Tuned In

New Girl Watch: Will They? Won’t They? They Did

Last night, a couple of characters finally "violated the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act." If you catch our meaning.

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Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Quick spoilers for last night’s New Girl below:

It’s a question that has oppressed many another TV show by hanging over it for too long. Fans feel like something is destined to happen. They wonder if it will, when it will, and pretty soon it becomes all you can think of, overshadowing all else. So kudos to New Girl for stepping up and answering yes to the question:

Will there ever be another edition of True American?

Oh, yeah, also: Nick and Jess kissed. I don’t want to waste much time with the question of whether this is a “good” or “bad” narrative idea in general. As Maureen Ryan has pointed out, the idea that breaking the romantic tension between two characters carries some kind of “Moonlighting curse” has been disproven over and over again. Conversely, 30 Rock has shown, by repeatedly throwing cold water on any funny business with Liz and Jack, that you can simply say “No, they won’t” and it will be just fine.

A romantic hookup in a sitcom is a story development like any other: it’s a thing that happens, and it will “work” if you handle it and its aftermath in a way that’s funny and true to your characters. Judging by “Cooler,” so far, so good. The kiss itself cleverly pulled off the trick of being entirely telegraphed and yet surprising and sweet.

The surprise, really, was not the kiss but the revelation that Nick has had some version of the kiss in his head for a long time. And that it came at the end of a long night built around the three male roommates’ misguided attempts to hook up played to New Girl’s strength. Among other things, it’s a romantic comedy about a group of people who are really bad at romance–fumblingly nervous, like Winston, or self-debilitatingly confident, like Schmidt–and however long it lasts, getting Jess and Nick together should only be an asset for a show that knows its characters well. (If not perfectly; it can still slip with the occasional too-wacky subplot.)

And at this point in its second season, New Girl has established that it’s that kind of show. Is this relationship a mistake? Maybe. But one I’m interested to watch them make together.