The producers of Fox's New Girl didn't originally intend for Jess and Nick to share that sexy kiss at the end of "The Cooler." When the cast read the episode at the table read before shooting, that middle-of-the-night makeout wasn't even included. Getting the duo to finally act on the feelings they had for one another was something everyone involved was very apprehensive to do.
"You don't want to screw that up too badly," star Jake Johnson tells the crowd gathered in Beverly Hills at a PaleyFest panel honoring the show — he understood the pressure involved in that interaction. Still, he was pleased that it finally came about. "It's something I wanted for Nick," he admits.
That kiss will hang over the two characters throughout the rest of the season, and creator Liz Merriwether says the story is very instinctual. "I think we're really trying to be honest with the characters and do what feels best," she says.
But just because the characters will continue to address their chemistry doesn't mean it will lead to anything significant. "I think they're very good together," Johnson says, but "I don't think they're ready to be in a long-term relationship."
Nick and Jess weren't the only hot couple discussed at the panel: we could see some very sexy Jess/Cece scenes in the future. Remember that slap fight? "It was like Three Stooges with boobs," star Zooey Deschanel jokes to the crowd. Here's what else the cast dished out during the panel:
Introducing...Schwinston? You heard that right. Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris will be getting very intimate very soon, the men joked. Just kidding...or were they?
Cece Marries: Merriwether was very adept at dodging the question of whether Cece (Hannah Simone) will actually go through with her arranged marriage. And while Schmidt spends the next few episodes resigning himself to the fact that maybe he and Cece weren't meant to be, it seems like all hope is not lost for fans of the unlikely couple.
A Death in the Family: The context surrounding Nick and the gang's visit to Chicago in the aptly titled "Chicago" episode was revealed: They'll all head to the Windy City when Nick's dad dies. "It gets into a little deeper territory than the average sitcom," says executive producer Brett Baer. Adds Merriwether, "You watch our show to get sad, right?" While in Chi-town, we'll find out that Nick is actually the most together member of his family — a horrifying thought — and they love everyone except Jess, who somehow winds up dressing up as Elvis at some point during the half hour.
Old Friends: Among the former guest stars we'll see throughout the rest of Season 2 are Rob Reiner as Jess' dad (something Deschanel learned during the panel) and the old Asian man who gave Nick an uncomfortable water massage. Ellen Albertini Dow, the little old lady rapper from The Wedding Singer (who's 99 years old now!), will appear during the funeral episode.
Losing It: An upcoming episode comprised entirely of flashbacks tells the story of how each of the roommates lost their virginities. It happened for Schmidt during college (yes, the "Fat Schmidt" days), and "he gets overzealous with some lube," Merriwether reveals.
New Girl returns on Tuesday, March 19.
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Parry]