No, I have not abandoned New Girl and have been very disappointed by the sequence of events that led me to miss out on the last few weeks of reviews, but I’m back and just in time! This episode was rife with guest stars of exceptional caliber and nostalgia inducing talent. I grew up with Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis and adopted at least one of them as surrogate fantasy parent at some point in my life. The two were fun, but didn’t overshadow the rest of the cast or bulldoze their way through “Parents”, rather fit right in with the existing cast and were a welcome addition to the kookiness that the show is known for.
In New Girl, “Parents”, Jess appears nervous about Thanksgiving day because of her intricate plan to keep her parents from seeing one another. The two have been divorced for years and can’t stand to be around one another. As Jess gives the roommates the lowdown on her situation, she lets them know that her mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) can be a little peppy (the prospect of someone peppier than Jess sends Nick into a panic) and mentions that Nick will like her dad (Rob Reiner), who she claims she got her “dark side” from, because they are both so unhappy.
Jess planned to have her parents show up at different times of the day and to have two separate dinners in order to avoid a fight between her mom and dad, but dad shows up early and decides to stay for the meal planned for Jess’ mom. CeCe immediately sees through this “mistake” and accuses Jess of “Parent Trapping” the couple into falling back in love with one another, a stunt she has apparently been employing for many years. Despite CeCe’s protests, Jess keeps putting her parents in situations which she hopes will result in their reunion.
Schmidt has his own issues with Thanksgiving as he awaits his older brother, played by none other than Rob Riggle. That, my friends is some genius casting; I can’t think of anyone better to play to Schimdt’s over the top douchebagness than Mr. Riggle. Upon arriving, his bro calls himself Schimdt and the fight is one. Out of boredom, Winston suggests a competition for the title of the “one true Schmidt”, and he sets the rules, as well as provides the challenges, such as wheelbarrowing. CeCe gets involved and ups the ante, telling the two men that the true test of their manhood is how comfortable they are in their masculinity, suggesting they can prove this by kissing another man. Both men take the challenge and try to kiss Winston without him knowing that’s what their intention is. Rob Riggle wins by kissing Winston after shouting “all day Winston”, and with the competition out of the way the brothers can finally be real with one another and have a heart to heart moment.
Jess employs Nick’s help with her parent trapping after an awkward moment in which her dad and Nick spend on the couch finishing eachother’s sentences and essentially proving they are the same person. So…Jess is falling for her dad. Jess tells Nick to hang out with her mom to make her dad jealous, but the plan backfires when Nick admits he thinks he’s into her mom. Once again, no surprise considering the similarities in personality. Jess’ dad figures out what she is up to, but ends up in the bathroom with her mom, the two making out. When Jess catches a glimpse of this exchange she is certain her plan has finally worked and her parents are getting back together. Dinner quickly turns from Thanksgiving to an airing of grievences when CeCe outs Jess for smoking pot in her parent’s van when they were teenagers and Jess’ mom finally gets satisfaction to her long term accusation that CeCe scratched said van years prior. Jess is completely broken hearted when her parents assure her their kiss was just a hook-up and they aren’t ever getting back together and takes her frustration out on the turkey, trying unsuccessfully to put it down the garbage disposal.
Of course everything turns out okay, with Jess finally accepting (maybe) her parent’s divorce. The episode ends with a threat of violence from Jess’ mom to CeCe if she ever gives her daughter drugs again and one last hookup, Aerosmith style (Love in an Elevator).
I enjoyed this episode, the season has been consistent and this one was a fun diversion from the norm. This was a wonderful commentary on what Thanksgiving can bring out in all of us, the best and the worst, as well as the kid. Who doesn’t revert to some other time in their life, like Thanksgivings past, on this day? Though so many feel like Thanksgiving is something we put ourselves through, if that was the truth, why would we keep doing it? There is something there that still appeals to us about coming together as family, no matter how crazy things might get. All of this in mind, I ended New Girl‘s “Parents” with a big smile on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling all over. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
You can catch New Girl on Fox Tuesdays at 9/8c and can find the first season on Amazon.com just in time for the holidays! Follow @CatEdison and @ScreenInvasion on Twitter and ‘Like’ Screen Invasion on Facebook for the best contests and pop culture news!
Do you think Nick and Jess will be k-i-s-s-i-n-g by the end of this season? Share your predictions in the comments!