As we count down to tonight’s New Girl finale, it’s safe to say that roommates Jess and Nick (played by Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson) are making inroads to becoming one of TV’s great “will they/won’t they?” couples. Like Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, and Blair and Chuck before them, the chemistry between the new girl and the snarky bartender has reached a steady simmer this past season. Between lingering glances over the bathroom sink and an almost kiss, the two have gotten shippers all sorts of frothy over their opposites-attract dynamic.
Showrunner Liz Meriwether has made it clear that nothing romantic will happen between Jess and Nick this season, and since last week’s episode ended with Nick signing a lease for an apartment with ex-girlfriend Caroline (Mary Elizabeth Ellis), it seems like Jess and Nick’s romance is stalled indefinitely. Still, that doesn’t stop the clamoring for a roommate hook-up, ASAP. But here’s the question: If Jess and Nick do get together, will it ruin one of the best new comedies to hit prime time in recent memory? Below, a few reasons why this “will they/won’t they” might be best kept a “don’t.”
1. Jess is terrible at relationships.
Jess has had two charming boyfriends this season in Paul Gunslinger (Justin Long) and Russell Schiller (Dermot Mulroney). Not only were they handsome, they were also funny and willing to put up with Jess’s unbounded quirk (Paul adopting a Jimmy Stewart voice for foreplay, 40-something Russell playing an unintelligible drinking game). Those relationships were handed to Jess and she still biffed them. Her complaint? Paul was too ready for commitment (gasp!) and Russell was too nice (the horror!). While the same certainly can’t be said of resident cynic Nick, it wouldn’t be inconceivable (or surprising) if flighty Jess suddenly decided she wants a nice, marrying-material guy once she and Nick go for it.
2. The timing is beyond not right.
The show began with Jess and Nick wallowing in break-up angst, and 23 episodes later, we’ve come full circle. Nick is in an ostensibly doomed fourth attempt at his relationship with Caroline, and Jess is still in rebound mode from her seven-year relationship. Add to that the fact that, though he can make a mean Manhattan (by which I mean a red cup full of whiskey), Nick has not figured out what he wants to do with his life yet. As a teacher, Jess’s penchant to be pedantic would invariably rub Nick the wrong way. As it stands, Jess and Nick’s friendship is deepening and growing stronger (tonight’s episode could change all that), which means a romantic relationship could go the distance if they were ready. They are most definitely not ready right now.
3. Breaking them up would reformat (read: ruin) the show.
Exes living together as roommates? Awkward! Sure, Happy Endings, How I Met Your Mother, and Friends have each shown that two people can function in the same social circle after a break-up, but none of those people were co-habitating (except under extreme circumstances like Rachel’s pregnancy). True, the New Girl loft is spacious, but it’s fair to say that either Jess or Nick (likely title character Jess) would have to move out if the relationship didn’t work. What makes the show work is its precise blend of its characters’ foibles. They are a unit, and without that unit intact, the dynamic would drop like a lead balloon. That’s what makes the stakes of tonight’s episode so great – but it’s also a reason to put the kibosh on romance between Jess and Nick for the foreseeable future.
4. It would distract from Schmidt and Cece.
Zooey Deschanel was without question New Girl’s main draw when the show premiered last September, but lovably bloviating, douchebag-jar-inspiring Schmidt (Max Greenfield) quickly broke out. His relationship with Jess’s friend Cece (Hannah Simone) has provided some of the show’s sweetest and least appropriate moments (Schmidt’s manifold cheese metaphors and the sight of Winston singing “Defying Gravity” in the car while Schmidt and Cece lay naked in the back pop to mind instantly). Jess and Nick as a couple would divide the show’s attention. We want more Schmidt, not less!
What do you think, Newbies? Now that you’ve heard all these reasons, are you prepared to ignore them? Are you still hoping for a little Nick-Jess action? Or can you wait a little longer for the pay-off?