Dictionary.com defines insanity as:
There’s no argument that the characters in Fox’s “New Girl” sitcom are insane (see entry #1 above), but who’s to blame ’em? Half of comedy shows trade on wacky situations and overwrought characters. Where would “Friends” have been without Phoebe’s dead mother cat? Or “Mork and Mindy” without cocaine? Or “The Mary Tyler Moore” show without Zibzit, the extra-dimensional scheming imp that constantly threw a wrench in all of Mary’s plans? It’s possible I’ve never seen the Mary Tyler Moore show.
Still, is it possible that “The New Girl” is more than just another screwball sitcom? Is it even possible, nay probable, NAY EXTREMELY likely that the show itself is a clever post-modern deconstruction of the kind of world that could create and sustain a pack of degenerate, loose-screwed sociopaths?
Slap some ratchet-straps around your head, because I’m about to blow your lid off.
Exhibit A: Establishing Insanity
Do we all agree that the characters in the Loft, in the most recent episodes of New Girl, are batshit apeshit? Let’s do a quick breakdown to make sure we’re all on the same page:
Schmidt – Can pee inside his own body. Touches dead guy’s mustache with his face, repeatedly. Has a suit with a lightning bolt on the back. Ends sex with “BOOM, that just happened.” Shaves eyebrows and almost cuts off his face-mole to make a point. Owns “pressed lentil syrup.” Eats an entire candle to impress his cousin, who is also named Schmidt.
Nick – Writing the world’s worst zombie novel (used to be in law school). Closest confidant is an old mute Asian man. Keeps centipedes under his bed. Creates writer alter ego “Julius Pepperwood,” ex-cop, ex-Marine from Chicago who hates thin crust pizza. Moonwalks when upset. Spends thousands of dollars on pranks, is poor. Runs into a time-traveling version of himself from the future.
Jess – Weapon of choice against intruders is a curling iron duct-taped to a baseball bat. Seen Rocky 4 hundreds of times. Safe word is “dragon slippers.” Sleeps with a melon-headed dummy. Pink wine “makes her slutty.” Wants to train cats to nod on command. Seduction technique includes sexy stuff “with a pillow.”
Winston – Pick up lines include “Girl what your name is?” Constantly “pogos” roommates with his penis, unintentionally. Master hand bell composer and player – including hand bells made of office supplies. Had a manstruation cycle. When brainstorming harmless pranks, suggests hitting people with skis, melting their faces with acid, and killing them with a knife. Fruity drinks cause schizophrenic rambling and instability.
Exhibit B: The Loft’s Influence
The roommates’ exciting dementia established, we have to ask ourselves: were they always crazy? Is there some central locus that oh hell it’s the Loft. Introductions are for suckers.
The Loft makes people crazy. There is no denying it. There are multiple instances in multiple episodes where totally normal people appear in the episode, visit the Loft, and then are immediately transformed into mouth-breathing psychonuts with the mental stability of a LSD popping Gary Busey playing the Joker hit by Scarecrow gas at Woodstock.
Season 2 Episode 6 “Halloween:” Nick’s old college girlfriend Amelia shows up, is completely normal, and is shown to kiss like a regular person. After spending one night in the Loft, she wakes up Nick by licking his face and trying to bite his lips off.
In a flashback to college, she is shown to be weirded out by Nick’s unhinged Nickness. In the present day, after hitting the Loft, she becomes obsessed with his strange personality (with no explanation), and becomes so crazy for him that HE has to reject HER.
Season 2 Episode 13 “A Father’s Love:” Near the beginning of Season 2, Cece’s new boyfriend Robbie is established as a painfully normal, excruciatingly milquetoast, bamboo-under-fingernails thrown-into-the-sunningly average dude. His entire purpose is to highlight the fact that Cece’s settling with a guy who’s set up a beach house on top of the bell curve.
Yet, in Episode 2.13, long after having broken-up with Cece (and being exposed to the Loft’s evil rays), Robbie appears again as a spy stalking Cece through her normal life. After spending time in the Loft, he’s shown believing that wearing a hat makes his face invisible. He thinks the best way to eat an elephant is “with chopsticks, or in a taco.” He finishes his reappearance by screaming “White Guy Power” at two Indian families.
Season 2 Episode 8 “Parents:” Other than featuring hilarious guest-stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner as Jess Day’s parents, this episode shows that the Loft’s powers work especially fast on older folks. Once again, flashbacks show us that her parents are fairly normal, freaked out often by Jess’s oddball behavior. She’s been trying to “Parent Trap” them for twenty years, essentially trying to trick them back into a marriage neither want. Jess even says at the beginning of the episode that their hatred for each other is so powerful they won’t even have Thanksgiving dinner together.
After tricking her mom and dad into showing up at the Loft for Thanksgiving dinner at the same time, Rob Reiner is immediately disgusted and tries to flee for his life. However, even standing in the Loft’s doorway is enough to warp his mind – he’s immediately convinced (rather easily) into joining in on the dinner. It affects Jamie Lee Curtis, too – Jess explains that her mother is even peppier than her, but with no dark side. A few hours in the loft, she’s shown aggressively trying to pork Nick and threatening to murder Cece for “giving her baby drugs.”
Jess tries again to “Parent Trap” her parents, which she’s been trying unsuccessfully for twenty years. This time, under the Loft’s roof, it immediately works, and we’re treated to an extremely sexually tantalizing view of Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner going heels-to-Jesus in the Loft bathroom.
To cap it off, Rob Reiner, previously shown as a fairly stand-up guy, accuses Jess of being a prostitute to pay for the rent. So, you know. Loft-crazy.
Exhibit C: Vectors of Infection
So what’s causing it? Ancient Sumerian sacristones, buried in the rich loam beneath the Loft? Nanomachines that have broken containment from the laboratory downstairs and infiltrated their bloodstreams? The ghost of a psychic lunatic who was murdered in the Loft back when it used to be an insane asylum?
Nooope: it’s toxic black mold. Everyone going into the Loft is sucking up fungal spores from the moist rotting wallpaper glue, and it’s making them all cuckoo for Coacoa Puffs, to use the clinical cereal mascot vernacular.
Now, there are no molds that have been shown to affect the human mind. Normally they just make you into an asthmatic dry-skinned wreck, not, you know, Nick Miller. However, there is evidence of fungal brain infection in the insect kingdom, via a horrifying little guy called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis.
Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (I call it “Opie”) is responsible for the so-called “zombie ant” phenomenon. Proving once again that mother nature is a horrible bitch, this fungus latches onto an ant’s nervous system and forces them to leave their friends, stop eating, and a find a nearby leaf to cling to. Opie forces them to latch their jaws into a leaf stem and stay in one place as the fungus grows within. Frozen in their own bodies, the ants think tiny pathetic horrifying ant thoughts as their paralyzed bodies are devoured nanometer by nanometer. Then, to make it even more awful, a fungal stalk grows out of the ant’s head to disperse more spores into the air. To infect the rest of the colony.
Now, toxic black mold, the kind found in houses and buildings, doesn’t turn you into a zombie. Unfortunately. However, with hundreds of strains of Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) crawling around the universe, it’s not inconceivable that some hybrid could form that could infect people – and here lies the end of the world.
The Loft’s infection is spreading. Not including the various love interests that have bounced into their beds and out again, they’ve also infected others in the building. At one point, Nick spent an entire episode rubbing his mold-infected parts all up in a neighbors trenchcoat before giving it back to her. Jess and Schmidt spent another episode spreading brain-altering fungoids into the apartment of the hipster kids across the way.
The upcoming Playstation game “The Last of Us” deals with the idea of a brain-frapping fungal infection that, quite naturally, destroys the Earth.
If the “New Girl’s” final episode shows Schmidt hanging upside down from a palm tree with a six-foot fungal stalk growing out of the top of his skull, then we’ll know that all the wacky hijinks and gut-busting farce have actually been the last dying twitches of the human race, raging against the darkness as their brains are slowly absorbed into one fungoid mass.
“New Girl” is simply a prequel to the end times.
Their behavior is also explained by alcohol. You know, it’s probably just alcohol.