'New Girl': Why Jess and Nick's [SPOILER] almost didn't happen

Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Way to not drag out the sexual tension between Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) for three more seasons, New Girl! As you probably just saw, after a year and a half of circling each other like awkward, depressed, and occasionally unstable sharks, Nick stunned the adorkable out of Jess’ face by planting a pretty damn hot kiss on her lips.

Of course, that kiss almost didn’t happen. In the original plan for the episode, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Jess were supposed to end up behind the curtain during a game of “True American” with orders to make out. Once series creator Liz Meriwether changed that story line to Nick and Jess, the writers spent a lot of time debating whether their first kiss should be part of the game, but ultimately decided the episode would end without any smooching.  A week before shooting, Meriwether and the writers changed their plan and decided to go for it. “Liz pulled me aside and said they changed the end of the episode,” Johnson recalls. “I said great. In the past we’d have to do another take because Nick and Jess were sitting too close together and they wanted to keep us apart. So we were really excited we were allowed to go for it.” Meriwether explains the change of heart:  “We were right on the edge of starting to spin our wheels with their story and holding out any longer felt like not an honest thing. It felt exciting to give ourselves this challenge of how are they going to get out of this or how is this going to affect everything,” she says. “We came up with the way for him to kiss her the way he wanted to. And as we were pitching it out we were all like, ‘That’s hot!'”

The day they shot the kiss, it was the last shot of the day, during the last day shooting the episode. Meriwether said the writers had some doubts as they walked down to the set, but were eager to see how it would turn out.  “We all congregated on set for the scene. It was like, alright, what’s this going to be?” she recalls. “We did a full take without cutting away. And after he kissed her the whole crew started applauding. We all looked at each other. Everything changed. It just felt like we ignited something in the show.”

So does this mean Nick and Jess will become a couple? “I don’t necessarily want them to get married, but I’m really excited their relationship is getting more complicated,” Johnson says. “I want that relationship to get as complicated as possible before it either ends or becomes real.” Meriwether, who’s now planning how the season will end, won’t give any details away except to say, “Obviously there are a lot of obstacles to them being together. We’re just trying to be honest about how we think this relationship would actually go down.”

Johnson, on the other hand, spills everything: “Next week they get married and Jess gets pregnant. With six babies. It’s going to get very interesting.”

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