The Return of Coach in New Girl’s “Coach!”

After watching the pilot episode for New Girl I thought Coach was my favorite character. He had a certain charisma about him that made me think he was going to be a perfect fit between Nick and Schmidt. Obviously, after the pilot episode we got Winston, which created a jarring feeling at the time. Although Winston was a good alternative to Coach, there was something about Coach not being around that was inherently disappointing. Now Coach is back! Everyone can celebrate the happy ending that is Coach returning to New Girl. Honestly though, I don’t know if I enjoyed this episode as much as I could have. I don’t want to dive in and pick at the little things that are bothering me, but I’m going to.

First of all, I don’t understand what the writers did with Coach while he was off screen for a couple of years. It was kind of implied that he had to go away for some reason that would demand a person get up and move immediately. However, if Coach was just on the other side of town for a couple of years why wouldn’t he be able to visit the apartment more? If Coach moved to another city for a job or something it wouldn’t be that difficult to throw in a “Coach, I’m so glad you’re back from Chicago.” It’s pretty hard to sell how Coach was living really far away when the guys can take a cab to the police station where Coach’s ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend works.

Another thing that bugged me in “Coach” was how Coach didn’t remember who Jess was. How does it make sense that Coach would come back to the apartment and not remember who Jess is? It was clearly established that several weeks went by between the first and second episodes of New Girl, and how that was time well spent between Coach and Jess (Mission Accomplished!). I hope in the future the writers reveal that Coach was just pretending not to remember Jess because of his recent breakup. Breakups can be a hard thing to deal with – and to go back to your old apartment and find out that one of your best friends is dating one of his roommates can make things harder. I don’t want to blame the writers for a stupid move with the character development, but I will if they end up making a stupid move.

Finally, at what point in time – before “Coach” – was it established that going to a strip club was something that Nick, Schmidt, Winston, and Coach did every Tuesday night? Forgive me if I seem arrogant in thinking that those guys going to a strip club regularly does not seem plausible, but it was just really odd. However, I’m glad they went to a strip club because it allowed for some really good development between Nick and Jess, and Nick and Schmidt. Also, it doesn’t hurt how Winston will probably end up buying everyone’s Christmas presents from the Velvet Rabbit.

Coach being back on New Girl should be a fantastic thing to see in future episodes, and I’m very excited to see him back. I didn’t know where the dynamic of the loft was going before I knew Coach was coming back. With Schmidt out of the direct picture I didn’t know how the characters were going to react: Winston is at his best when he’s conflicting with Schmidt, while Nick and Jess can only carry things so far on their own. The return of Coach means that the group will find a new dynamic to work around; thus, making things on New Girl look and feel different for a few episodes. I’m really excited for the potential of what’s to come and I think the writers can deliver.


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