Wacky and zany antics are great for sitcoms. We get to watch characters we know, and perhaps love, get into odd situations that we get to enjoy very much. However, when coming up with humorous scenarios, it is, generally speaking, wise to have some sort of conclusion or end point, in mind. This is the issue at the heart of “Walk of Shame.”
On the one hand, it is cool to get a Jess and Cece adventure. Even though they are longtime best friends, they don’t really get to hang out and get into shenanigans of their own. However, after getting their hair blown out, the gals find themselves going home with Josh Gad’s Bearclaw, and some other guy. The presence of Josh Gad anywhere is generally a reason for concern, and his appearances as Bearclaw are no different—perhaps this is also part of the issue.
Anyway, in the morning, the gals wake up, and they basically find themselves in the same situation Elizabeth Banks finds herself in the generally maligned film Walk of Shame. They have no car, no working cell phones, they are hung over, and they look less than stellar. Then, they meet Justin Long’s character, another supporting part from New Girl’s past that would best be left buried.
Then, the story veers, as Jess and Cece find out he’s now divorced and working as a party clown. So, they all band together and refuse to feel shame as they walk back to the loft triumphantly. Oh, also Jess and Cece didn’t sleep with those two guys. Bearclaw and Jess created a musical about woodland creatures. We hear a lot of it. A LOT OF IT.
Meanwhile, Coach’s new girlfriend has actual character traits now. She plays cello, and invites Coach to a fancy party, and Nick and Winston, being super weird dudes, are disinvited. They show up, act as normal as possible, and in the end Coach’s girlfriend plays the Monday Night Football theme on the cello. So, they’re doing alright, evidently. In the end, we hear Jess, Justin Long, and Bearclaw sing a song about a gay wolf, whilst Coach’s girlfriend May accompanies them on the cello.
There’s a lot of silly stuff in this episode, which is, in theory, cool. However, the way it all culminates falls flat. Jess and Cece’s adventure, when it is just Jess and Cece, is a lot of fun. Nick and Winston together are also quite enjoyable, as per usual. It’s when anybody who isn’t a core member of the group shows up that problems ensue. Blowouts can lead to rash behavior for ladies. Half-baked story ideas lead to episodes of television that float on the good graces of being a long running sitcom.
Chris Morgan is an Internet gadabout who writes on a variety of topics and in a variety of mediums. If he had to select one thing to promote, however, it would be his ’90s blog/podcast, Existential Parachute Pants. (You can also follow him on Twitter.)