Super Bowl's second act a success
Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Updated: Sunday, February 9, 2014 21:02
Fox’s hit show, “New Girl,” aired two new episodes this past week. “Prince” and “Exes” focused on the meaning behind serious relationships in a broken world.
Following the Seattle Seahawks’ win in Super Bowl XLVIII, “Prince” aired to a rousing 26.3 million viewers. The NFL lead-in increased the number of viewers by six times compared to normal averages. According to “Entertainment Weekly,” this makes “New Girl” the highest-rated scripted entertainment TV show in three years.
Viewers were in for a treat. The episode was a comedic masterpiece that featured singing legend Prince, while still following the lives of our heroine Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson).
The plot twists were unexpected, yet hysterical. Jess gets invited to Prince’s party and when seated in the limousine to leave, Nick tells her he loves her for the first time. The limousine pulls away with Jess pointing finger guns at Nick still standing on the sidewalk. Their relationship is strained as both parties struggle with commitment. Luckily, Prince solves all their troubles with his peculiar outfits, trance-like butterfly and powerful performance.
“We were so excited to have Prince on the show, but we really wanted to make it feel organic and not such a step out from the world of the show,” Liz Merriwether, the show’s executive producer, told TVGuide.com. “The fact that these characters aren’t the kind of people who rub shoulders with celebrities ever, we’re trying to make sure that still feels real for these characters.”
After premiering “Prince” Sunday night, “Exes” aired Tuesday, Feb. 4th. This episode lacked the hysterical nature “Prince” offered. It felt uncomfortable throughout the thirty-minute segment and the resolve was forced. Nick and Jess’s ex-partners appear and problems arise. Neither makes amends and yet Nick and Jess remain blissfully happy in their own unrealistic world.
“The challenge of this year has been finding the comedy in the two of them being in a happy relationship, which is never as funny as two people not in a happy relationship,” Meriwether told TV Guide.
Despite the unrealistic state of euphoria Nick and Jess remain in, “Exes” had other issues as well. Author Nina Pedrad focused too closely on stereotypical gender roles while contemplating an unrealistic experience. Jess tries to convince Nick to become friends with his ex-girlfriend Caroline, while the other suitemates were all in the other apartment becoming intimate.
As Entertainment Weekly journalist Lanford Beard said, the women were either “adorably naïve or vengeful psychopath” while the men were simply seeking a one night stand. To assume that Jess is only a cute face, Caroline an angry woman and Nick an uncomprehending male stretches gender stereotypes to an unidentifiable extreme. This narrow view of people removed the hilarity that usually encompasses “New Girl” and caused it to have more of a reality TV show feel.
While “Exes” flopped this Tuesday night, the “Prince” episode was one for the books. Tune in Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Fox to see whether season three will get better.