New Girl “The Story of the 50” Review

The Douchebag Jar makes a glorious return to form in this week’s episode celebrating Schmidt’s birthday party. It’s probably the second best episode of New Girl, after the Thanksgiving episode, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The show brought the characters out of the apartment and into a party bus. Jess got a bunch of funny material involving the hiring of a stripper. Winston had nothing to do, again. And while the writers still don’t know how to make him an interesting character, at least they’ve given Nick a new girlfriend.

Lizzy Caplan begins her multi-episode arc as Nick’s new girlfriend Julia with anger management issues. Caplan is always good, and while her character here on New Girl may be fairly reminsicent of her character Casey on the ill-fated, much adored Starz show Party Down, I don’t really care: sometimes it can be tiring to see an actor play the same character, but sometimes that character is just so entertaining or the actor so charismatic that it hardly matters. That’s pretty much how I feel about what Caplan is bringing to the show: the feeling started around the Crosby impressions and was solidified by the time she was punching the daylights out of Schmidt’s old friend.

Julia is the kind of girl I’d love to be friends with while Jess is just the oppostie: see her cowering on the bus seats after the big confrontation? Yeah, my tolerance for wishy washy girls is fairly low, and this is one of the many inconsistencies built into the Jess character. Also, giving the guys the big “hero” moment almost ruined the episode, and it was only Julia’s punching action that brought it back on tracks.

The star of this episode was certainly Schmidt, who was very, very funny from the fat flashbacks (I think I have a weakness for the ugly duckling stories: my favorite episodes of Friends were usually Fat Monica centered) to the douchebag moments (my personal favorite was Nick’s reaction to his tank top and hat). He and Jess even had a sweet moment at the end.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.