A few thoughts on tonight's New Girl double feature coming up just as soon as I tell Alfonso Cuaron he's lost his lead otter...

Knowing that both episodes would air on the same night, the show played with its format in interesting ways with this bachelor/bachelorette party idea, not only splitting the cast by gender, but devoting one episode to each party, so that Jess and Cece barely appear in "Road Trip," while the guys are only slightly more prominent in "A Chill Day In." It basically functioned as a small-scale version of the Arrested Development Netflix season, down to having Jess's texts to Winston in the first episode make much more sense after getting her side of the story in the second.

Given that Jess/Cece has never been one of the show's best comic pairings (both of them are usually much funnier interacting with the guys), I was expecting to take more pleasure in Schmidt's party than Cece's. Instead, "A Chill Day In" wound up being the livelier outing, and a good continuation of the show's latter-day tendency to wrestle familiar stories to the ground through sheer weirdness. Making your characters too stoned to function has been done to death, but the sheer volume and oddness of the jokes Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone got to deliver really carried the thing, with some good straight woman help from Nasim Pedrad and an always welcome appearance from Nadia. (Somewhere, there's a parallel timeline where the show made Nadia the fifth loft-mate for a season — or, at least, used her instead of Regan during Deschanel's maternity leave.)

"Road Trip" certainly didn't lack for weirdness, particularly once the guys arrived at the desert bar. But (perhaps because it had to service many more guest characters than "A Chill Day In") it dragged more, at least we got into the goofy Katy Perry-scored brawl, where all of Schmidt's nightmares of macho inadequacy came hilariously true. 

A fun experiment made possible by the scheduling (and that will likely play even better when binged down the line), even if the show's generally better off having the whole ensemble mixing it up more than they did here.

What did everybody else think?

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "TV (The Book)" about the 100 greatest shows of all time, is available now. He can be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com