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New Girl Double Dribbles with “Basketball”

By on January 15, 2014
Pictured: Jake Johnson as Nick Miller and Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day. Co.  Cr:  Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Pictured: Jake Johnson as Nick Miller and Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day. Co. Cr: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

By Nicole Bozzani

Coach is a Pistons fan. Nick is a Bulls fan. Sports rivalries have existed since the dawn of time, but what happens when Jess decides to take sides in the name of creating a new friendship?

Coach has been living with the gang in 4D for awhile now, but Jess feels they haven’t formed a clear friendship. While explaining her new goal of creating a true friendship with Coach, she reveals that he has referred to her as his “buddy’s girlfriend,” something Jess considers very hurtful.

Of course she wants to be friends with Nick’s friends, but at what cost? Well, by pretending to be a basketball fan, and not just any basketball fan, but a fan of Nick’s rival team. (Little aside here but mightn’t the audience be forgiven for thinking that if that Jess’ essential “Jessness” isn’t doing it for Coach, then maybe he’s not worth her efforts at friendship in the first place? Just a thought.) Coach and Jess watch games together and he even gives her a nice Pistons shirt to wear.

Aw, that’s nice. Or at least it is until Nick sees it.

ess (Zooey Deschanel, L) tries to bond with Coach (guest star Damon Wayans, Jr., R) Co.  Cr: Greg Gayne/FOX

ess (Zooey Deschanel, L) tries to bond with Coach (guest star Damon Wayans, Jr., R) Co. Cr: Greg Gayne/FOX

Meanwhile, Nick tries to explain sports rivalries to Jess and decides to ice her out in the bedroom by turning off his sex faucet until she stops pretending to be a Pistons fan. At this point even Nick gets how dumb this ‘fake liking basketball’ thing truly is, and goes so far as to point it out. Kudos to Nick Miller the voice of reason this season. (But now that we’re on the subject, isn’t withholding sex quite immature in itself?) One thing we know is that Nick really knows how to push Jess’ buttons. (And how could anyone not be extremely turned on by those Scotty Pippin short shorts?) One thing missing from New Girl, now that Jess and Nick are in a relationship, is the sexual tension. If this sex freeze was meant to bring back some of that classic tension, it definitely didn’t succeed here.

At work, Schmidt is forced to train an older new hire whom he belittles and essentially age discriminates against from the get go. The older man pulls the bold move of stealing Schmidt’s idea for micro-marketing, claiming the idea as his own at the meeting and setting Schmidt into revenge mode. Schmidt, along with Winston decide to take down the old man with an elderlies only nemesis: technology. The storyline is a humorous one but equally as sad. Poor elderly people and technology. Max Greenfield once again is the highlight of the episode, and at times, it’s a wonder the show doesn’t entirely surround him. Just listen to the way he pronounces “av-acados.”

Schmidt (Max Greenfield, L) has his hands full when he is assigned to mentor a much older new hire (guest star Bob Gunton, R) at work. Co.  Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Schmidt (Max Greenfield, L) has his hands full when he is assigned to mentor a much older new hire (guest star Bob Gunton, R) at work. Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Jess continues her sports loving charade until finally deciding to give real friendship a go with Coach. They head to a sports bar where Jess makes a truly honest effort, but doesn’t quite understand men and their love affair with sports. She ends up hurt, and leaves. What would have been a horrid moment is saved by Nick running in wearing a Pistons jersey. Realizing how dumb this entire thing has been and really wanting to turn the sex faucet back on, he gives up. He explains to Coach what Jess has been attempting to do this entire time much to Coach’s surprise. Honestly it’s a surprise Jess put so much effort into being friends with someone who 1. didn’t remember she existed and 2. has no other interests in life other than whistles, balls, and stopwatches.

In the end, the sexual freeze between Nick and Jess has melted and Coach has made an effort to become friends with Jess in the right way. Schmidt may have taken down the old man, but he has vowed revenge for the technology blindside. Winston has decided to become a police officer, and Cece seems to be enjoying working at the bar. Everyone’s life seems to be heading in new directions. It’s hard to determine what is coming next for the gang on New Girl, but if there’s one thing Basketsball taught viewers this week: disposable cameras still exist, but no word on if anyone will actually develop them.