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'New Girl' Recap: Period Drama

By Aly Semigran, Hollywood.com Staff

Is Jessica Day the new Bella Swan? Will Zooey Deschanel —much like Kristen Stewart recently did during her conversation with Hollywood.com — have to explain that her character actually does have feminist role model qualities despite the fact that she has so many traits that does feminism no favors.

I only ask this because one of last night's main story lines on New Girl was that Jess couldn't function because she had her period. She couldn't pay her bills, she couldn't get along with her male roommates, she couldn't keep it together during a job interview because she had her period. Okay, maybe Jess isn't the new Bella Swan (she's certainly much more independent) and in the end it wasn't her period, but because she was still reeling with the devastation of being fired. But perhaps Jess is the anti-Liz Lemon, in a way.

Because while New Girl and Jess Day had some very funny musings and accurate musings on PMS (""I feel like I wanna murder someone, but also I want soft pretzels"") 30 Rock and Liz Lemon had the astute and hilarious observation on the ridiculous notion that women use their period as an excuse to act ""irrationally.""

Still, whether you'e a Jess or a Liz, this episode of New Girl, titled ""Menzies"" probably made you laugh in spite of yourself, or feminism. That's because even if Jess' storyline — and poor Winston by association, who also got his ""period"" which is hilarious because boys don't get periods! —made you cringe, Nick and his latest story line, once again, saved the day. Or saved the Day, really.

Nick, who has quickly become one of television's most fascinating, funny, and relatable characters on television (thanks largely in part to actor Jake Johnson who has expertly balanced quirky physical comedy and and a vulnerable, accurate portrayal of nebbish anxiety) once again dabbled in happiness after having a temporarily life-changing after an encounter with an older kindly, quiet Asian man. Or, as Nick referred to him, his ""magical best friend"" presumably named Tran.

By being a man of little words, Tran helped Nick — who, aside from the gang's trek to the desert has now had two spiritual awakenings — tap into his irrational anger. (Though, in Nick's defense sometimes you do just want to push a door instead of pull.) While I'd venture to guess Happy Nick, who takes an active interest in Jess' PMS-filled day and gives and receives cleansing and awkward water massages, will be about as long-lived as Hippie Schmidt, I love the continual evolution of a guy who is continually trying to evolve. I love that Nick is no longer the poorest friend in the apartment (though, now that Jess finally got a job, that could change back) and that he is the voice of reason in the gang, despite the fact that he feels the most mixed up.

Schmidt, on the other hand, well he continues to descent into being a bad guy. A ""depraved freak"", if you will. In addition to cutting his roommate's gas and water supply in the apartment due to Jess' financial negligence (sorry, but I'm with him on this one, no cute roommate is worth putting up with unpaid bills), Schmidt made a pass at his ex-girlfriend Cece and became entangled in a Fifty Shades of Grey-esque relationship with his company's VP (played by the sexy Carla Gugino.)

While Schmidt and Cece's reunion seems inevitable at this point thanks to their undeniable attraction and chemistry (sorry Robbie!) I'm starting to think the idea of Jess and Nick is getting further and further apart. Not because I don't want to see these two hook up or find love, but because they have too much self-discovery to do and it's far too much fun to watch that. Keep looking for that inner Liz Lemon, Jess Day, she's there.

Best one-liners and moments from last night's New Girl ""Menzies"":

- ""They're not all legal tender, but they have value."" Jess, in a desperate attempt to pay the bills, including with a library card. - ""No more handouts!"" Schmidt to Jess, in response to her poorness. Yep, he's a Romney, alright. - The Nick and Tran self-realization montages. ""The enemy...is inner me."" ""I think I'm dying!"" ""Who am I?!""- ""There's a fine line between sexual harassment and something awesome."" Schmidt, channeling his inner Vince Vaughn character. - ""Puppy...in...a...cup!"" A tearful Jess, at her breaking point. - Schmidt's ""I'm a monster"" declaration. It's no Buster Bluth, but still pretty damn funny. - Nick as a ""huge baby"" in Tran's arms. - Schmidt's new identity: Moises Purdue.- The well-timed jab at Twilight and, yep, Fifty Shades when Jess acknowledges she's going to have to read a lot about ""vampires and bad childhoods"" when teaching her creative writing class for adults.

What did you think of last night's New Girl? A step back for feminism or a giant leap for Nick-kind? Share in the comments section below!

[Photo credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX]

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