'New Girl': Imperfect Scores

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Elsewhere, Schmidt saw Winston interacting with some other African-Americans and noted a change: He was “so light and charming…like Pixar Winston.” Later, he frankly (and foolishly) asked “white Nick” and “brown Cece” if they were all allowing Winston “to be his blackest self.” They immediately saw what an insane notion this was, but that didn’t faze Schmidt. He declared he’d “be the best black friend [Winston] ever had”… and proceeded to shove soul food and Rastafarian hats down Winston’s throat. The more gangsta the activity the better!

It didn’t take much of this foolery before Winston decided to test Schmidt’s “tolerance” by suggesting they go out to score some crack — you know, how black people do. Seeing Schmidt’s shock, he took it a step further and began to spin a stereotype-laced yarn about his childhood that went a little something like this…

I remember when I was a kid: Me, my mom, and her mom… and then her mom, her mom, and her mom — and of course her mom — and then my little cousin Peanut, we’d all rush back to that flaming trash can where we’d sit around and harmonize and just [singing] “Shoo-wop!” [stops singing] One of those nights I remember, we ran out of crack. I grabbed my scarf and I’d run on down to the liquor store where those thugs hung out, and I’d try to get a good deal on some crack. [Laughs nostalgically] Woooo! And they would give me a good price, man, but I tell you what: There’s nothing like the feel of a fire and a fresh-baked cookie and that sweet, sweet taste of crack in your lungs.

As Schmidt gobbled up every word, Winston had to turn away for the barely contained laughter. He suggested they go to the projects so that he could wait in the car while Schmidt bought the crack. Stop me any time if you think this won’t end well…. Indeed, Winston tried to give Schmidt an out, saying they could just go for frozen yogurt. But no! Schmidt was determined to be as understanding of Winston’s blackness — his totally out-of-character, walking-racist-cliché of a crack fiend blackness. With that, Schmidt moved in to seal the drug deal with a fumbled attempt at some sort of jive handshake. As he headed out into the night, Winston grimaced. What had he gotten them into?

They arrived in a rough neighborhood, both noticeably anxious. (“Schmidt-zing” to use our man’s parlance.) Winston tried to turn things around by once again, more forcefully this time, suggesting they go for frozen yogurt. But Schmidt proclaimed, “I will not let you deny who you are any longer! Not on my watch.” Which begs the question: Schmidt, have you ever met Winston? I’ve only known him for about 12 hours total, and I’m pretty confident he’s not a crackhead.

Either way, Schmidt did some sort of hood bird call and attracted the attention of the nearest thug, whom he invited into the car. Winston’s prank had officially gone straight past hilarity and into the terror zone. Well, save for when Winston said, “He could have a gun!” and Schmidt responded, “That’s racist!”

Afraid for his life, Winston finally admitted the whole thing was a ruse. As he and Schmidt squabbled, the thug feared he was being criminally entrapped by cops and then found that he was physically trapped by Schmidt’s childproof locks. He was so agitated that he reached into his front pocket… for his wallet. (Only Schmidt could go to the ghetto and be accused of holding up someone.) Turns out, he wasn’t a thug — just a good Samaritan trying to give two clearly lost guys directions. When all three of them stopped cowering and screaming like girls, they realized it was just a zany misunderstanding and had a good laugh. Schmidt disengaged the child locks and the not-really-a-thug named Robert exited, only to knock on the front window and scare one more dog-frequency shriek out of Winston.

Back at the loft, Winston was legitimately annoyed Schmidt had tried to foist some patronizing idea of blackness on him. Gleaning nothing from this, Schmidt apologized that Winston “had to live Jess and Nick — I mean, they’re honky as hell. And look at our people, look at what we’ve giving to this country. [Pointing at Winston] Jazz… [pointing at himself] the management of jazz musicians.” Winston told him to pipe down already, that there were so many more annoying things about all of them he hadn’t even gotten to race. Now could they just drop it and get some frozen yogurt already? (Winston really wanted frozen yogurt, y’all.) He asked if Schmidt would like some, too, and received this response: “Yes! [Meaningful pause] I’ll have a vanilla-chocolate swirl.”

Read more:
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‘New Girl’: All Wreaths, No Trees
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