"Chicago" was such an off episode of this show, partly because it dealt with the death of a character we only met once, but mostly because it wasn't funny. Sitcoms can certainly deal with dead people -- look at the legendary "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show as a prime example -- but this just seemed like it was desperately trying hard to be funny and failed almost entirely (some of the Schmidt mortality stuff was amusing). It's a shame because it had the makings of good stuff, what with Margo Martindale and Nick Kroll cast as Nick's mom and brother. But the thing that gave the whole thing an air of weirdness was the unacknowledged elephant in the room of Nick and Jess (he introduces her to his mom as "my new roommate"). Sure, Nick's brother and his insinuating eyebrows made some comments about them sleeping together, but aside from that, it was hard to tell if this episode even took place after the fish-tank-breaking-make-out session, or if this episode was meant to air earlier. It felt like this death of a con man episode existed in this own little bubble, or alternate reality. Maybe the gang should stay out of Chicago for a while.
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