I wanted to believe that the post-Super Bowl, Prince-guest starring episode of New Girl would be good. After all, the show has been on a little bit of a hot streak after a very dismal start to Season 3 and because Prince is Prince so everything he touches is magic. Unfortunately, not even the magic touch of Prince (which was, by far, the highlight of the episode) could save this from feeling like a forced and overwhelmingly unfunny episode. (That said, Jake Johnson's high-pitched scream after Prince allowed him to freak out, was a thing of comedy beauty.)
Then again, when you have someone like Prince on, it's impossible to not fawn or have the actors and the show itself get lost in the mix, which is exactly what happened in last night's episode called -- you guessed it -- "Prince." To be fair, most star-studded post-Super Bowl installments are pretty ridiculous (remember the Friends disaster with Jean-Claude Van Damme?) but I was hoping that New Girl would use their primo time slot to welcome in a brand new audience, but I don't think this one did. (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, on the other hand, likely picked up a slew of new fans.) Here are the do's and don'ts of partying with Prince from "Prince":
Do: Be a Big Fan of Prince
If you're going to meet Prince -- even if it's an a total arbitrary and totally unbelievable way like getting invited to one of his house parties because his assistant almost hit you with their car -- you'd better be a big fan. Or, if you're going to crash Prince's party by way of coming up with a scheme or simply climbing a tree full of spiders and Frisbees, you'd definitely better be a big fan. Nick was such a big fan that in high school, he dressed up as Prince and performed "1999," while Jess was such a big fan that simply through the power of Prince's very essence she was able to perform his new song "PretzelBodyLogic" with him on stage. (I wonder if we'll get a real version with a Zooey Deschanel duet?) Seriously, who doesn't love Prince?
Don’t: Say Panties That Much
Saying the already-uncomfortable word "panties" (or if you're Schmidt, "pandies") over and over and over doesn't make it any better. In fact, it makes it worse. New Girl, you're better than saying the word "panties" like two dozen times as the big punch line as your opener. Come on, behave better around your new post-Super Bowl guests.
Do: Have a Good Duo Name/Strategy
Despite their terrible catch phrase ("Warm water!"), Coach and Winston's smooth talking, tried-and-true party duo Fire and Ice not only got them in the door to Prince's party, but it certainly beat the hell out of Nick and Schmidt's Ham and Cheese who botched their entrance all together.
Don’t: Just Blurt Out "I Love You!"
Nick meant well when he told Jess "I love you" for the first time (he was overwhelmed by her beauty, which was sweet) but he not only did so when Jess was in a limo getting ready to leave, but he also did it in front of all their friends. A dumbstruck, scared Jess could only respond by shooting him with finger guns. Eventually though, after an inspirational and enviable montage with Prince (which included a fashion show and pancakes) Jess got up the nerve to declare to Nick -- and all of Prince's party -- that she loves him, too. And, hey, at least neither of them did it like Winston does, which is to scream it at your date while they're eating soup. While the exchanging of "I love you"'s between Nick and Jess was sweet, albeit expected (I honestly thought it would have happened in last week's episode) I found it strange they saved it for the post-Super Bowl episode. If there's anything football fans enjoy after the big game, it's watching two cute characters declare their love to one another for the first time. That was a moment for New Girl loyalists, not newbies.
Do: Let Prince Win at Ping Pong
Jess may have called Prince "stupid" (don't worry, after the longest pause in the world, he forgave her) but at least she let Prince win at ping pong. Cece, on the other hand, stayed behind after the party and was relentless in her match against the music legend. Prince and his butterfly will get upset! How dare you, Cece. You should have just gone home with your friends and sat in a stupefied silence about getting to meet and sing and dance with Prince.
Don't: With the Product Placement
I get it, shows have to do this from time to time to pay the bills, but whenever New Girl has done it, it always feels aggressively obvious and terrible. And while it was not nearly as ungodly awful as when they shilled for Ford in the "Models" episode, having Coach blurt lines like, "Excuse me, we're in a Ford Fusion, the best car ever made!" and "Double the gas mileage!" was still terribly uncomfortable.
Do: Play Lemon Mouth Instead of Mingling With Celebrities and Millionaires
It's way more fun, especially if you go all out and play it like Schmidt does. That said, if you have a choice, have pancakes with Prince instead of eating a lemon.
Don't: Bother With Other Guest Stars When You Have Prince Around
Especially when its second-rate guest stars like Clayton Kershaw and Alessandra Ambrosio. They couldn't act to begin with, but it's only amplified when you see what a gifted actor Prince is.
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