Re-watching New Girl (yes, the entire series up to “Cooler”), I was struck by just how deep and complex Jess and Nick’s friendship has become over the course of two seasons. Nick usually takes a very protective stance over any and all strange situations Jess finds herself embroiled in, and Jess is always there to reassure Nick when he feels down or ends a relationship. And unlike, let’s say Ross on Friends, there was no unrequited pining going on before “Cooler.” That does not mean, however, that there weren’t hints that a Nick/Jess endgame was in the works. So with that in mind, I took a more analytical lens to their relationship over the past two seasons and came up with 10 episodes that highlight their relationship in particular (which is probably useful if you aren’t a crazy person like me and can’t mainline all the episodes in a few days).
1. Season One, Episode Three: “Wedding”
While Nick emerged as my favorite of the guys from the pilot, I didn’t think of them as a will they/won’t they couple until this episode….and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Jess pretends to be Nick’s girlfriend at a wedding in order to make his ex, Caroline, jealous. While that ruse backfires, Jess pep talks Nick out of his photo booth refuge and out to the dance floor. It’s also funny has Nick labels Jess as a “ruiner” in this episode, setting it up perfectly for her being called a “cooler” in the second season.
2. Season One, Episode Five: “Cece Crashes”
Cece’s prolonged exposure to her best friend’s new roommates leads her to the conclusion that Nick likes Jess. Jess vehemently denies this but can’t help to notice that Cece was right about one thing: Nick’s feet are always pointed toward her, a sure sign that he likes her. By the end, Jess stops acting weird and apologies when they are both brushing their teeth (with clear camera emphasis on their feet).
3. Season One, Episode Nine: “The 23rd”
Jess is seriously questioning her relationship with Paul. Noticing her distress, Nick advises her to talk to Paul about her misgivings. Nick then accidentally talks to Paul about it before Jess has a chance to break the news. Knowing she is upset, Nick misses his flight home for the holidays in order to cheer Jess up by driving her down Candy Cane Lane.
4. Season One, Episode Twelve: “The Landlord”
Nick and Jess get into an argument over being too nice vs. being cynical. When Jess convinces their landlord to fix some things around the loft, Nick worries that Jess doesn’t realize the landlord’s real intentions toward her and keeps an eye on him. The landlord interprets this turn of events as a threesome, neither Jess nor Nick want to give up their side of the argument and stop the situation. Eventually, Jess admits she was wrong. The stakes of the situation (especially when the landlord tells Nick and Jess to start it off) are reminiscent of the “Cooler” scenario.
5. Season One, Episode Fifteen: “Injured”
Jess accidentally injures Nick in a game of touch football and takes him to her OB/GYN friend for some medication (as Nick doesn’t have health insurance). There, her friend finds a cyst on Nick’s thyroid and makes him an appointment to get it checked out. While Nick is reluctant to go, Jess and the gang insist he goes to the appointment. They spend the night on the beach, where Nick tells Jess, “I like you a lot.”
6. Season One, Episode Twenty-Two: “Tomatoes”
Jess observes the passion between her boyfriend Russell and his ex-wife when they get into arguments. She attempts to create the same level of passion with Russell but he isn’t interested in that sort of relationship. Jess says, “I want passion. Even if it’s harder and hurts more,” ending the relationship. Upon entering the loft, Jess gets into a shouting match with Nick, illustrating that passion she was just so adamant about finding. This was the show’s clearest indication that the series is leading up to a Nick/Jess coupling in the first season.
7. Season One, Episode Twenty-Four: “See Ya”
Jess struggles with Nick’s decision to move out of the loft and in with Caroline throughout the episode. When she finally realizes that Nick’s happiness should be paramount, she tells him as much. And this exchange happens: Nick – “I think you need me too much” Jess – “No, I’m gonna be fine. You know why? ‘Cause I met you. That’s why I’m okay”
8. Season Two, Episode One: “Re-Launch”
Jess gets laid off her teaching job and gets pretty down. Nick spends much of the episode attempting to “be nice” to her, when Jess only wants him to yell at her. The episode ends with Jess finally coming to terms with her new situation, sitting with Nick on her car outside her former school.
9. Season Two, Episode Three: “Fluffer”
Nick unwittingly becomes Jess’ “emotional fluffer,” filling in a boyfriend role so she can have a sex-only relationship with Sam. Jess and Nick end up on a quasi-date at a fancy restaurant and getting into a fight over an IKEA dresser. Winston councils Nick that building the dresser leads to the assumption that one day they will share the dresser, as a couple. Nick and Jess both admit they they’ve thought about each other in that way. Nick concludes that people telling him what he should and shouldn’t do for his friend pisses him off…and he builds the dresser. They both decide they are “two people that want to be friends but are sometimes attracted to each other.”
10. Season Two, Episode Fourteen: “Pepperwood”
Nick goes into protector mode when he believes that one of the students in Jess’ creative writing class wishes her harm. After showing up to her class and stealing the student’s notebook, Jess reluctantly agrees to investigate with Nick. One interesting thing I noticed in this episode (not sure if it has happened before) is Nick calling Jess by her full name Jessica multiple times. Enough times that it stood out. To analyze the significance would definitely be going overboard BUT…it did stick out.
- BuzzFeed created an awesome compilation of fan created odes to the kiss here.
- The kiss almost didn’t happen. Schmidt was going to be with Jess behind the Iron Curtain. Creator Liz Meriwether says “We’re just trying to be honest about how we think this relationship would actually go down.” That’s the most refreshing thing in my opinion. I’m all for breaking down the walls of traditional sitcom dynamics. That this happened in season two, and not season four or five, says a lot and gives me more confidence in the show’s future. Read the full story on EW.
- Need to just rewatch the kiss over and over? I got ya covered below:
- Nick: “We like you,” end of Pilot
- Nick: “Jess is one of the good ones,” Fancyman Part Two
- Jess says Nick is attractive “in a rumpled small town PI kind of way,” Kids
- When Jess attempts to talk Nick out of moving in with Caroline she tells him, “You don’t have to settle,” Backslide
- Nick: “I think you’re the kind of girl a guy would come back for,” Santa
- Jess: “You’re not that guy…she didn’t deserve you,” Cabin
I stopped hoping/predicting Emmy nominations a long time ago because going down that road inevitably leads to disappointment. But foregoing your hopes and dreams allows for another thing: pleasant surprise. Yes, most of the nominations were easily predicable but more so than usual, this year is shaping up to showcase some very deserving ensembles and individuals. One thing I won’t discuss: the snubs. I fear making that list will result in insanity and depression. Forewarning: since my thoughts range from actual having an observation to just “yay!” this is a mishmash of ideas more so than an actual post. For a better breakdown of exactly how this year is surprisingly positive, check out Tim Goodman’s analysis at The Hollywood Reporter.
Downton Abbey: Having returned for a second season to PBS, it was necessary for DA to move from the miniseries category to the drama series category. It took America a year to catch Downton fever, and I am just a little bummed that it happened on a less than stellar season. Nevertheless, I am happy for it to be included. The show even garnered far more acting noms than expected: Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, and Jim Carter were all nominated. The Brits are already laughing at our outdated obsession.
Mad Men: What do I love about the Mad Men noms this year? Well, Jared Harris for one (who replaced John Slattery in this category). I was a huge fan of Lane this season and while I could sit here and work myself into a fit over how much I think Weiner blundered his storyline, Jared Harris was awesome throughout. He devastated me for well over a week. I was happily surprised by the nomination for Ben Feldman as Michael Ginsberg in the Guest Actor category. His scene where he describes himself as a martian to Peggy is one of the standout moments of the season. And semi-related: Jon Hamm was nominated for Don Draper but he was also nominated for Guest Actor in 30 Rock. I know he doesn’t consider himself a comedian but he never ceases to be hilarious in comedies and on SNL. He may not be able to win for Mad Men, but he was definitely a standout on the 30 Rock live episode.
American Horror Story: Due to what can be deemed downright mischievous, FX submitted AHS as a miniseries, arguing that each season is a self-contained anthology (never mind the fact this was decided after it aired). Due to a sparse field of competition, this has allowed AHS to CLEAN UP. I am very excited to see Denis O’Hare recognized in the Supporting Actor category because he’s awesome.
Sherlock: And speaking of strategies, PBS entered “A Scandal in Belgravia” into contention as an TV movie. Huh? It is a single episode in a continuous series that involves the same principal characters but okay. I can’t really complain too much because I may in fact be rooting for Benedict Cumberbatch in the Lead Actor category far more than anyone else at the ceremony. Martin Freeman also got some love in the Supporting Actor category so I can’t argue with the results of this subterfuge.
The Year of the Creator/Actor?
Girls: Not only was it nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, but Lena Dunham got nominations for writing, directing, producing and Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Louie: Louis CK may have missed out on getting his actual show nominated but he successfully got nods for writing, directing and as Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Even more impressive? He now holds the record for most nominations for an individual in a single year (7).
Max Greenfield: I know that Zooey Deschanel also got the nomination, but I have to give it up to Max Greenfield for making New Girl one of the funniest new shows on television this year. The evolution of Schmidt was a great thing to watch throughout the season and I am very glad that it was noticed.
Writing in a Comedy Series: Talk about a category that got it completely right. Girls, Parks and Recreation, Louie, and Community (The “Remedial Chaos Theory” episode!!!) all represented. I can’t wait to see what episode picks up the award but they are all so deserving.
The Hour: I just recently devoured the first season of The Hour and adored it so I am sad to see that the series was ignored (or “miniseries” I should say…er) as well as Dominic West and Ben Whishaw. However, Abi Morgan did get a nomination for Outstanding Writing.
Modern Family: I…don’t get it anymore. I watch it and it often makes me laugh but not everyone on the show needs to be nominated particularly since it wasn’t a very strong season. I would nominate Ty Burrell, that’s all folks. Instead of some of the other adults I would also nominate the kid that plays Luke, Nolan Gould, because he makes me laugh more than most of the cast combined.
Nick is really rivaling my love for Schmidt quotes these days. He was clearly the MVP in last night’s “Fancyman, Part 1”:
- “A kitchen island? Be a man! Let your counter attach to itself.”
- “I want to sit at that desk and veto a law. When I put my hand on this desk, I feel sexually proficient for the first time in my life.”
- “It feels really good in my hand. Is it possible to be sexually attracted to an object?”
- My FAVORITE of the night (whispered, to a wooden mallard): “I want to kill you…because I respect you…(beat) I think I understand hunting!”
The many smells of the Fancyman:
- “Do you smell that? It smells like leather and Teddy Roosevelt and wistfulness.”
- “I don’t know why I put [the sweater] on. I just came in here and it smelled like Shakespeare — if Shakespeare were a damn cowboy — and a hawk’s nest and boat fuel and cigars and bourbon. Man stuff!”
- “He smells like strong coffee and going to see a man about a horse.”
Role playing with…the desk:
- “I’m President Miller, you’re all fired! Bring our boys home.”
- “You want to come in here and charge me a billion dollars? That’s nothing to me!”
- “You’re off the streets… I don’t want to either, you’re the best cop I got!”
- “It’s President Miller, of Earth. I’d like to speak to the Galactic Emperor, please. Yeah it’s about money.”
- “I’m going to push a piece of paper across the desk that I’ve written a little number on…. Why don’t I just tell you? It’s $5 kabillion. What do you say? Is China mine, Mr. Ying?”
Ignoring the fact that this episode (“Injury”) aired out of order (pre-Julia, pre-Schmidt and CeCe hook-up, hell even pre-our abrupt introduction to Jess’ friend Sadie), everything came together perfectly as the group dealt with Nick’s potential health crisis. Naturally it coalesced at the bar, after many drinks, when singing became the best way to celebrate the (lack of?) life of Nick Miller. Best thing ever: their drunken song, which begins with Schmidt rapping:
Nick Miller, Nick Miller
From the streets of Chicago
‘Cause players play
Like they do, like they did
‘Cause the baller’s ball
In the hood
‘Cause he’s Chi-town, hustle
As the people of Chicago
‘Cause the players don’t play
And the player’s in the city
Nick: Nick Miller, Nick Miller / He’s a stone-cold killer / Likes the taste of vanilla
CeCe: Nick Miller, Nick Miller / He’s the illest of the ill / He pours 100 drinks / And none have ever spilled
Winston: Plus he’s super-high / On a bunch of pain pills
Schmidt: His favorite movie is The Big Chill
CeCe: He’s got a hairy chest / ‘Cause he eats a balanced meal
Schmidt: Kick the mad flavor in his ear! ‘Cause the ice in my glass represents the tears from my eyes. I love you, dawg! Nick Miller, Nick Miller / Yo, streets of Chicago / Rough and tumble love / You my heart!
Jess sort of kills the mood with: Nick Miller, Nick Miller, never does anything
Gotta say though, for once my favorite line of the night came from Nick and not Schmidt. Shocker, I know.
Nick: I have done things…I wrote half a book about zombies.
February Sweeps are now over, so Tuesday nights are lookin’ a little different. Wanna create your own awesome comedy block tonight? Because unlike how networks still operate, people don’t tune into shows solely based on their lead-in. Anyways, here ya go:
8:00 on FOX: Raising Hope
8:30 on ABC: Cougar Town
9:00 on FOX: New Girl
Cougar Town promises to be really fantastic tonight! Especially if you were a Scrubs fan. Or a Bill Lawrence fan. Or even just a Sarah Chalke fan. Or just watch it to support my fellow William and Mary alum, Bill. SO. MANY. REASONS.
It is no secret that my love for New Girl roughly translates to my love of Max Greenfield’s portrayal of Schmidt. He regularly delivers an episode’s best lines. Last night’s “The Story of the 50” was Schmidt-centric, which means, I enjoyed it a lot. We were treated to a ton of great new insights about past and present Schmidt (and future Schmidt if he calls that number to pursue the game of male stripping while bringing in an annual $7K).
- Schmidt’s ‘it’ factor started to quickly fade when Frankie Muniz stole his party bus reservation
- He and Benjamin, a suitemate from college, have a weird, girl-style friendship where they kind of hate each other. His bronemy/fremesis.
- Nick and Winston attempt to explain to Jess just how deep the douche lies with Schmidt:
Nick: Jess, Schmidt’s world is different than ours. They speak a different language. They shorten every word to one syllable. Okay? He once called an oven an “ovs.” He calls an airport “airp.”
Winston: They call ketchup “ketch.”
Nick: Last month he went to a party called “Bros Before Hos… on the Moon.” What does that even mean? And the dress code was Yacht Flair!
Winston: He has a friend who legally changed his middle name to “Doin’it.” Just one word — Doinit.
Nick: You are not emotionally, mentally, and spiritually prepared to throw these d-bags a party.
- Schmidt has a good pea coat, a shark skin laptop sleeve, croquet cleats, at least two “timepieces,” and driving moccasins. Courtesy of Benjamin he also has a song to the tune of Jefferson Starship: “We built this Schmidt-y, we buit this Schmidt-y on tootsie rolls!”
You know you want in on this, man! A little fatty tune, yellow-T, Cali roll, Samurai snack. So scrummy!
– Schmidt, “Bells”
Schmidt: I don’t want you touching anything, and I don’t want to hear, ‘Schmidt, Schmidt! You’re using too much tarragon’ because I’m not.
Schmidt: My Lasik’d eye is freaking out!
Jess: I want to sleep with him! Big time! … I want to take him down to Chinatown and slice him off a piece of this pumpkin pie, okay? … I want to do it standing up and sitting down and half up and half down, the Wiggly One and the Bear Attack and the claws and the head stuff that the figure skaters do and the Woods for Lunch and the ‘Give Me That Hat!’…
Schmidt: I’ve done ‘Give Me That Hat.’ Only for me it was like, ‘here take my hat,’ do ya know what I mean?
Jess: What are the most sexy holidays?
Schmidt: The most sexy holidays are Fourth of July, uh… Independence Day obviously, Women’s History Month, and Christmas.
—Happy Slapsgiving…I mean, Hank Sgiving…or Dudesgiving? Thanksgiving is the new P. Diddy/Diddy/Sean Combs (I don’t know what it is now).
Winston: “Hey, Schmidt, why don’t you tell her about all the things you love about India.”
Schmidt: “Well, you know, I love Slumdog… pepper, Ben Kingsley… the stories of Rudyard Kipling. I have respect for cows, of course. I love… the Taj Mahal, Deepak Chopra, anyone named Patel… I love monsoons… I love cobras in baskets. Naveen Andrews. I love mango chutney… really any type of chutney…”