Not in a long time have I experienced such angst at the sexual tension between two characters: Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) in New Girl need to sort themselves out. In the most recent episode, ‘First Date’, they even went on a date to try and confront their issues (having been occasionally making out and exchanging looks for a while now) but this seems to have just made things more awkward and they nervously said goodnight using their surnames whilst backing into their rooms at the end of the episode. This is not satisfactory.
According to the actors, they were often told not to touch each other in season one as they had too much chemistry on screen. Thank goodness then that they decided to just go for it in season two, as they seemed a perfect match to many of us almost immediately. However, it is definitely more appropriate now; Jess lost her job as a schoolteacher, throwing her closer to Nick’s level of uncertainty and vulnerability. They are thrown into more and more storylines together, making Nick’s attraction to Jess grow stronger and stronger until he just had to grab her in a passionate embrace. Unfortunately, he couldn’t wait until she didn’t have a boyfriend and all became quite awkward- but mostly because it made Jess totally confused and begin to realise how she’s felt deep down all along.
The difference between Nick and Jess and Friends‘ Ross and Rachel is that the former are completely and utterly confused about how they feel about each other, especially due to their roommate status, whereas Ross and Rachel are both sure that they love each other- just usually at different times. The comparison between these couples is often made, but I think New Girl‘s emerging couple have more in common with How I Met Your Mother‘s Barney and Robin: they tried going out, decided they weren’t compatible but both have been through phases of loving the other without them knowing, and there is a lot of confusion there too. Therefore, maybe if New Girl does follow a similar pattern then we can hope for an eventual engagement…
The only bad thing about focusing on Nick and Jess this season is that every episode also needs a Schmidt/Winston storyline, and these are just ridiculous. Somewhat hilarious but always (too) over the top. There must be a way they could help forward Nick and Jess, or become generally more involved without being sidelined in random ways.
Well done Liz Meriwether and co. You’re driving us mad. There isn’t much left of season two and I would bet money that there will be an inconclusive ending before stringing us along even more. Ah, the joys of will-they-won’t-they relationships.