I really enjoy both of these shows. I’m still beaming over the fact that B99 won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy! These post Super Bowl shows are always so hyped up although this year, other than New Girl (which was truly the post SB spot) showcasing that Prince was going to be on, it wasn’t as pumped up as in year’s past. Maybe the people at FOX knew how bad the game was going to be. But it appears both had pretty decent ratings and while I really enjoyed New Girl, I was a little disappointed in B99. Not because it was a bad episode (it wasn’t) but I was hoping for something bigger.
New Girl has been having an up and down season in my opinion. I’m still torn on whether or not I like having Coach back. I always felt like the show wasn’t quite sure what to do with Winston but that they were just starting to develop his character a little bit more. Then Coach came back (since Happy Endings was canceled). Now I feel like it’s worse. They don’t seem to know what to do with Coach and Winston. The funny thing is, Lamorne Morris (Winston) was originally in the running to play Coach and I believe would have been cast had it not been for other commitments and the fact that Damon Waynes Jr. raised his hand for the pilot believing his show “Happy Endings” would be canceled. So the show runners went with Waynes. But Morris’ other project fell through and “Happy Endings” was surprisingly renewed so Waynes went back to HE and Morris was brought back as a new character. Then HE was finally canceled and New Girl brought Coach back. Now, I think, we have a problem. It’s as if the show wants to respect the fact that Morris/Winston has been with the show from the beginning and therefore doesn’t want to cut the character but they have their original man (Waynes) and character (Coach) back and don’t want to let that go either. So what do they do? Well, up until last night, neither has really done a whole lot of anything. That’s why seeing them work together to try to get into the Prince party (and it worked) and also trying to score with some Vicky Secret models was hilarious. I WANT MORE OF THIS!!! I want more Coach and Winston together. I’ve always felt like Nick and Schmidt were friends and Winston was there as their punching bag. Kind of how I felt watching Friends, where Rachel and Monica were friends and Phoebe was just there to be strange. To me, Jess and Winston were better friends than he was with any of the other guys. And we haven’t had a chance to see Winston and Coach really do stuff just the two of them until last night….and I loved it!! I certainly don’t want the show to segment Nick and Schmidt as friends and Winston and Coach as friends. I want all four of them interacting together and mixing it up. But I have to say, I thought Morris and Waynes worked so well off of one another, I would like to see that friendship explored more.
As for the other parts of this episode….Loved It!! Nick tells Jess for the first time that he loves her…and not in a planned way…in a very matter of fact way. Like when you tell someone who’s about to go out driving in the snow to be careful and safe. And Jess’ reaction, double finger gun action!!! Priceless. The reaction of the guys, with them wanting to die for Nick at her lack of “I love you too” and Jess freaking out in the car with CeCe over realizing she gave Nick a finger gun response at the first time he tells her he loves her was so incredible I couldn’t stop laughing and wanting to run through my TV and hug Nick. So what do they do? The men put on their best suits (Schmidt’s suit was, of course, $2,000 while Winston’s came with free socks clipped to the lapel) and go to the party at Prince’s house so Nick can’t recant his I Love You.
When they all meet up (including Schmidt who had to sneak in and declared how bad Prince must be at Frisbee because there were 10 in the bushes) Jess and Nick ask for some alone time so they discuss I-Love-You-Gate. But their alone time was soon disrupted by, you guessed it, Prince. Prince allows them ample time to react which proceeds with Jess freaking out and Nick screaming like an 8-year-old girl and then fainting. Once awake, Prince asks for time with Jess and he takes her on an adventure that includes trying on clothes, playing ping-pong, admiring Prince’s pet butterfly, and learning to say “love” in a candlelit room. It. Was. Awesome. Eventually, Nick and Jess reconnect and screams to the whole room how she loves him and then they join Prince up on stage to sing one of his songs. Such a great episode from top to bottom! Which is why B99 disappointed me.
B99 has been one of my new favorite comedies (The Goldbergs is up there as well.) I love the cast and the writing. But this episode felt like just another episode that would air on a regular Tuesday night. Nothing really felt special about it. And maybe that was the point. The show is so good, it doesn’t need a gimmick. But for a show that’s been struggling to get ratings and viewers, this was a time you were going to get 10-15 million people to watch your show (14.8 million to be specific) where you normally average about 4-5 million. I was hoping for a “wow” episode so that everyone would finally see the brilliance of this show. And maybe that’s what is so unfair. The episode itself was great. But I feel part of what makes it great is because I have context from earlier episodes. I know why Jake doesn’t want Amy to go to the Vultures of Major Crimes. Because in the last new episode, we learned that Jake is starting to fall for Amy. And yes, a new viewer can easily pick that up, but it doesn’t pack the same punch. I know why Jake hates Dennis from 30 Rock. And I know why the Captain is so set on making the office more efficient. But without his back story, the plot could come across as really silly and forced. As a regular follower of the show, I loved the episode. But I’m thinking of those extra 10 million viewers the show got. Did it grab new viewers with last night’s episode? I think “The Bet” would have been a better post Super Bowl episode because it would have given you enough history and background on the characters to understand what was going on, it would have paid off a season long running bet between Amy and Jake (which would have been perfectly explained to new viewers), and it really would have showcased this crackpot group of characters and how well they work off of one another, so much better to a NEW audience. Remember, I’m thinking about this in the scope of “how can we get more people to watch this show and will this post SB episode do the trick.” I just think “The Bet” would have worked so much better than last night’s episode for a new set of viewers.
But even though I was hoping for a better post SB episode, I still love it. Seeing Jake trying to get the confession out of the perp before the vulture takes over and enlisting all of the 99 to help stop the vulture was great. The Serg and the Captain plotting to make sure the office is more efficient by putting Rosa near the bathroom to discourage bathroom breaks, giving Gina a mirror to preoccupy herself, and eliminating the Lost and Found box so Boyle wouldn’t steal anymore hideous clothes (although not before he steals the jacket worn by Cindy Mancini in “Can’t Buy Me Love.”) Of course, the episode wasn’t complete without the cameos from Adam Sandler and Joe Theissman playing themselves at an antiquities auction where Jake proceeds to break Theissman’s other leg with gross sound effects (though mercifully not showing the break) and ripping Sandler for putting Kevin James in yet another one of his movies. All in all it was another great B99 episode. Just wish it had a little more oomph for the SB.
What were your thoughts on New Girl and B99. Did they live up to the post SB hype?