‘New Girl’ 1.03 Recap: “I Barely Sleep. So Much Doing It.”

This is exactly the episode that ‘New Girl’ needed to define what the series will be like. The first two episodes spent most of their time focused on Jess and her weirdo personality. The guys sort of stood in the background, receiving minimal characterization. That finally changed in ‘Wedding’.

Nick finds it incredibly difficult to get over his old girlfriend Caroline, so he concocts a plan. There’s a wedding coming up that Caroline will be attending, and he wants Jess to act like his girlfriend for the night to make Caroline jealous. Jess accepts and begins to hastily apply any amount of weirdness to the situation. She makes sure to bring her prosthetic hillbilly teeth with her to lighten up the mood.

I’m becoming increasingly enamored with the way Zooey Deschanel plays her character. Like I said in an earlier recap, I’m used to seeing her in strong, independent female roles. Having her be an awkward, dependent space case is a complete shift for the actress. In the pilot episode, it seemed like she was trying a little too hard to be weird with her “Hey sailor!” comment, but she’s beginning to really find the character now. I have to say that putting on those “little girl bike shorts” so that she could fit into her dress was pretty funny. Thinking back on it now, I’m laughing. “Is it bad that I can’t feel my legs?”

This episode takes on more of a ‘Modern Family’-like feel. Each character has their own story, but they all seem to intersect somehow. While Nick and Jess try their hardest to look like a happy couple, Schmidt tries to escape the clutches of Gretchen, a woman he doesn’t like but ends up having steamy sex with after every wedding they both attend. This time, Gretchen wants to take Schmidt home, tie him up, and make him watch a two-hour slideshow of her river rafting trip. Kinky. Finally, Winston has his own problems when he continues to get shown up by an annoying kid at the wedding.

This was by far my favorite episode of the fledgling comedy. It’s very good news to hear that Fox has picked up additional episodes, giving ‘New Girl’ a full first season. This is all you can ask from a comedy. It’s getting better every episode. It’s finding its footing and realizing who its characters really are. The only thing that I hope gets cut back a little is the Let’s All Come Together Moment that Jess and the guys have had at the end of each episode. I hope that doesn’t become the show’s “thing.” It’s fine if it happens every once and a while, but if it digs itself into that formulaic rut, there’s no telling if the show will ever be able to get out. With that said, ‘Modern Family’ has done a great job with its seemingly clichéd voiceover endings. So, I don’t know, maybe ‘New Girl’ could pull this off. Ending with a slow Chicken Dance was a very nice touch.


  1. Drew

    I concur.

    The first episode, although not great, was good enough to warrant watching again. The second episode was an incomprehensible disaster! This third episode was stellar.

    Let’s hope the show has found it’s groove, and we can expect much more episodes like this!

  2. I agree too. This show is definitely having charming moments, but still isn’t getting the belly laughs. My girlfriend loves it and since it’s aimed at her demographic, well, bulls-eyes all around, eh?

    Did anyone else notice how Zooey went from being “goofy girl” to “smolderingly hot woman” when she was first trying to make the guy’s ex jealous? WOW!

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