That Day family is one kooky bunch, huh? We've already met Jess's overprotective papa Bob (Rob Reiner) and her outgoing mother Joan (Jamie Lee Curtis, who popped up again in another phone scene), and in last night's new episode "Sister" we finally met Jess's wild-child sister that we've definitely never heard of before, Abby ( Linda Cardellini). We know that Abby and Jess are different because Abby (who Jess describes as "a girl who looks like me but with chaos in her eyes") gets arrested and causes trouble wherever she goes and wears dark eye makeup and tattered clothes (the surefire sign of a real troublemaker) and Jess sings about everything and has always been seen as the babied baby in the family. But despite their differences (and Jess's attempts to keep Abby away from everyone, including Nick) these two had some really great moments together and, like any good TV hellion, Abby makes herself right at home. I actually enjoyed this story line, maybe because I like Linda Cardellini or maybe because I thought she and Zooey Deschanel made believable sisters, or maybe it's just because anything compared to the nauseating soup-slurping double date between Winston, Bertie (WHY?!), Coach, and Cece seems downright brilliant. Here now are the do's and don'ts of letting your punk sister invade your life from last night's episode of New Girl:
Do: Try To Have a Good Relationship With Your Sister, Even When She Makes Your Life Hell
Friends sort of had the bad sister trope down pat with Rachel's evil siblings, but it seems as though Linda Cardellini's Abby might actually have some redeeming qualities. Sure, she gets arrested for stealing (something) at a San Diego hotel, starts trouble in jail, tries to cover your eyes while you're driving, makes backhanded compliments at your friends, and is generally just a human tornado, but when Abby and Jess actually sit down and get to be sisters instead of rivals it's really nice. Their conversation about their mom's weird quirks (including her beloved small denim backpack) felt so authentic and exactly the kind of thing even the most estranged of siblings would be able to laugh about. After Abby reads a text from Cece (who also finds her terrifying and troublesome) to Jess asking if she's "ruined everything yet", she takes off. Jess eventually finds her, and after a sad trip to the airport, brings her back to the loft where she'll crash anywhere from a few days to "six months, tops" so that she can get back on her feet and doesn't have to move in with their mother back in Portland. I doubt she'll stay that long, but I think Cardellini is a show-improver (see: Mad Men) so I hope she sticks around for a while.
Don't Hide Your Boyfriend and Your Sister From Each Other
There was no way in hell Jess was always going to be able to keep Nick from meeting Abby, so she shouldn't have tried so hard. Poor Nick thought Jess was embarrassed by her "beau" (a running theme on this show) and really he just wants to know everything about Jess, including her nutty family. Nick and Abby's eventual meeting was as awkward as expected, but not nearly the disaster Jess made it out to be in her mind.
Do: Play Wingman At a Bar Mitzvah
That sounds way creepier than it actually is. Okay, to be fair, Nick and Schmidt crashing a strangers Bar Mitzvah so Schmidt could make a move on his rabbi's crazy daughter (a "Jewish girl with a sensible nose" as Schmidt describes her) is pretty creepy, but it was funny so I'll let it slide in this instance. Nick is a good friend to Schmidt, especially considering Schmidt makes fun of just about everything about him (like his use of a "common barber comb"), hardly lets Nick get a word in edgewise because he's too busy spouting his own monologues, and, of course, having him participate in outrageous wingman duties (in one instance Nick pretended to be crippled.) And while Schmidt may be the self-proclaimed "goofball" of this duo, it was a scream watching Nick be a gefilte fish out of water at this Bar Mitzvah. He tipped his yarmulke, he laughed anxiously at a rabbi's punch lines, and he took a punch for hitting on someone's bubby, basically making him the "best wingman who ever wung." It was a disaster, sure, but New Girl knows how to do chaos well.
Don't: Have a Soup-Themed Double Date
What happens when you throw all the characters you have no idea what to do with in to a pot? A hot mess. Coach, Winston, and Cece are already such flailing characters on their own, and is it turns out, putting them together doesn't even work. For reasons unknown, Winston's creepy hook-up Bertie (who is apparently Somalian?) is still in the picture and invited the gang over for a dinner (or, as Coach calls it, "night lunch") that included 10-11 cream-based soups. Schmidt, Jess, and Nick all got out of it because they had better things to do/the writers give a shit about them. That left Cece and Coach, who apparently were still uncomfortable around each other after their failed date from a few episodes ago that we all already forgot about. Since we never see Cece and Coach interact, there would be no way to know there was any awkwardness. But also when you don't care about either of these characters and they have zero chemistry, it's all pretty low-stakes. The dinner was as unbearable as you'd imagine, but the horror was only amplified by the sounds of people slurping soup. I'd honestly rather sit in uncomfortable silence forever than hear that noise. Anyway, Coach and Cece have some unresolved feelings about their "hottest, dumbest mistake" and try to recreate their make-out session and then decide to just be friends because the vibe is all wrong, so there was no point to any of this whatsoever. Glad we cleared that up.
Do: Say "I Love You" Before Bed
Even when things get weird and there's misunderstandings, at the end of the day Jess and Nick can still say "I love you" to one another, even when wearing comically large glasses obtained from a Bar Mitzvah.
Don't: Spend More Than You're Bringing In
That's probably why you're living outside, Outside Dave.
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