ConStar Watches New Girl “The Box”

I’m pretty sure this is my least favorite episode of the season. I couldn’t pin point why, but some other TV writers expounded on some of the problems where I couldn’t.

I think my initial problem was that it was the least funny of the episodes so far. Not to say I didn’t smile or laugh at some of the lines or Jess diving under Nick’s bed, but overall, it fell flatter than the other episodes. I wanted to say it could have been because of the heaviness of Nick’s outrageousness and the fight with Jess, but even when I’m hating Schmidt for being the douche we always knew he was, the episodes were funny as well.

From the beginning, when Nick get’s this influx of cash, I was reminded of a few episodes ago, when he wished he had money to take care of Jess and give her the things that he wanted. I get him not wanting to pay his bills, but it might have been more in character for Nick to try to spend all that money on Jess (and to have her say no, pay your bills, and do exactly what she did in the episode). Instead, he becomes really selfish, which is a typical “I’ve gained a lot of money” plot, when we all know he aches to give Jess better and to sort of prove to himself that he is worthy of her. Spending the money on Jess would have created the same reaction in her, because she’d want him to pay his bills. (And as someone who wishes I could just put my bills in a box (and sometimes kind of do), I would be appreciative if someone did it for me. It’s not that I don’t want to, but sometimes the burden of responsibility comes upon me and it’s too much and I want to hide. If you wanna pay my bills for me, go ahead! I’d welcome it! Nick definitely was in the wrong here.

From Nerdy Girl Notes:

Yes, it was sweet to hear Nick say he would do anything for Jess, but that’s not why he should be opening a bank account. He should be growing as a person because he wants to—not because he feels like it will appease Jess.

Also this, from Nora on Tumblr:

That’s your takeaway from all of this, Nick? You’re doing it cause your girlfriend told you it’s probably a good idea to start paying your bills and not, say, because you think it’s time to be a grown up? Man. Just like Schmidt’s trying to be a good person because he thinks that’s what he’s supposed to do, not because he believes in it.

[Jess shouldn’t have been thanking Nick for opening an account with her money (!)

  • I hadn’t even realized that that’s indeed what had happened!]

This is very important. Especially since in the episode he said “I’m not changing for anyone,” then did a complete about face. Instead, he could have “come to the conclusion” that Jess was right and realized that maybe baby steps should be taken in terms of his responsibility. Not because Jess told him to, but because he wanted to. It’s upsetting that the first fight episode is so troubling and problematic, because otherwise I would have loved to see a “new couple fight” episode and get to watch them overcome it and not break up (like most will-they-won’t-they couples do so, so often. They break up after the first fight).

I did enjoy Drunk!Nick expounding on money, Jess’ Nick character switch at the bank, the sassy receptionist when Jess tries to get Nick’s money back, and the end “how many times did you rub [the candelabra] thinking a genie would come out. Otherwise, it was the weakest episode of the season and the weakest episode in a long time considering how I increasingly loved the end of last season more and more. As Nerdy Girl Notes says, there were characterization problems and she pointed out that it is a new writer who doesn’t necessarily get the nuances of the characters, but that’s something a showrunner  or whoever helps them with that part of the job comes in to say, hey, we need to adjust this. It wouldn’t have even taken that much.

it just seemed to further highlight the fact that this season is doing this character no favors in terms of making [Schmidt] a sympathetic (or even relatable) character.

Let’s not even talk about Schmidt. I thought last week was his rock bottom, but it appears he has further to go. It’s not funny, it’s just sad.

All block quotes belong to Nerdy Girl Notes: TV Time: New Girl 3.05, except where specified.

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