New Girl review: “Coach”


Starting this week, Heave will be adding television reviews under its pop culture umbrella. Today, Anthony Hoffman kicks off his coverage of New Girl. Check back every Wednesday for his thoughts.

“All men are dicks.” – CeCe

Schmidt’s moved out of the loft (albeit across the hall), so there’s extra space for…the return of Coach! You didn’t remember Damon Wayans Jr. was on this show? I vaguely do. He was originally one of the three schmucks Jess (Zooey Deschanel) moves in with in the show’s pilot. Due to the now-cancelled “Happy Endings” season two renewal, Wayans was obligated to ABC. I guess that’s not a conflict now.

I didn’t recall much about Coach’s personality. Judging from this episode, he’s very much (at least, initially) the peer pressuring, alpha male of the Schmidt, Nick and Winston quartet. Poor Winston is the victim of Coach’s verbal ribbing. Since Winston arrived after Coach moved out, we never got to see what kind of relationship these two had. Apparently, it involves Winston’s bunny money and shrimpy hands that make it hard to dribble a ball.

This episode was all about adult peer pressure. Jess is insulted when Nick doesn’t consider her his girlfriend around Coach, despite all the trappings of a relationship. After Coach goads the boys to a strip club to celebrate the supposed dumping of his girlfriend, CeCe thinks it’s a good idea to make Nick jealous by inviting a sexy guy (Taye Diggs) Jess met at a cafe earlier. It’s okay. She can drink tonight. Her students are watching a movie tomorrow.

Wayans Jr. was in most of the promos for this episode, but Taye Diggs was great as the initially mature, then dickish boy toy who invades Jess’ bed – disrobed and waiting – that ends with Nick sucker punching him unconscious. It was a poignant and bizarre moment of relationship definement that ended with nude strangers left out senseless in a hallway.

We learn a lot during the boys’ awkward strip club visit – Schmidt’s still mad at Nick about the whole Michael Keaton biz, apparently, and Coach was dumped for a guy who’s a cop and he’s still hurting. This leads to an attempt to drunk fight the officer at the police station, which everyone but Coach knows is a terrible idea. Cooler heads and Nick’s maturity prevail, and the guys stumble out of there before getting their asses kicked by the cops. This has been the season of Nick becoming an adult. Who knew opening a bank account a few episodes back could do that?

So Coach needs to mature, Winston’s still insane, Nick and Jess’ relationship is solid, and CeCe and Schmidt’s couldn’t be more nonexistant.

And Raiders of the Lost Ark is Nazi Propaganda, obvs.

What did you think?