Since I’m working under the idea that everyone here reads everything I write, I’ll assume you’re all familiar with my seminal review of Making History wherein I discussed the proper way to make old themes funny again. Specifically that the show uses time-travel to increase the differences between Deborah and Dan’s knowledge and experiences to highlight the absurdity of their situation. She knows how to trap, kill, and skin a bear; he knows what Cher looks like. These things can be funny. New Girl’s approach to reworking old sitcom themes for a newer audience is “Fuck it.”
As with most of the past few seasons, it wasn’t that any one line or performance on the show was necessarily bad, just uninspired. They used plotlines everyone has seen before (someone’s in love with someone else, someone’s getting married, someone’s pregnant), used the bare minimum plot devices to make it work, and then hoped to fill the holes with jokes. It was, at best, unremarkable. Remember in Baz Luhrmann’s “update” of Romeo
and + Juliet (because I am further assuming that everyone was a thirteen-year-old girl in 1996) how they say something about “draw your sword”? And then the gun has the name “Sword” written across the side? You know, this?
Everything in last night’s finale was a Sword Gun.
Take, for instance, Plot A: Jess loves Nick, plans to tell him, but wacky hijinks ensue when she hears only the first part of Nick’s answer at a book reading. Then Nick stumbles into Jess’ sanctuary at Cece and Schmidt’s house because his phone isn’t charged. Then both Nick and Jess realize they love the other, and have to tell them only to have a great stairs vs. elevator battle take place. Is there any part of that that couldn’t have feasibly been written into an episode of Three’s Company? I’m asking genuinely; I never watched the show.
The B Plot was only slightly better in that they didn’t attempt to drag it out (seriously, did we really have to see Jess pack up everything and get into the moving van before we saw her change her mind, and run back to the loft? Also, I can tell you from experience, the biggest issue with a Bolt-in-the-Night leaving is the lack of boxes. Wildly unrealistic that she would have that many). But that still doesn’t mean B Plot makes sense. Jess answers Cece’s phone without the disclaimer, “Hey, Sadie, it’s Jess. Cece’s downstairs,” and friend/obstetrician blurts out “Hey, you’re pregnant!” without a slight hesitation because HIPPA doesn’t apply to friends, right? Maybe, maybe that would happen. But then the exact same situation happens again with Cece’s super close friend Ally (no, she isn’t) answering the phone? And Sadie makes the same mistake again? Are they just giving out Sword guns to everyone?
After four paragraphs of bitching, I do feel the need to note Hannah Simone’s performance when Cece learned she was pregnant. Girl, you crushed it. You crushed it all day today. And then you crushed it some more. And then it asked you what you were doing, and you told it that you were crushing it. Thank you for being the very bright spot in an otherwise alarmingly dull episode.
Now is usually the part where we look back at the show we once loved, and have recently eviscerated, to reminisce about the good times. To talk about the great comedy of the back half of season 1, all of season two, then sporadic episodes, and increasingly scenes, in later seasons. This is where we highlight the clearly telegraphed, but still wildly successful, first kiss between Nick and Jess. The extended inevitable getting together that somehow worked remarkably well. And, of course, this is where we should discuss the greatest love of all, Winston and Ferguson. Because while things might have
soured blanded at the end, this show was good to us for a while. And we had some good times together. But you know what? Fuck it.