“New Girl”: At Wedding 12, I sat on a men’s toilet

I know I wasn’t the only one whose jaw hurt after grinding my teeth through so many episodes of New Girl‘s dry third season. Last spring’s, “Cruise” finale made promises of a renewed upcoming season featuring many Nick and Schmidt adventures, but I still had pause about tuning into last night’s premiere.

Then, I read an article from TV Guide, an interview with creator Liz Meriweather during which she acknowledges viewers’ lack of interest in the third season and hints to a refocused fourth installment. Her apparent understanding, following her failed pipe dream of a Nick-and-Jess relationship that holds your attention, made me a little more excited about “The Last Wedding” premiere.

Everything about the season four opener has me looking forward to this year, especially the final scene — a ritual of tearing up wedding invitations, which intentionally signifies the classic direction of the show resurfacing. It’s there to tell us Meriweather, and more importantly Ms. Day and Mr. Miller, have no intention of trying to rekindle a relationship that ended badly four months ago.

Instead, we see roommates headed to their 12th wedding of the summer, some of them looking to score for the first time but all trying to bring someone home. Jess is the group’s only hope, after Nick and Schmidt get untimely scared away from a foursome with a couple hot bridesmaids. But their pursuit brings us a couple of the best moments from the premiere. Schmidt’s pick-up story: he convinced Tom (of Tom’s shoes) to do something better than sell boat shoes for profit. Then, Nick’s fantastically-Nick pick-up line: “You’re face is all right.”

Jess is after Ted, the only eligible bachelor at the wedding (Who’s wedding is it, by the way? And how did they get in exactly?) Ted also happens to the best man and Jess also happens to be competing with Jessica Biel, I mean Kat, who has a pretty impressive resume — she’s had sex with Malcolm Gladwell.

Ms. Day resorts to good ole Bidening, which Winston teaches us is just being there wherever Ted is. As Jess classically does, she goes over board and follows Ted into the men’s bathroom, trying to get a leg up on the intimidating Kat. Thankfully though, she loses out (they both do, actually) and we get some refreshing Jess-ness along the way, in the form of a selfie with someone she thought was Larry King and a sexual attraction to teenage Simba. It was truth time.

From what I draw from this episode, it looks like “New Girl” is heading to a good place. There wasn’t much of any talk about Nick and Jess’ fling or failed fling, except for an opening sequence that merely establishes how far in the future we are (four months) and that Jess hasn’t gotten any tail since.

Instead, we’re rejuvenated with Schmidt-Cece chatter, which is better news for Cece than Schmidt because Meriweather and the writers really pushed Cece out of the storyline in season three, making her a bartender and giving her boyfriends. I did appreciate the corky jab at Cece’s failed engagement in the strong final scene.

It’s also a return to the established order of relationships in the loft. Schmidt and Cece’s hot-and-cold relationship should always be the main love connection.

But seriously you guys, whose weddings were all of those?

My favorite thing. Nick expressing his displeasure with Laurie and Mitchell’s wedding: “They had a cash bar. I hope they can’t have kids!”

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