New Girl 3×22 ‘Dance’: Turn down the heat

Source: FOX

This week’s New Girl was a vast improvement over the previous episode. It’s much more fun to see these characters all thrown into a random, wacky situation than it is to see them trying to deal with relationship issues–at least for me. In “Dance,” we see Jess attempt to run a dance at her school, with chaperone help from Coach, Nick, Schmidt, Winston, and CeCe. The plot had a lot of potential, and most of it paid off in spades.

The humor in “Dance” was firing on all cylinders almost from the beginning. I was shocked with how much I enjoyed Winston and CeCe in this episode, two characters who usually have the worst plots and characterization. Winston was hysterical diffusing sexual tension between Jess and Nick (and Nick and Schmidt) and then having too much heat at the dance. For the first time in what feels like forever, CeCe was entertaining as all get out. She had some incredible delivery and exceptional moments including breaking the bike lock and interrogating Brian Posehn’s character. Really terrific stuff.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield were excellent this week too. Schmidt was really funny before the dance, but lost a lot of steam once he was randomly pitted against a grade school kid. On the other hand, Nick soared when he was paired up with two “bad kids.” His spit take after taking a sip of “all the sodas mixed together” was perfection. All this being said, the MVP for me this week was probably Coach. Once again, Damon Wayons, Jr. blows most of the other actors out of the water with his delivery, his explosive character, and the unpredictability he brings. He certainly had my favorite line of the night when he shouted, “If they wanna bang, they’re gonna have to bang through ME!” The fact that he got to take that line again was impeccable. Him finally getting to blow the whistle on all of the other guys’ shenanigans really made me happy.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

On the mediocre side this week was Jess. She really wasn’t given too much of note to do as all of the crazies around her took control. This could work if she was playing the straight-woman character, but the writers tried to make her too funny for it too work. The subplot with Jess still trying to get over Nick was too pushed to the side and too unimportant to the plot to matter. Another lame aspect of the episode this week was the extremely wasted guest stars. Poor Angela Kinsey (The Office) got the worst of it this week, with only one line, which is a real shame. Brian Posehn had a bit more to do… but nothing worth writing home about. Why bring on these very talented, very fun people if you waste them so much?

The final moments of the episode were both strong and weak. The “twist” ending with the shy girl being the one sabotaging the dance didn’t work at all for me. That being said, everything after that point was incredible. Nick riding in a shopping cart, Winston running from tweens, and everybody dancing together at the end all worked great. However, nothing worked as well as Schmidt, Nick, and Winston rapping as punishment. Holy crap was that funny. I think Schmidt was my favorite, but all three of them were so delightfully in character that it’s hard to choose. That might’ve been my favorite moment of the whole season.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

“Dance” was mostly a filler episode, but it worked really well for the most part. Almost everything worked and the things that didn’t work weren’t very distracting. I was very pleased to see Coach, Winston, and CeCe have such a strong episode. I wish we could ditch the Jess/Nick stuff for a little bit… but I know that’s a pipe dream. Overall, a wonderful episode of New Girl in a fairly mediocre season.

By the way, you should really be watching the vastly superior The Mindy Project on right after New Girl. You’re welcome.

Ryan Dosier

Ryan Dosier is the owner/operator/head writer for The Muppet Mindset, one of the most prominent Muppet fan-sites online. He works at an advertising agency and spends an inordinate amount of time watching TV shows. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryandosier!

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