TVTV Recaps

NEW GIRL – Are You a True American?

In this episode Jess introduces Russell to her normal, Russell takes to it almost too well, Nick continues to profess his love of Russell and Winston meets one of his idols and lands a job with a jerk of a boss.

“Normal” begins with Jess and Russell at a political fundraiser at which Jess says she feels like a high class hooker a la Pretty Woman.  In a very Jess kind of seduction, she tells Russell she is wearing a pair of his boxer briefs under her dress.  Jess has been away from the loft for a while, she spent a week at Fancyman’s house with the rich and famous, or at least the rich.  She wonders out loud how the boys are doing without her.

The next scene shows the guys to be just fine.  When Jess does come home, the guys didn’t even really seem to notice she was gone.  Schmidt notices Winston listening to a radio show and writing with a pen and wants to know “What decade are we in?”  Irony…I’m watching a TV show in real time, just a step or two away from the radio show, and writing my notes with a pen as he says this, which of course makes me laugh even harder.

CeCe and Jess talk about Russell and how perfect everything seems to be.  CeCe debates how perfect things are with Jess, citing the fact that they do everything on Russell’s terms and at his place.  Jess decides that Russell needs to spend time in her reality for a while.  When she asks the roommates if they are okay with Russell staying for a weekend, she requests that they all act “normal”, but not their skewed versions of normal.  Nick asks if he can take Russell through his idea book, to which Jess gives an emphatic “no!”.  My curiosity was peaked though and I counted on the idea book making a cameo at some point in the episode.

Winston has to break up with Elvin, the kiddo he has been nanny for.  He lets him know that he has to go away, to which Elvin says he knows all about deat, “I know there’s no farm where grandpa’s and dogs go to die”.  When Winston explains he’s not dying, but getting a new job, Elvin automatically decides to help by letting Winston know he needs to get his resume up to date, “it’s 2012 – typing is not a special skill”.

Winston goes to radio station to try to get a job with sports talk host.  The host of the show trashes Winston during his interview by bashing his recently ended career.  Winston hesitates to accept the job until Karim Abdul-Jabbar walks in.  After asking if he can sit on Karim’s shoulders, Winston opens a note that Abdul-Jabbar slipped in to his hand.


Nonetheless, Winston takes the job and regrets it almost immediately due to the host who becomes his boss and turns out to be a huge a-hole.

When Russell comes to stay, Nick is a little too welcoming.  As we remember from the Fancyman episodes, Nick has fallen in love with Russell and everything about him.  Over noodles, Schmidt starts mocking Russell and talking to him like he’s a baby while Nick tries to share Russell’s noodles because he says the two of them are noodle brothers.  Jess is slightly mortified by the way they are both acting and Russell is unnerved by all the goings on  in the loft.  To lighten the mood, Jess decides to start a game of True American (a game involving the names of presidents, shotgunning beers, a bottle of rum, and climbing on furniture to avoid the floor which has turned to lava).  If that’s not enough clarification for you, and I don’t know how it could be, see below for rules and a clip showing the game in action!  Fancyman’s not so fancy once he shotguns a beer!

Once Russell really gets rolling he starts having fun with the gang.  His team wins True American when CeCe shows up and lures Schmidt to bed.  Russell is completely wasted by the end of the game as are the rest of the guys.  Winston sits down and asks him as a rich white man, would he have any advice on how to handle his jerk boss.  Russell tells him he has to pull a power play on him and suggests dipping his testicles in the boss’ shake.  Jess tries to take Russell to bed, but he wants to stay up and play with the boys, Jess feels left out.

See here for Rules to True American and see a clip HERE.

Nick gets to share his idea book with Russell after all and is excited to have made a prototype of his “Real Apps” overnight.  It is a version of a Swiss Army Knife on a phone, but literally ON the phone, not in it.  Nick and Schmidt try to pitch the “Real Apps” to Russell and mistakenly stab him in the process.  Russell decides to leave and snaps at Jess on his way out.

Winston’s boss brings him on-air to talk about his basketball career.  Instead of Winston getting to be interviewed, his boss does a mocking version of Winston and puts him down once again.  He decides to quit working there and takes Russell’s advice on the power play.  After taking action, Winston goes back to Elvin who can’t let him go back to being a nanny and sets him up so he has to go back to the radio job.  Elvin tells his mom that Winston asked him if he could smoke weed, to which is mom says Elvin needs to get away from the hippy and that Winston’s nanny career is over.  This drives Winston back to the radio station where he tries to salvage things by throwing out all the shakes, less one that he can’t find.  Que the boss walking in with said shake in hand.  He forces Winston to tell him what he did to the shakes and ends up finding it hilarious.  So much so that the boss decides to do the same thing to Karim’s shake.

At the end of the episode, Russell and Jess have their first fight, albeit a very short one.  Jess ends it with “if you wanna get with me, you gotta get with my friends”, the Spice Girls were so wise.

This week’s episode provided a great storyline and some really solid laughs.  It made me nostalgic for college and the ridiculousness that went on there too.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, am happy to see Russell and Jess’ relationship continuing to develop and how much fun was it to see Dermot Mulroney cut loose?  New Girl, “Normal” reminds us how many different versions of normal there can be.  My normal is not your normal, and so on.  In some cases the varying forms of normal are extreme, as in Jess and Russell’s norms.  Jess is young, immature, definitely not rich, while Russell is older, cultured and wealthy.  In this episode the two find how different their normals are and decide to make things work in spite of it.  It’s a lesson that can be applied to almost any conflict kids, look around and see’s who’s day you could make a little brighter by accepting their version of normal.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @CatEdison!

True American rules courtesy of Epidilius on tumblr.

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The Author

Cat Edison

Cat Edison

Cat is an Austinite once removed with an affinity for film, TV, comics, graphic novels, and really anything she can read or watch. She gets emotionally invested in movie, television and literary characters, to an unhealthy degree. Cat has always had a passion for writing and there is little she loves more. Hopeful cynic and funny lady.