Viewers who caught last night's episode of "New Girl" were treated to an unexpected development, with the roommates' drinking game leading to a kiss between Jess and Nick. Series creator Liz Meriwether spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the consequences of the gang's game of True American and where the series goes from here.
The series was clearly building up to an eventual romantic liason between the misanthropic Nick and ever-optimistic Jess, but last night's lip lock still came off quite surprising. The producer admits that as sudden as it may have been for viewers, it was just as surprising to the show's writers. "It wasn’t something that we planned that much. It was a kind of feeling that we got just from watching them together over the course of the season. We just felt like all of the stories were revolving around them, and they were just getting closer and closer in their friendship. It feels like an organic time for it to happen. It took us by surprise, and we liked that because we felt it would take the audience by surprise a little bit, too. Instead of plotting it all out where you can see it coming a mile away, we wanted it to feel a little more surprising. I think a lot of the time on the show we look and see what is happening on set and we build our stories off of that. This is definitely one of those moments," she said.
She continued, "There is actually an early draft of the script where he just says, 'Not like this,' and then they didn’t kiss at the end. In reading the script -- and I think that was actually the script we went to table with -- it did feel like we were pulling our punches a little bit. We don’t want to get into a teasing thing with the audience, and adding the kiss sort of just felt right. And she has a boyfriend, so it just kind of complicates things a little bit more. They aren’t immediately getting together, so it just kind of throws fuel to the fire."
Don't expect the awkward embrace to be swept under the rug, as Meriwether promises the tension between the two characters going forward will be bubbling beneath the surface. "They are pretty conscious of it. We didn’t want every episode to be about it -- but it felt like when we weren’t dealing with it, it was like the elephant in the room. We found that it sort of helped focus the show," Meriwether said. "Instead of taking the air out of what was going on between them, it sort of just complicated things a lot more and added all of this tension to Nick and Jess’ dynamic, which is really fun to write. Even if something else is happening in the episode, there is still this underlying tension between them, which has been really fun on set to liven things a little for us."
What did you think of last night's episode? Is it too early in the series for Nick and Jess to start their sure-to-be-awkward romance?