‘New Girl’ Recap: Naked

New Girl NakedS1E4: Oh, New Girl how you manage to stay comfortably at adorable without seeming to expend any effort to achieve anything more and yet I still keep coming back is beyond me. Maybe it’s because I identify with the embarrassing dorkiness. Even so, I can agree that there’s just a little something extra missing.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this short little episode. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy the old I-saw-my-roommate-naked-and-laughed-because-the-word-penis-makes-me-uncomfortable storyline?

“Pier-nass.” –Jess

The main issue of the episode is that after Jess and Schmidt get Nick all worried about his pudgy belly when he brings up his first date since Caroline, Nick dances naked in his room to Jamaican music. Unfortunately Jess walks in on him and commits a cardinal sin: she laughs when she sees his “pee-pee and bubbles.”

She wants to talk about it, but he wants to do nothing of the sort. After he refuses to take his shirt off out of fear on his date with Amanda (Lake Bell, playing a version of her No Strings Attached character, who was also written by New Girl creator Liz Meriweather), he blames his screw up on Jess. She corners him and then chases him through the building trying to convince him to talk to her about it – and the most hilarious moment in the episode goes to Nick’s evasive fake out/leap into the elevator. Jake Johnson may actually be the funniest part of this show – not Miss Deschanel.

When they talk, she reveals that she can’t say penis and that’s why she giggled. The only problem is she still can’t say it. Camille convinces her that the only way to get over her little ticklish fear is to let Nick see her naked. This is a problem because (of course – it’s sitcom 101) she ends up naked in his room when he brings Amanda back and they catch her only after they’re both naked. Later, they’re cool again and Jess reveals something: she learned to say penis. Aw, what friendship.

I don’t quite get how a girl who lived with her boyfriend and started out the series with a sexy pillow dance and bow on nether regions can’t handle the word penis, or seeing a penis for that matter, but I guess it’s possible. All in all, it wasn’t the strongest plot device, but it delivered many a freak-out from Johnson, which is one of this series’ secret weapons.

“I have a stupid job, I’m single, and my best friend won’t even let me see his penis.” –Schmidt

The other two plots this week are incredibly, incredibly weak First, we have Winston who’s trying to get a boring job. The only problem is that the woman starts asking him about celebrity tweets and a slew of meaningless pop culture bits. He panics and starts researching the things he missed while he was in Latvia – like “Double Rainbow” guy. He eventually aces his interview and realizes he doesn’t want the job – it saddens him to think that is what he does now instead of being a pro basketball player. He and Schmidt go running and Schmidt gets a cramp, making Winston feel like he’s a champ at something.

Then we have the interesting, but completely wacko subplot. Winston has seen Nick’s package. Now Jess has seen it. Schmidt is stupidly jealous. He spends the whole episode trying to see Nick’s penis or complaining about not seeing it. It was funny in a gross, out-of-left-field sort of way at first, but the joke simply goes on for too long. Schmidt’s a funny character – give him something better to do.

Even with its many shallow points and misgivings, the episode was enjoyable because episodes of New Girl are enjoyable. I’m just hoping they give us something a little more substantial to hang on to…and soon.