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New Girl Review: Ménage A Trois

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Last week, New Girl bravely marched into the self-reflexive breach to take on the haters that dislike Jess because of all her cupcakery and cutesiness (guys, cutesiness is a real word. I know, I was surprised too. Cupcakery is definitely a made up word, though).

This week, "Landlord" takes us on an about-face, suggesting that Jess is actually a darling that can make even the most curmudgeonly of curmudgeons love her. 

Hey, Landlord!

Normally, this severe of a story jump would give the viewers whiplash, but the main reason it works for New Girl is because the people that hate Jess (or Zooey) aren’t watching. The folks that are tuning in all love Jess, so of course we’ll buy it that one week she can be subject of Lizzy Caplan’s ire and the next week she can smile down a guy with a gun! 

"Oh, my God, it’s like The Wire!" permalink

I want to see the episode where Jess, a girl who loves polka dots and had never seen porn prior to moving in with the dudes, watches The Wire. I would even settle for an Internet short instead of a full episode.

For more of this week's ridiculous lines, check out the quotes page.

So who is the focus of Jess’ laser beam of sweetness this week? The gang’s landlord, Remy, a scary, monosyllabic man who lives in the basement and sharpens broom handles into spears while brooding over his bucket of gasoline. Jess opens with her traditional peace offering of cupcakes. Is the landlord a dessert person? This crucial piece of information is never revealed because Jess tells Remy that four people live in her loft, which is apparently against their lease. Angry, Remy comes upstairs to oust the illegal roommate.

But Jess’ charms win him over, and he not only lets everyone stay, but he also fixes some things around the apartment.

However, there’s more at stake here than just a few closet doors getting re-hung. Jess is trying to prove to Nick that people are inherently good, and he just has to give them a chance. Nick, with his turtle-face frown and pessimistic outlook, of course thinks Remy just wants to sleep with Jess. Nick’s concern for Jess is predictable – there’s been sexual tension between the two of them since the first episode.

Any Nick/Jess shippers out there? I think they would make a terrible couple, and I’ve been wondering how the writers were going to take the next step in their relationship. The answer: a ménage a trois. With the landlord.

Just like Nick, I didn’t see Remy’s request for a threesome coming. When Remy mentioned it, I chuckled but expected the joke to stop there. Nope. It quickly turned into a game of chicken, using sex as the weapon – will Nick or Jess admit they’re wrong about the nature of humanity first and therefore not have to go through with the deed? Only being on the brink of making out with Nick forced Jess to cave. Sorry, Nick/Jess shippers, clearly Jess isn’t into it. For now.

While the ménage a trois storyline received the lion's share of screen time tonight, Schmidt, as always, did an admirable job of holding down the remainder of the episode. Ironically, New Girl feels most confident when Schmidt is on screen. His character is a great platform for pushing the limits, and Max Greenfield’s exuberant performance really lets the show experiment. Want to try out a montage? Give it to Schmidt. Want to structure an episode around a flashback? Let’s make it about Schmidt. Need a slo-mo parquour scene in a parking garage? You guessed it. Schmidt time. 

Winston had some time to shine last week, so this week he was pushed to the background. Hopefully, he’ll have a chance to woo Shelby next time in the Valentine’s Day episode.

Are you as excited for Ryan Kwanten’s guest spot on next week’s New Girl as I am? If so, please compose a Valentine’s Day haiku about in the comments. Here’s mine:

Dear New Girl and Gang
Let Ryan Keep His Sexy
Aussie Outback Twang

Stray Observations
  • This episode had me doubled over in laughter during the “foreplay” to the threesome scene and Schmidt’s table dancing.
  • I'm glad that Schmidt's 2007 New Years Resolutions list wasn't just a throw away gag and actually came back at the end of episode.
  • Schmidt’s Panamanian accent was so, so wrong and so, so hilarious.


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (114 Votes)
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( Me ) yes! I did! I re-wound it like twice to watch nicks face as he went in for the kiss. Theres definitely something there, I'm not sure what, but the way he grabbed her head and looked before he went in for it. There was definitely more to it than just trying to get her to cave. I love jess/nick ! Does anyone else agree that lizzy caplan (nicks girlfriend) looks a lot like jess. I used to get these two actress confused with each other bank in the day when they were both starting out, my family also thinks hes in love our on his way to loving jess.


Such a great show. But I don't like Jess & Nick as a couple. Plus having any of them couple up would mess with the great dynamics of the group. And I want more CeCe - it seems like they are pushing CeCe into the background a bit more lately. Perhaps cause she is stealing some of Jess's thunder?


did anyone else think that in the scene where Nick goes to kiss jess that he looked very relaxed and almost excited about it...it seemed right...lol...i think its pretty obvious that he's falling in love with her, which will make for some VERY interesting episodes down the road between jess and nicks gf...love this show!!


New Girl was such a cute show when it started. Now, just gettting as skanky as all the others. It says a lot about the generation coming up when they think this kind of crap is entertainment.


This was a great episode I loved everything about it. The Nick/Jess made my heart happy and I was also sad that she pulled back from the kiss. I agre they should not get together this season but one kiss would be nice. It's true she is closer to Nick then the other to and he is protactive of her. Next week can't come soon enough!!!!


This was one of my favorite episodes. I ache from laughing so much! The threesome scene was just spectacular. Schmidt is always hilarious. I can't get enough of this show!!! One of my favorite parts was actually when they were running around getting rid of Schmidt's stuff - "This is what we trained for!" Love


i meant *schmidt


i personally thought this was one of my favorite episodes! i laughed so much at smicht and jess!
jess and nick = CUTE!


@me :) I totally agree with you I think Nick and Jess will be a good couple someday. It is a bit early in the show to throw them together right now but I have to admit I was a little disappointed that Jess pulled away right as Nick was about to kiss her. I realize though that it is way to early and they don't know each other well enough yet for a kiss to happen. I can wait though I think they belong together. I do love that they are closer than she is with Schmidt or Winston. I like seeing their friendship grow and hopefully they will grow into more than friends.


I disagree about Nick/Jess being a "terrible couple". Obviously, there's tension, but they're roomates who just met each other. They shouldn't date this season, and that way we get to see them form a friendship, and a close bond, which leads to real romantic feelings. Jess is closer to Nick than the other two, so it makes sense. I expect 1 kiss this season and a bit of awkwardness for the rest of the season, they won't become a couple til late season 2 or early 3. just my opinion! great review btw :)