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New Girl S1 E23 – Backslide

Last updated on March 5, 2021

This podcast covers New Girl Season 1, Episode 23, Backslide, which originally aired on May 1, 2012 and was written by David Quandt and directed by Nanette Burstein.

Episode Recap

Jess is upset about breaking up with Russell and after learning about the term “backsliding”, she sleeps with an ex. Nick is still pursuing his relationship with Caroline even though the loftmates are advising against it. Schmidt’s still dealing with his broken penis and meets Cece’s grandmother while Winston gets drunk with his boss and ends up with a new accessory for everyone to make fun of.

Episode Notes

On this episode’s Pop Culture section we focused on:

  • The River by Joni Mitchell – While Jess was wallowing over her breakup with Russell, she played The River by Joni Mitchell on repeat in her room.
  • Tom Waits – Nick refers to the voice in his head sounding like Tom Waits and later in the episode Jess imitates what Tom Waits would sound like.

Additional Pop Culture References such as:

  • Cylon – After asking herself if she was “self-sabotaging” her relationship with Russell, Jess asked herself if she was a Cylon. Cylons are a fictional, artificially-intelligent race of machines in the Battlestar Galactica series. 
  • Grateful Dead Bears – When Nick was looking at the apartment with Caroline, she asked him where the Grateful Dead Bears were going to dance. The Grateful Dead is a band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The “bears” were initially designed by artist Bob Thomas to appear on the back cover of the band’s 1973 album, The History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice). They have come to be a symbol for many things but are most notably used as a symbol for the band. 
  • Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky – When Jess finds out that Paul cheated on his girlfriend when he slept with her, he claims to know what Bill Clinton felt like and Jess says she knows how Monica Lewinsky felt. Bill Clinton was a former US president who was impeached after lying to a grand jury about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, who was at the time a White House intern.
  • “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day…” (Sonnet 18) – When Nick is watching past Nick be sad over Caroline, Schmidt retrieves the poem past Nick wrote about Caroline. The poem began with the beginning of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, which is one of Shakespeare’s best-known sonnets. 
  • Batmen – When Schmidt and Cece go to the nursing home to visit Cece’s dadi, another resident shared that he mentions he and his wife had been together through four different “batmen”. Since 1943, there have been 9 actors who have played Batman on the big and small screens. 
  • Yoda – When Schmidt is talking to Cece’s dadi and friends, he mentions they are like real live yodas. Yoda is a small, wrinkly, green character from the movie franchise Star Wars
  • Winston’s Earrings – Throughout the episode, the loftmates made fun of Winston by comparing him to many famous references including the below:
    • Disney Pirate Movie / Captain Black Sparrow – This is a reference to the movie The Pirates of the Caribbean where the main character is an eccentric pirate named Captain Jack Sparrow. The first movie came out in 2003 and it has since had 4 more feature films with another 2 potentially being made.
    • George Michael – George Michael was a member of the music duo Wham! who later embarked on a solo career. When he died in 2016 he was considered one of the best-selling music artists of all time and achieved eight number one songs on the US Billboard Hot 100.
    • Carnival – This is a reference to the Western Christian festive season before Lent and occurs in February or early March. It involves public celebrations like parades, street parties, and has elements of a circus. Typically the festival has attendees in costumes and masks and celebrate by eating and drinking excessively.
    • Mr. T – Mr. T is an alias for Lawrence Tureaud who is an American actor, TV personality, bodyguard, and professional wrestler. His catchphrase “I pity the fool!” is from his character on Rocky III and became his trademark which led him to have his own reality show.
    • Lil Wayne – Lil Wayne is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor who is known as one of the most influential hip hop artists of his generation. He joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member at the age of 12.
    • Shaquille O’Neal – Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal is an American former basketball player who spent 19 years in the NBA. He was also one of the first African Americans to portray a major comic book superhero in a motion picture and has continued to act since.

We also cover a “Schmidtism” when Schmidt tries to cheer Jess up at the beginning of the episode. For “Not in 2020” on this episode we discuss how Cece’s dressing down to avoid discomfort for Schmidt was compared to dressing like a “women’s study major”. We also discuss how Paul called Winston “Washington” and Jess referred to Jenn as “Asian me” and herself as the “Caucasian you”. We also explore the careers of Phil Hendrie, Melissa Tang, and Madhur Jaffrey, the guest stars of this episode.

This episode got an 8/10 Rating from Kritika and Kelly and we both had the same favorite character: Jess!

Thanks for listening and stay tuned for Episode 24!

Music: “Hotshot” by

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