I don’t know if you heard the six hundred ways I shouted about it last week, but Lizzy Caplan is on New Girl! She’s not here to stay, but her presence in last night’s episode upped the awesome factor and allowed New Girl to do something it has never done before: Put four female characters in a room together at the same time. And one of them was even a lesbian.
“Jess and Julia” finally paid out on the promise of introducing a lesbian character into the mix with the always pitch-perfect June Raphael. Her sexuality is a non-issue, just tossed into the conversation. When Nick says Lizzy Caplan doesn’t want to label their relationship, Sadie goes, “Come on, dude. That’s a classic move. Even in the lesbian community.” Which is, of course, like a siren call to Schmidt, who comes whizzing into the kitchen half-naked. Sadie is like, “Did you just come running in here when you heard the words ‘lesbian community?’” He did. Sadie also confesses to dating a girl who looked just like Nick. Plaid button-ups? Surly disposition? Sounds about right.
FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS
I spent most of this episode feeling really conflicted. On the plus side: Lizzy Caplan, duh. On the other plus side: The introduction of Sadie means Jess has two close girl friends and didn’t just spring into existence when she moved in with the boys. It helps color in the lines of her character and adds a much needed respite from that whole Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus thing. On the negative side: Jess and Julia spent most of the episode at each other’s throats. And when they weren’t arguing, or figuring out ways to cry in separate bathrooms, Jess was badmouthing Julia to Sadie and Cece. The career-woman-is-an-insecure-bitch thing is so played I can’t even deal with it. And I thought that’s the direction the writers were going when they had Julia comment on Jess’ “whole thing, with cupcakes and braking for birds and ‘Bluebirds come and help me dress in the morning!’”
Actually, though, the little rift between Lizzy Caplan and Jess served the purpose of addressing so many of Zooey Deschanel‘s critics: Lizzy Caplan is offended by the doe-eyed, infantilized, ribbon-hatted quirk that is Jess. And Jess is offended at the accusation that a girl can’t be sweet and silly and tough at the same time. It’s really a piece of a much larger argument about pulling the principles of third-wave feminism out of the ether and examining them in the context of real life. It’s a 30 Rock move, actually. Tina Fey just happens to be a better writer.
I’ve gotta give this week’s Cute Overload award to CeCe for wearing Jess’ ribbon hat in a show of solidarity.
As I’ve come to expect (and secretly adore) Schmidt was the most hilarious part of “Julie and Julia.” Not the way he wanted to trade tips with a lesbian gynecologist — 1995 called. Joey and Chandler want their jokes back — but the way he couldn’t figure out why his towel was always damp when he got out of the shower. From “Blah, blah, blah I use sculpting chutney” to ““I’m going to put my dehumidifier and my towel in my room, where nothing ever gets wet!” Schmidt is the master of one-liners on this show.
What did you think about “Jess and Julia”?