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[email protected] Is Real: What We Learned From Last Night's Fox Comedies

By Joanna Robinson | TV | October 23, 2013 |

By Joanna Robinson | TV | October 23, 2013 |

There’s Absolutely Nothing Wrong With Nick And Jess: Last week there was a piece on Vulture all about how the Jess and Nick relationship isn’t working. And though many of you already debunked that article over on Dustin’s Power Ranking, I thought we should talk about how this episode further disproves the theory. First of all, the notion that these two lack chemistry is balderdash. Zooey Deschanel may give off more warm snuggly vibes than heat in this role, but the pull between Deschanel and Johnson is undeniable.

Secondly, though there are sweet moments and cute asides (“I sleep with him!”) this episode was largely Nick and Jess in roommate hijinks mode. Because they adore each other, yes. They’re attracted to each other, sure. But they’re friends first. And it shows.

But Here’s The Real Enduring Romance Of The Show: But no matter what went on between Nick and Jess, it’s the Schmidt and Nick friendship that took center stage. The fact that Nick has, since college, been shoring up Schmidt’s confidence is, well, let’s go with endearing. To think about it too much is to veer into “taking a sitcom too seriously” territory. We are all bored to death Schmidt being a d*ck but if you think of it less as a result of his disastrous dealings with Elizabeth and CeCe and more about a chaotic freefall as a result of feeling like he’s lost his friend/hetero life mate, then the pain and the rage and the self-loathing becomes, of not more bearable, at least more understandable. Let’s hope this move (likely temporary) is good for him.

The Problem With Peter: This was the most Adam Pally we’ve had yet and, yes, I still cannot stand this character. While I did enjoy him calling Mindy out on her nonsense (The USA Girls Cafe scene was particularly delightful), I don’t enjoy his arc or his demeanor. Even in his vulnerable moments when we were supposed to be feeling for him, I felt nothing.

The Problem With The Show: Someone said this in the comments of Pajiba Love yesterday and I whole-heartedly agree. I love you show, but you have Too. Many. Characters. I kept wondering why Kaling was expanding, expanding, expanding. Four doctors, four nurses, a heavy rotation of suitors. Then I realized that Kaling was likely trying to write what she knew. And what does she know? She knows how to write The Office. That miraculous show where we somehow followed the antics of Oscar, Angela, Creed, Kevin, Jim, Pam, Dwight, Phyllis, Kelly, Ryan, etc. etc. for years. Without difficulty! An abundance of characters was never the problem on The Office. Why is it a problem here? Mostly I think we’ve not invested enough time or weight into the characters. Motivations are muddy and inconsistent. Morgan was hounding Mindy two episodes ago and now he’s got a huge crush on Tamra? Do I care about Tamra’s subplot with her boyfriend, the kid from The Wackness? Oh I do not.

At Least There Goes One Suitor: Ginsberg bowed out this week after a brief run at being Mindy’s boyfriend. And though she treated him shabbily in order to improve her relationship with Peter, he cited Danny as the reason. He’s not entirely wrong, is he? Also, Mindy, girl, that skirt.

One Last Girly Aside: Mindy Kaling looked so unbearably amazing in this episode. They let her hair grow all the way out and someone please track down the name of her lip gloss in this scene. Okay. That’s it. Girly asides over.

Best Line Of The Night: Winston constantly gets my favorite lines because a) Lamorne Morris has the zingiest delivery and b) he’s the only one not embroiled in a romance/drama plot so his lines are always light and pert. That’s the one thing that Vulture article and I agree on. The Winston plots (though frustratingly background) are always the most fun.

Is It Worth Continuing With The Mindy Project?: Yes! Last week was so good! And other reasons! Duplass reasons! D.E.N.N.I.S. reasons! Friendship Cake reasons!

I Heard You, America: Here’s your Brooklyn 99 nod. Last night’s Halloween episode was delightful. The office break-in pranks reminded me of one of my favorite Newsradio episodes. Samberg has calmed down a little and the rest of the cast seems to be rising up to meet him. I think the show has legs.

Something To Look Forward To: The FOX comedies won’t be back until November 5th, but we can look forward to some quality Damon Wayans Jr. when New Girl returns. Oh, and in the meantime? Try sending an email to [email protected] Someone, I don’t know who, is answering.

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