of TV shows! As the ’90s is the enjoying its moment in the nostalgia spotlight I’m going to turn to My So Called Life for some costume tips as their solitary spooky outing showcased a variety of costumes types and even led to a ghostly encounter that every teen show needs.

1) Go as someone you know

MSCL ep9 DangelaAngela Chase’s much ignored sister Danielle spends most of this show begging for attention and as the younger sibling she feels like she is always in Angela’s shadow. It makes total sense that rather than going as Madonna as her parents suggested she sticks closer to home and dresses up as her sister. It’s an easy look to achieve all you need is some red hair dye, an oversized plaid shirt, some DM like boots and a propensity to make grand statements while hugging yourself. Try not to smile when you are anywhere near your parents.

Rickie as BrianRickie also takes this approach but is a bit broader in his scope as he borrows Brian Krakow’s clothes to go as everyone else. I think Rickie should stick to his many awesome vests.

2) Pick an animal 

MSCL ep9 SharonSharon is a cat and she’s annoyed that more people aren’t dressed up. Of course if you’re going to go as an animal make sure everyone knows what animal you are as a wiseass like Rayanne will suggest that you look like a rat and when a costume is unclear it can get rather irritating correcting everyone.

3) Stick to the classics

MSCL ep9 RayanneRayanne opts for the more traditional approach and is dressed as a vampire. The one thing that is absent from the My So-Called Life episode is anyone doing the super sexy version of something and I don’t know if that’s because this wasn’t such a huge thing in the mid-90s. Rayanne’s costume is the one that edges towards with red lace and fishnets, but vampires are all about the sexy times (ok maybe not Nosferatu).

4) Go vintage

Vintage AngelaFind yourself a mohair cardigan, some retro glasses, a mid-length patterned skirt and an old library book and you instantly have the look of a 1960s high school student. Bonus points if you can find a tragic urban legend that mirrors your own personal drama.

5) Find a spooky setting 

MSCL ep9 groupGhost stories are just as integral to Halloween as costumes and candy and while TV Ate My Wardrobe doesn’t suggest a plan like the MSCL school séance, be prepared to tell your best scary stories. Don’t be like Brian Krakow and forget your costume.

6) Stay safe and watch out for any sneaky skeletons 

MSCL ep9 corridorYou never know where they might be hanging around.

New Girl “Keaton” Review: “I’m the Batman”

23 Oct

Apartment 4D is home to a dysfunctional bunch and this Halloween themed affair explores the long standing friendship between Nick and Schmidt with a little Michael Keaton thrown in. New Girl has been suffering from a Schmidt problem this season and “Keaton” goes a long way to fix this and it also sets up a way for Coach to return next month. By focusing on what makes Schmidt insufferable as a roommate they’ve made him insufferable to watch for most of this season. This week Schmidt’s behavior is tinged with a whole lot of sadness and he stops being a burden as they focus on his friendship with Nick.

NG_Ep306-Sc46_0011

There comes a time when a friend is spiraling that you will resort to anything to get them out of their funk and as Schmidt has entered the nihilistic yelling at the news/eating cold cuts out of a plastic bag stage it’s definitely time for desperate measures. I’m pretty sure I never want to see someone chug mayo as if it is whipped cream or eat a block of cheese like it is an apple ever again. Schmidt’s quest to find out if he is a good person last week did not do the trick, even with the gift of a random candelabra from Winston and so Winston thinks it’s time Schmidt got a letter from an old friend.

The old friend is Michael Keaton and shows that we all need a Batman in our lives when things get tough (there is definitely a paper that could be written about sitcoms to using Batman as a cipher for a character’s emotional state featuring Ben from Parks and Recreation and Community’s Abed). Michael Keaton started with Schmidt’s mother in a flashback sequence that includes a type writer that gives me a lot of Murder She Wrote vibes (it’s the magnifying glass that does it) and she passed the mantel to Nick when Schmidt started college. Nick has been Michael Keaton for 12 years and he’s hit the point where he doesn’t want to lie to Schmidt anymore.

Jess thinks it’s a great idea and this is partly fueled by the desire to have Cece at her Halloween party and so she takes over the catfishing duties. Jess doesn’t know how to utilize the Keaton voice as Nick does (who combines quotes from Nelson Mandela with Batman references) and of course it all falls apart and Schmidt figures out what they are doing. Drunk Jess thinks it’s a good idea to dress as Batman and pretend to be Michael Keaton all while attempting her best Batman growl. Of course this plan is ridiculous and hilarious as Zooey Deschanel shows how good she is when it comes to these super absurd moments.

They even get an out as Schmidt thinks that they have hacked Michael Keaton’s email account (keatonpotatoes@aol.com) but it’s all too much for Nick who reveals the entire letter writing scheme that started with Schmidt’s mother and has long since continued with Nick. Nick has always found it hard to talk about his feelings with both his best friends and girlfriends; last season’s “Models” showcased this with the still incredible “Gave me cookie, got you cookie” scene. Writing as Keaton allowed Nick to be both the best friend he is and the best friend he finds it hard to be and so when tells Schmidt “You don’t need Keaton, you got me” it’s an emotional step too far in the real world.

So what of Schmidt’s decision to move out? I actually don’t think there is much to worry about here as it definitely feels like a semi-organic way to get Coach back and after all he has only moved down the hall. Schmidt’s new roommate might be a ghost. Now that Schmidt won’t be at the loft all the time it means that it will be easier to incorporate Cece and the line about closure was definitely intended as a way to suggest it won’t be so weird if they are in the same room together. The Batmanmobile chat is hilarious as Jess can’t quite get her head around what Batman’s car is called. Adding an extra word to this makes sense as Jess has also been referring to herself incorrectly as “The Batman.”

After many solo storylines the last couple of episodes have been good for Winston as part of the ensemble and his enthusiasm for making pumpkins didn’t seem to be part of the same crazy Winston that we have seen this season. It’s a strong episode for the group as a whole and it plays on the dynamics of the long history of Winston/Nick/Schmidt versus the relatively short time they have known Jess. Oh and Winston, it’s ok as I’ve not seen the whole of The Truman Show either.

It’s Halloween which means costumes and I am not ashamed to admit that I love holiday themed episodes. The costumes on New Girl are just as bizarre as last year with Nick opting for the “what crap do I have lying around?” approach with Paper Mountain Trash King, Jess opts for another costume that is hard to figure out with Joey Ramona Quimby (perhaps topping last year’s zombie Woody Allen), Winston does a terrible David Letterman and Schmidt is a public serpent (which made me laugh a lot). The only one taking the sexy approach is Cece which involves a leopard print bralet and a tricorn hat; maybe she is a 17th century Scary Spice.

Moving forward is something that this episode allows Schmidt to do as he has reached his lowest point and the enabling of his roommates hasn’t helped; they need to call him out on his shit beyond the overflowing douchebag jar. We’re now at a place with New Girl where we know these characters well enough that progression like this needs to occur and it’s a shame that some aspects of this season haven’t clicked into place. While everything hasn’t worked I am glad to see this show attempting a variety of stories and the impending return of Coach will hopefully have a positive effect on this season.

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