New Girl: Menzies

Is it just me, or did New Girl just do the stereotypical "PMS" episode... and then point out what nonsense it was?

I am completely in love with New Girl right now, but I was wary of this one. The only girl in the house has got her period, and so she spends the episode being not only an irrational menace to her friends, and also incapable of normal human interaction. She shouts at them for little things. She cries over a puppy in a teacup during an interview.

And, for an extra amusing sideplot, a male friend has "sympathy" PMS, allowing us to laugh at a guy being silly and girly and emotional as well. I thought the show was better than this.

And turns out... it is. Because, as the characters wisely point out at the end of the episode, this has nothing to do with PMS. It's nothing to do with fluctuating girly hormones that cause them to act like irrational monsters and mean that everyone can dismiss their feelings as insignificant. Jess is touchy and emotional because she's going through an incredibly tough time, fired, unemployed, and feeling incredibly down on herself. And sympathy-PMSer Winston is trying to avoid admitting that he's really upset over his breakup with his girlfriend. Their feelings come from very real, very relatable places, and although some of it is played for laughs, the story comes to a genuine conclusion. Rather than having her period be the cause of baseless emotion that vanishes by the end of the episode, it is a cover-up for very real problems that have to be addressed. Because period or no period, she's reached breaking point for a reason.

So... kudos, New Girl. You might well be the most emotionally smart sitcom I've ever seen.