Review: 'New Girl' - 'Fluffer': Friends without benefits
A review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I'm going through a Taylor Swift-like range of emotions...
Sometimes, there are sitcom episodes where I enjoy the stories but don't find them especially funny, while other times I laugh at a bunch of jokes but don't like the stories. "Fluffer" was largely an example of the latter scenario, filled with a bunch of amusing individual gags (the other guys mocking Schmidt's belt, Jess and Nick surviving an awkward, overpriced dinner with a thermos of wine, Sam asking "Am I being blackmailed?" to understand Jess's scenario with the dresser) but more problematic stories.
The basic premise of the A-story — that Jess needs a guy she likes emotionally to prepare her to have crazy sex with a guy she doesn't — was a good one, but halfway through it turned into another plot about how Jess and Nick are denying their not-so-secret feelings(*) for each other, and at that point I lose abll interest. I get that Zooey Deschanel is the star of the show, Nick has turned out to be the funniest character on the show, and it's a TV tradition for opposites to attract, blah blah blah. But it's always felt like the "New Girl" writers are trying to make Jess/Nick happen because they're supposed to, and not because the combination becomes vastly more entertaining when you add sexual tension to their contrasting temperaments. Even if the creative team genuinely thinks it's an awesome idea, it never comes across on-screen as one, and feels like a waste of resources to keep devoting time to it.(**)
(*) Speaking of non-secrets, what's with Nick trying to deny having fantasized about Jess when the show did a whole episode last season ("Secrets") about how all three of the guys had done it, repeatedly?
(**) I was talking with Todd Van Der Werff about "Fluffer" this morning, and he suggested that the only way a Jess/Nick pairing would be entertaining is if they get together and it is a complete disaster, like the way "Scrubs' treated J.D. and Elliott in the early seasons, or the payoff to Cordelia and Wesley's season-long flirtation on "Buffy." I concur.
Schmidt impersonating Tagg Romney — and briefly getting away with it in front of a trio of hardcore Romney fans — was pretty stupid, but I did enjoy, as usual, his interactions with Cece, including her being there for him in his moment of need even though they're broken up and he's constantly mocking her boyfriend. That's a situation where the chemistry between the two actors works in virtually any iteration.
As for Winston, it's unfortunately still a struggle. Why is he almost always much funnier commenting on the other character's storylines ("Never Adele!") than when he's involved in his own? They had a whole season, plus a hiatus, to figure this out, and it's still a case of a funny performer in search of a character.
Enough jokes landed, and the first half of the Jess/Nick storyline worked (before their fight) that overall I liked "Fluffer," but it felt like a step down from last week's two strong episodes.
What did everybody else think?
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
Let Streaming Genie help you.