The "New Girl" Moment that Rocked Your Lips Clean Off Your Face, and Can It Survive the Aftermath?
Last night may have been one of the best nights in television since "Mad Men" and "Game of Thrones" shared the same Sunday nights. Over on "Raising Hope," Jimmy and Sabrina got married with the "Modern Family" documentary crew filming their wedding, while over on "Happy Endings," we were treated to the best episode of the season, culminating in Penny's hilarious yet sweet marriage proposal. For the first time all season, I felt really sad about the prospect of losing "Happy Ending" because when that show is on, it is the best, and last night, they finally gave us the sweetness I had been waiting for.
While prank episodes are a dime a dozen in the sitcom world, nobody has taken it as hilariously far as "Happy Endings," and they won the award for the night's most GIFable moment.
There was also a great episode of "Justified," which Joanna will be recapping momentarily, but the moment of the night went to New Girl with an episode that brought back their True American drinking game and culminated in this.
I might have fanned myself and began talking like a Southern debutante for a few moments after that kiss.
According to creator Liz Meriweather, the kiss almost didn't happen (they did not kiss in an earlier draft of the script), but she ultimately felt like it was the right moment, organically, and it was better for the audience to unleash it as a surprise rather than work the characters toward the moment over the course of the season, making it inevitable and anti-climactic. It worked, and solidified New Girl's status as the best, most consistent sitcom of the year.
Meriweather is also not concerned that the kiss will ruin "New Girl," the way so many shows are destroyed by will they or won't they relationships (via The Hollywood Reporter):
It's actually been surprisingly good for the show. We've shot four episodes past the scene, and I think it has added some spark to it. I feel like audiences are ahead of the "will they or won't they?" now because it is so common on TV shows. I just think it doesn't correspond to real-life relationships, especially for people the ages of the characters on New Girl, because they are so complicated these days. And I don't think a kiss means a relationship is going to happen. I don't think bringing two characters together takes away story possibility; I think it adds a lot of story possibility. Keeping them apart, at this point, felt more fake then bringing them together for me.
The kiss will certainly be the big test for the creative longevity for "New Girl." I'm certain they can keep the momentum going throughout this season, but what will it mean for the next? Or the one after? At a certain point, Meriweather will have to decide to push them together or keep them apart for good, and she'd be wise to take some cues from Parks and Recreation on that count. There cannot be a will-they-won't-they dynamic for long. Audience will tire of it, and if the couple is pulled together and pushed apart too many times, it'll turn into "Friends." In fact, maybe the best thing "New Girl" could do is end this season with certainty, one way or another.
For now, and for the next few episodes at least, I think it's best we savor the moment and appreciate a sitcom during its creative peak. No show can be this good for too long (see Happy Endings), but as long as it remains this good, we should bask in its greatness.
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