New Girl Season 3, Episode 19 Review: “Fired Up”

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Back when it was confirmed that Damon Wayans Jr. would be rejoining the cast of New Girl, I was as excited as I was hesitant.  We know that Wayans Jr. is a funny guy and would bring some good humor to the show, but the bigger question was just how he would gel with the rest of the cast.  New Girl has a very well defined ensemble, one that works together in ways that make other comedies jealous (I imagine at least.)  Would a new presence like Coach (who only appeared in the pilot, and wasn’t given much to do there) disrupt that chemistry.  So far this season I would argue no, though I can’t exactly say he was adding much either; Coach was just kind of there, another outlet for humor/sideplots.  But slowly the show has been building up the character and in tonight’s episode, they continue to do so by once again pairing him with the titular New Girl herself, Jessica Day.

This is technically the second time we saw Coach and Jess team-up but, since the first time was used to establish their friendship, this was the first time we’ve seen them operating with a somewhat strong relationship.  Having Jess get Coach a job at the school was a bit too sitcom-y (remember, in the world of television, all friends at one part have to work with each other, no matter how much their career aspirations differ) but ultimately it worked as a way to get Coach into the storyline, and it gave us the pretty fun joke that was Coach Coach (emphasis on the last “Coach,” of course.)

The real reason Coach got a job at the school though was so that he could be around to push Jess into the role of vice principal, something she was very passive aggressively pinning after.  Coach being Coach Coach (say that three times fast) wanted her to just go out and demand the job from her boss, and thus fired her up (hey, that’s the name of the show!) to go out and get it.  Teaming up Jess and Coach in this way made a lot of sense, and I like how the two bounce off each other: Coach is tough and aggressive, while Jess is sweet and happy-go-lucky.  A classic comedy pairing, but one that yielded decent comedy fruit.

New Girl Season 3, Episode 18

But the real moment the plot picked up was when Jess (a.k.a. Vice Principal Day) had to do cutbacks, and was forced to fire Coach.  Once again, not anything new in terms of comedic fodder but, as I’ve said many times before, New Girl isn’t the type of show that typically subverts what came before it.  It uses what was established by other classic comedies, and rolls with the punches to make it fit a more New Girl like tone (in this case being the scene in which Jess AND Coach break down in the bar and cry for all the bizarre volleyball playing kids that Coach is living behind.)  I didn’t particularly love this storyline but it did have a lot of great moments, and gave some solid material to the very much underutilized Damon Wayans Jr.  Of all his moments the highlight for me was him screaming at children that he would murder their family, shortly before professing how much he loved his new job.  Oh Coach, never change (or leave…seriously Damon, you got something good here, don’t abandon the show again!)

But the real reason I think this episode worked well was the B-storyline, in which Nick and Winston assisted Schmidt with a deposition he got himself wrapped into by trying to illegally sell one of his lamps in the storefront he purchased for Jess’ sister (remember that?)  If the A-plot was about giving material to two characters who we rarely see together, the B-plot was about spending time with the show’s strongest set of characters.  Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, and Lamorne Morris have amazing chemistry with each other, and every scene that has all three interacting is bound to make me laugh.  This subplot did not disappoint in that regard, as Nick pulling out some of his old lawyer knowledge (and Winston insanely making up some of his own) provided some of the funniest moments of the entire night.  Thank god for Nick, Schmidt, and Courtroom Brown indeed.


There was also a C-plot involving Cece but, honestly, it left so little an impression that I don’t really have too many things to say about it.  Mostly seemed like set-up for next week, although I did enjoy the return of the reliably funny Ben Falcone as Mike.  Still though, not a bad episode of New Girl.  It wasn’t a complete knock out of the park or anything (this season hasn’t had too many of those sadly), but it still worked in a lot of ways and is far from bad.  In fact, I’d even call it good!  Heck, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Loose Ends:

  • “Walk with dignity, giant toddler!”  What a great episode for Schmidt-isms from pretty much the start.
  • “Oh, he was the guy in Star Wars…MEDIUM TALENT.”  Nick Miller, Incorrect Movie Critic.
  • “Keep running, or I will murder your family!”
  • “God I’ve fallen…I’m almost below you Nick.”
  • “I’m not taking advice from you, your parents pronounce the G in lasagna!”
  • “I was looking for you…you weren’t in my car.”  Brian Posehn, master of incredibly odd and awkward dialogue.
  • “There is no justice for the Hebrew man, not in these United States.”
  • “Hey Winston.”  “…”   “Hey Courtroom Brown.”  “Yes?”  Oh man so great.
  • “This Nick, Vivica A. Dropout?”
  • “Celebrate!  Let me pour it on your clothes your face and your hair!”
  • “Give me another chance.”  There was something so bizarre about that deliver that it had me laughing for what felt like a whole  minute.  Man, Jake Johnson deserves a billion Emmies.
  • “Alright, hold on, I got quite an eye for young boys.”  That wasn’t a typo, he meant what he said.
  • “So your one of the three people from Wyoming?”
  • “Are you Australian, or from heaven?”
  • “God I want to have sex with that kid so bad it freaks me out!”
  • “Thanks guys, but I’m not Coach anymore…I’m just Coach.”
  • “Schmidt fired me and now I’ll never get to use this briefcase and it cost 19 dollars!”
  • “Stop it, shut your mouth, because what you’re saying IS BEAUTIFUL.”
  • “Nick Miller of Copper, Miller, and Furguson.”  Of course Winston would take the name of his cat.  Of course.
  • “Should we get into this, or just take our pants off?”
  • “He’s just looking for love, up, down and sideways.”
  • “It’s like dude stop sucking the Popsicle like that man, you’ll never get a girlfriend like that!”
  • “Pasadena’s a bunch of bitch ass tricks, they’re not ready for that!”
  • “Mr. Furguson: Children are our future.”
  • “Coolidge!”  “Too late man, too late!”
  • “Yeah let’s burn all the books…except for the Da Vinci Code.”
  • “You don’t get to say that Winnie, you know that right?”
  • “Jessica, I won the case.  If you woke up right now, we could be making love!”  I like how Nick said that as though he though Jess would arise from the bed seconds after.  Knowing Nick, he legitimately believed that.
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