Something Like That (aka The One with All My New Girl Feelings)

So this happened last night.

And it was amazing.

I don’t talk about New Girl enough around these parts. It’s charming, relatable, and more laugh-out-loud hilarious than almost any other show on TV right now.

And it just had its finest hour last night.

What I love most about New Girl is that it’s about imperfect young people messing up, making mistakes, and having fun despite—and sometimes even because of—it. It’s a show that feels honest, genuine, and real. It’s a show about people whose hearts are in the right place even if things get messy along the way. And it’s a show that succeeds because of two very important and rare things in the world of TV: chemistry and perfect timing.

“Cooler” was a shining example of all of those things. From beginning to end, it was brimming with the quirky comedy and unexpected soul that makes New Girl a must-see for me every Tuesday night.

If I were grading this episode, it would be an A+, and not just because of the kiss. “Cooler” was New Girl‘s best episode for many other reasons, too:

  • Nick wearing a woman’s trench coat and loving every second of it
  • Winston finally getting a good side plot (featuring London Tipton!)
  • Schmidt using the word “discotheque”
  • A subtle but heartfelt hint that Schmidt and Cece are far from over
  • THE RETURN OF TRUE AMERICAN (“Clinton Rules: Pick your intern!”)
  • The fantastic editing that cut from Sam entering the loft to him cheering “Kiss! Kiss!” to Nick and Jess
  • Nick being perfectly awkward when trying to kiss Jess behind the “Iron Curtain” (his counting down and “Joker” smile were my particular favorites)
  • Have I mentioned the return of True American? (Now with Abu Nazir references!)
  • “Not like this.” (Aka the three little words that actually took my breath away)
  • Schmidt fainting when Nick climbed out the window
  • I’m not sure I said this yet…TRUE AMERICAN WAS BACK. (Cue your best Howard Dean scream!)
  • Jake Johnson’s heartbreaking face as he watched Jess and Sam go off to bed
  • Jake Johnson’s face in general (especially when looking at Zooey Deschanel)

And of course there was the kiss. As with any big moment in real life, timing is everything, and this kiss had perfect timing. It fit perfectly into the plot while still coming as a total shock. It was the right moment for these characters and their story, but it wasn’t overly telegraphed. Nick was right, their first kiss shouldn’t have been part of a game, forced under the thumb of drunken peer pressure. No, it needed to be something like that…a genuine moment of passion, of Nick summoning up the last of his “Trenchcoat Nick Guts” to show Jess everything he feels for her—the heat, the desperation, the tenderness, and the sadness, too. It needed to be real—and that’s exactly how it felt to anyone watching it.

I’m not sure if this post has a point or a purpose, if only to say that I just saw one of the best TV kisses I’ve ever witnessed last night, and I needed a place to talk about it. This is one of those rare TV-induced feelings that I want to live in for as long as possible, so indulge me.

22 thoughts on “Something Like That (aka The One with All My New Girl Feelings)

  1. YES. Yes to your love for this moment, yes to the reasons you love the show (I think it’s such a realistic depiction of characters at roughly our stage of life), yes to your list of reasons, all of it. I loved this! I still totally regret not watching last year (whatever, Alaska–whatever) and Netflix needs to make season 1 instant PRONTO, so I haven’t seen the first True American episode yet. Even so, I LOVED Strip True American (Clinton rules, pick your intern! Abu Nazir! Westward ho, son!). I think Jess is the new standard to which we should all hold our empty apartment shenanigans (“damn it Zimbabwe!”), and I loved Trenchcoat Nick/ Melon Nick. But really, what sent me over the edge was “Not like this” and everything that came after. I love that Nick has thought about kissing Jess before and knows what it should be like. I love that I was surprised without feeling like it came out of the blue, character-wise. I basically just thought it was hot.

    • You haven’t seen Season 1 yet?! It’s honestly worth however much the DVDs are because it’s that funny (even though Season 2 is even better). The first True American episode is honestly one of my favorite TV moments of last season. And I think it’s because, as you said, this show really has a feel for people at our stage in life. I feel like I know these characters, like I understand them better than I understand most characters on TV. When they’re just hanging out together, there’s such a sense of authenticity about it. I see my friends and me reflected in their dynamic, and that makes me feel so warm and fuzzy about this show.

      “I basically just thought it was hot.”

      You and me both. The hotness is what really took me by surprise…in the best possible way. 😉

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  3. Truly was one of the best episodes I remember. I really enjoy this show and have sense it started. It is great to know I am not the only one.

  4. Reading your recap, all I could think was YES, YES, YES! This was the episode that turned me from watching New Girl here and there to realizing that it was really one of the best shows on TV ever. I have to re-watch every episode to get all the layers of funny and emotion, the subtle facial expressions and looks (and to get past my embarrassment for the characters – I’m not a fan of physical comedy). I have been raving about this show since I watched this episode.
    Someone online pointed out that Nick actually does all the things he says he doesn’t do, and usually for Jess – he dances, runs into the ocean, goes into the haunted house, starts and finishes his book, etc. He doesn’t know what he’s capable of. Some people felt that in taking off the coat he let down his guard and bared his soul, allowing him to be real with Jess. I also felt like he was just plain wrong about the coat giving him confidence – he doesn’t really do anything daring or different with the coat on. It can’t give him the confidence to kiss Jess – whether he had done it as part of the game and played it cool, or if he had taken his chance to be honest with her about his feelings when they were locked behind the Iron Curtain. He didn’t need the coat. Anyway, thank goodness he didn’t because that kiss was absolutely freakin’ perfect! I can’t believe it was a last minute decision to write that into the script. It was SO GOOD.
    This episode was brilliant on every level.
    I love your recaps – very insightful! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you so much for commenting! I love what you said about the coat; it’s important that he kissed her after the coat was gone because it was just Nick being Nick. He might have believed the coat gave him confidence, but he was able to find that confidence and bravery even without the coat. Jess makes him brave, makes him take risks, just by being herself. And I love that about their relationship.

      • And that kiss was a damn fairytale. The second and subsequent kisses were great in their own way, but this kiss will always be the fairytale.
        I’m really enjoying everything you’ve written here and on tumblr about New Girl. It’s nice to find someone who enjoys the show with so much enthusiasm and also has really worthwhile things to say about it! It makes me feel less silly about being obsessed with analyzing and breaking down every element of this show 🙂 and I love all of your tags on your NG tumblr posts! so much!

        • Thank you so much for the kind words! If I can make anyone feel less silly for loving this show as much as I do, then my mission has been accomplished. If any show is worth obsessing over at this point, it’s New Girl.

  5. Back again at this kiss… It’s just so beautifully done! One intense long shot, getting closer, drawing you into them, lost in that moment – there is nothing else. This kiss really says everything… about how much Nick wants Jess, how long he has waited. His hands (!!) are everywhere at once, but softly, and then he also takes a moment just to look into her eyes and breathe her in before he walks away. And from Jess’s side, it’s clear how much she wants him without knowing it – there’s not a moment’s hesitation in her kissing him back. That little snarl (“to hell with it”) on Nick’s face as he decides to go for it. The way she is stroking his arm with her thumb as he strokes her cheek with his thumb (and the subtlety of that, barely visible in the background of the shot). It’s hard to believe the whole thing is over in less than 30 seconds! …”saw through space and time for a minute” indeed.
    I love what New Girl does with the last few minutes of this episode.
    And with doors, hallways and bathrooms.

      • Thanks. Yes, for research purposes I had to watch it a few more times too… as it was screened, in slow motion, in GIFs… (thank you internet!) The word I meant to use somewhere in there to describe the two of them together was intoxicating. Their chemistry is intoxicating. And damn, this show is so good!

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