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<i>New Girl</i>: The Do’s and Don’ts of the Return of Coach

It's the moment we've all been waiting for: the return of Coach/Damon Wayans Jr. to New Girl. Season 3 has been a little off (to say the least) thus far and having one of the show's original characters come back to spice things up again will surely help, right? Well, I wish I could enthusiastically say that was the case, but even with the tremendously talented Wayans back in the game, something still felt not quite right. Maybe it's because Schmidt is living across the hall (possibly) or maybe it's because Jess and Nick are sucking all the fun out of the room by analyzing their relationship over and over again and then resolving it over and over again (actually, that's definitely it) but I was hoping for a sea change with last night's episode "Coach." That said, the presence of a naked Taye Diggs didn't hurt and Winston finally, at long last, has a proper rival/foe in the man he replaced. Here are the do's and don'ts of when Coach returns:

Do: Establish the guidelines of your relationship already, Nick and Jess
The concern over the cooling effect of Jess and Nick's romance is nothing new here. But, honestly, the weekly pattern of Nick and Jess trying to define their relationship, Jess getting annoyed with Nick's immaturity (come on, a post-it note that reads "Put on pants?" is hilarious), Nick proving he's not so immature after all and the two of them getting back together happily ever after is starting to wear me out. The problem with this week's "crisis" is that you knew from the get-go Jess wasn't going to cheat with handsome, jet-setting coffee shop owner Artie (the aforementioned beautiful specimen that is Taye Diggs), who makes phrases like "Rubber baby buggy bumpers" sound like butter and splashes fake water as a form of seduction, even though she kept his number in her phone and could hardly form sentences around him ("Shut your face. What!"). And you also knew that Nick was going to apologize for going to a strip club with the guys and for not calling Jess his girlfriend, even though she clearly is. Just have some fun being in love, already, you two!

Don't: Pretend to be an even bigger douche than Schmidt
I didn't remember Coach being that big of a douchebag back in his one whole episode in Season 1. He was a bit intense, sure, but someone who endlessly rails on his friends about being in relationships and calls them names like Shrimp Forks and Notorious N.A.G.? Not so much. Schmidt is the number-one douchebag in the gang again these days (he's doing everything from starting slap fights with Nick to stealing wind chimes and toothpaste from the loft) but Coach tried to top him by dragging the guys out to a strip club and intentionally excluding Jess, who he forgot about (despite the fact that they celebrated Bin Laden's death together). Turns out, Coach wasn't a huge jerk that we forgot about, he was just pretending to be a huge jerk because he was mourning the loss of his latest relationship. Now that we've established the real Coach (he's still a party animal, not unlike Gandalf was to Joey, Ross and Chandler on Friends), I'll be excited to have him back on board, especially if it ends in more drunken slap fights between the four guys. Still, hopefully he turns back into a motivator and voice of reason, rather than a jerk. They've more than hit their quota with that.

Do: Order a Temple Grandin!
It's a Shirley Temple cocktail made combined with a "finger of coconut rum and a lemon squeeze." It tastes delicious and will make you "more friendly and compassionate."

Don't: Let that Bunny Money go to waste
Poor, poor Winston continues to be the butt of the gang's jokes… even with a guy who left this gang to be with a different gang (R.I.P. Happy Endings). When the fellas arrive at the strip club, Winston accidentally takes out $2,000 in fake money called Bunny Money, redeemable only at the strip club. But not on things you'd want, like lap dances (though that is available at the club), but instead drinks, buffet items with inappropriate names (Main Stage fish tacos and Pour Some Sugar On Me-atballs, for example) and apparel. Which is exactly what poor, poor Winston (a.k.a. Shrimp Fingers, a.k.a. Bunny Money) winds up having to do.

Do: Try to remember Raiders of the Lost Ark correctly
That definitely wasn't the President's face that melted at the end, Schmidt. Nick is right, you clearly saw a different movie than the rest of the world and you just sound drunk and stupid.

Don't: Listen to Cece
Jess, why would you take love advice from someone who changes her mind about relationships on a dime and pulls out lame, easy tropes like "Men suck"? Yes, you know that Nick is a man child/man boy hybrid, but you also know that he has a big heart that he loves you with and is a great dancer and sometimes even feeds pizza to seagulls. When Cece called Artie, Jess should have just immediately tried to hook those two up, not only because they would make beautiful babies together (they would) but because Jess should know by now that Cece is the last person in the world she should ask for love advice.

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