I love the second season of any show, good or bad: after taking the first batch of episodes to figure out characters, sophomore efforts tend to show a new found confidence in tone and narrative, able to insert characters into plots and explore dynamics between people in more interesting ways (and succeed in doing it).
New Girl‘s been juggling a number of story lines through the second season: Jess and Nick, Cece getting married, Jess getting fired, Nick and his father, Winston and Nick’s father, Schmidt getting over CeCe and rekindling his college romance with Elizabeth…
In essence, there are two distinct purposes to any ‘flashback’ episode.
The majority of ‘Bachelorette Party’ – like many late first season episodes – is focused on Schmidt and CeCe, as each tries to reconcile a truth in their current relationship (or lack thereof).
Although ‘Chicago’ is an undeniably flawed episode, it redeems itself by having its heart in the right place with the most important characters (Nick and Jess).
Back from a healthy spring break, New Girl delivered one of its finest episodes of the season with ‘Quick Hardening Caulk’, a hilarious half hour about the people Jess and Schmidt want – and how they both fail at being able to coherently express those feelings.
If season one of New Girl was the Year of Schmidt, season two’s been the Year of Nick, a trend that seems to continue for the first half of ‘Tinfinity’, named after the celebration of Nick and Schmidt’s 10th anniversary as room mates.
The biggest problem with will they/won’t they in sitcoms is actually dealing with it.
I wasn’t completely sold last week on the Nick/Jess kiss – but ‘Table 34′ went a long way from alleviating those fears, a hilarious, uncomfortable half hour of panic moon walking at an Indian arranged marriage convention.
‘Cooler’ ends with the moment we’ve all been expecting for Nick and Jess since the pilot – a passionate, “unexpected” embrace where they finally express those frustrating feelings between them.