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.