TV Club: A fragmented, frustrating New Girl puts some pieces together

Let’s get a couple of things straight. One, “Misery” is a utilitarian episode of New Girl, and a utilitarian episode of New Girl is still better than many sitcoms. Two, the fragmentation that bogs down “Misery” is right on theme for an episode about frustrating failures of communication. But knowing it’s intentional doesn’t make it funnier or more fun to watch.

The cold open lays on the exposition a little thick. “Honey, you just fled to your dad’s house in Portland,” Cece reminds Jess, and us—as if Jess doesn’t know and we wouldn’t remember or couldn’t figure it out from contextual clues like Jess being at her dad’s house in Portland, or Jess repeating that she’s at her dad’s house in, or Jess’ dad (Rob Reiner) showing up to tell her half-heartedly how great it’s been to have …

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