Season Two, Episode Twenty One
So how long is this Nick/Jess romantic story-line going to last? New Girl isn’t the first show to ever shove two main characters together in a game of friendship vs. relationship, but it’s slightly different with New Girl. Here, there are essentially five characters on the show, but really only two main characters: Jess and Nick. With Friends, all six characters were main characters and with The Office, Jim and Pam’s romance was the long story arc, but didn’t overwhelm episodes with their plot. Unfortunately with New Girl, when there’s something brewing between Jess and Nick, that’s ALL there is going on.
This brings us to “First Date,” the appropriately named episode for when Nick and Jess go on their first date. Though it’s not really official by any means, it presents the characters with the question. But before discussing this I want to briefly touch upon the B-story of the episode involving Schmidt and Winston. The two aren’t too fond of the idea that Jess and Nick could end up together and potentially bump them out of their lives, so they plan to sabotage their date by hiring a homeless man. This backfires on them when the homeless man locks himself in their bathroom. You just have to ask yourself what the purpose is for this story-line and my answer is: I truly don’t know.
But back to the heart of the episode. Nick wants to take Jess out for dinner but doesn’t tell her it’s a date. Nick prepares himself like it is a date, though, by having Schmidt and Winston help him. When Jess asks Nick if this is a date, he declines. This has been and seems like will be the greatest obstacle for these two to overcome if they do decide on dating. Their communication plain sucks. Sure, they share the same bathroom and know each others’ quirks, but do they really know much about each other? They share a surface-deep friendship that is heightened because they’re roommates. Sometimes I question their dilemma because it’s like they’re too good of friends to take it to the next level, when they’re really not that good of friends.
The interesting part of the episode was when Russell comes into the picture and interferes with the somewhat-date. He’s the man that Jess could’ve been with and the same man that Nick looks up to. But he’s the catalyst that challenges the two to question where they stand at the moment. But during the last second, Russell opts out of revealing what they both wrote. Are we ever going to know? Both Jess and Nick’s reactions afterwards doesn’t really clarify where their differences lie, but I think it’s safe to say they’re still miles apart.
Back to my first question, how long are Jess and Nick going to keep this dance going? While I’ve enjoyed the majority of these episodes, New Girl needs to move forward whether that means hooking these two up or breaking them apart. They’ve kissed and they’ve expressed their attraction towards each other, but they’re afraid that expectations are too high and the dynamic in the apartment might be compromised. These are real conflicts and that’s what makes the tension worthy, but I’m just questioning how long can they really keep this going.
Note: The jay-walking gag was funny at first, but grew old really quick. That was lazy writing.