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<i>New Girl</i>: The Do’s and Don’ts of Pretending to Like Basketball

New Girl writers, you sneaky little devils, you. In the midst of a slump you figured out a way to get the show back in its late Season 2 groove: instigate sexual tension between Nick and Jess again. Genius. When New Girl hit its creative stride in the second half of Season 2, it was when Nick and Jess were at their will-they-won't-they greatest and since they've settled down, that magic spark has pretty much fizzled. That is, until last night's episode "Basketball," which found the two flirtatiously teasing each other just like the good old days…and dammit, it worked. "Basketball," not only put the wheels in motion for Schmidt and Winston story lines involving their respective careers, but it was the most fun I've had watching Nick and Jess all season. They still don't quite know what to do with Coach, but with this show, there always seems to be an odd man out. Here are the do's and don'ts we learned from "Basketball":

Do: Have Nick and Jess Turn Off the Sex Tap
As previously mentioned, having Nick and Jess torment each other was as sexy as it was hilarious. When Jess attempts to befriend Coach by pretending to take in active interest in watching Pistons games, Bulls superfan Nick is none too pleased. After all, it's a rivalry on par with the Yankees and the Red Sox…or dolphins and whales…or Jean Valjean and Javert. Plus, there is nothing worse than a bandwagon fan, which Jess definitely appears to be, and the Bulls mean so much to Nick on a personal level. ("Michael Jordan was the first man that taught me I could love a man.") As penance for this crime against sports, Nick turns off the sex tap and proceeds to mercilessly tease Jess with "sexy" dances and seductive teeth-brushing maneuvers. (Did Nick really forget that all he needed to do was gargle some beer and she would be putty?) Jess eventually turns the tables on him, however, and says that he must wear a Pistons jersey before she'll get back in to bed with him. He does just that, and after calling out that he was going to take her respectfully, he opens his bedroom door to find her in a Bulls jersey, thus turning the sex tap back on and giving Jess the Vitamin D she was jonesing for. (Kudos to Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel for reigniting the chemistry and for giving us the best episode of Season 3 thus far. They both nailed it.)

Don't: Refer To Jess as Just "Nick's Girlfriend"
Desperate to become friends with the hard-to-crack walnut that is Coach, Jess did everything from go on drugstore errands with him to, of course, watching hours of basketball. (Or, as she referred to it, basket's ball.) Of course, Coach, being a man, did not pick up on these cues. So Nick, being the good boyfriend that he is, leveled with Coach and let him know the trick to being Jess' friend. The key: whenever random, adorable thoughts pop in your head, bring them up to her. For instance, have you ever wondered if seals are friends or if you combed a gorilla's hair, would it like it, then Jess is your gal to ask. (Also, how adorable is it that Nick knows her that well.) It's still not exactly a storyline for Coach, but at least it acknowledges that no one can relate to him, or figure him out just yet.

Do: Use Technology to Trick Your Elders
When Schmidt gets one-upped by a new, older employee ("New compared to what? The moon?") at work who steals his idea, he seeks revenge on the "old, drooling potato." Winston and Schmidt listen to honorary cranky old man Nick complain about technology and figured there was no way theat"liver spot" Ed would know how to use technology, and they were right. During a big presentation, Schmidt breaks all of the printers and Ed is stuck with a computer he doesn't know how to control. While Ed promised to get the "Hebrew," it all meant that Schmidt was getting one step closer to his coveted CIO job. Sometimes revenge is tastier than an avacada.

Don't: Trust Technology (According to Nick Miller)
I could have listened to Nick explain why technology is evil for an entire episode. Instead of taking sexy selfies on his phone to send to Jess, Nick took them on a disposable camera (!) which he planned to get developed (!!). His reasons? He didn't want his "beefcake" shots "beamed right into Snowden's pocket." He also theorized that all of our flip phone data winds up in the hands of monkey elf kids just eager to steal all your information. "You can't control your technology… I trust a hard copy." Never change, Nick, you crazy old loon.

Do: Figure Out Your Obvious Career Path
Winston spent the majority of the episode tagging along with Schmidt to see if marketing was a good path for him (it wasn't), but mostly just helped Schmidt take down Ed. Later, Cece (yep, she still inexplicably has her bartending gig) figured otu that Winston's love for Training Day (Lamorne Morris's imitation of Denzel Washington was top notch, by the way), eating donuts in the morning, being out on the streets and finding clues would make him a good cop. Plus, as Schmidt points out, he already has "high cholesterol and weird people skills.” So, police officer seems like it would be Winston’s Career of the Month.

Don't: Use Schmidt's Sexy Boudoir Photo Ideas
Hilarious as they may be, don't use Schmidt's patented "Half Nelson" or, worst of all, the "Guy Fieri" ("I can taste the sauces") boudoir poses to turn your lady on. Nick's "Sexy Mayor Looking Out the Window Deciding the Fate of His City," on the other hand – well, you better go for that one, baby.

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