Now that New Girl has an even number of central players, we might be seeing a greater number of episodes splitting its stars off into groups of two to carry A, B, and C stories along. This week’s entry, “Longest Night Ever,” kicked off what looks to be a mainstay pairing: Cece and Coach, undertaking the beginnings of what will likely manifest as a season-long romantic relationship. And since Nick is saddled with helping Winston find his lost cat, this leaves an angst-ridden Jess to handle the emotionally unbridled Schmidt, grieving violently over Cece’s interest in his friend and former roommate. And since we’ll likely be seeing a lot more teams of two in the upcoming New Girl slate, let’s give a gander at which duo we think handles the comedy best…
Jess and Schmidt
When the show’s two A-types band together, the results are usually extreme and explosive. One of Jess’ early face-offs with Schmidt had her begging him to abandon his new carefree, beachside lifestyle and return to his dish-washing ways. While Schmidt almost always proves himself an opponent of whomever he is teamed with, Jess is the only character who has enough drive to keep up with him the whole way.
Nick and Winston
The beauty of Nick and Winston is that they’re generally on the same page. And it’s usually a pretty ill-conceived page. Lifelong friends who we can actually imagine as lifelong friends, due primarily to their mutually stunted adolescences and lapsed understanding of basic realities (when Nick and Winston have a scheme going it is often at the expense of everyone who gets in their way). They’ll bicker back and forth, chastising one another’s bad ideas, with neither proving himself the more capable, independent adult.
Cece and Coach
We only got a taste of the Cece/Coach relationship, and it was predicated on Coach trying to play up his bravado in order to impress the attractive Cece. Hopefully, there won’t be a continuation of this trend, and we’ll see the two conjure up some real, kooky chemistry.
Jess and Nick
Pre-relationship, these two were golden: the show’s best material came from Jess and Nick’s frustrated misunderstanding of their mutual feelings for one another. Now, somehow, things have “worked out” all too well. They’re together, and they’re happy, and their conflicts never last more than 30 minutes. What used to be the power couple is now one of New Girl‘s weakest links.
Jess and Cece
Like Nick and Winston, Jess and Cece are believable as lifelong friends. The affection is present in all scenes they share together. Unfortunately, this is also a zone of comfort for both characters, and without the propensity for destruction that is inherent in the Nick/Winston dynamic, that just leaves Jess and Cece a bit boring.
Schmidt and Cece
This is a pair that has seen a number of incarnations. Inceptive hostility, secret and shameful lust, unrequited desire, sincere romance, uncomfortable deception… They’re not without their charms, but they are best left in C plots. Especially at this point (Schmidt, you’ve made your bed — lie in it).
Nick and Schmidt
Quite possibly the funniest coupling on New Girl, in large part due to each parties being totally unequipped to care as much as he does about someone so different from the way he is. Nick, although he’ll never admit it (especially to himself) loves Schmidt, despite his flamboyant representation of everything Nick can’t stand or comprehend. And Schmidt loves Nick, a man he’ll never be able to coax into returning this open affection, so much that it hurts him. In their continued efforts to meet one another halfway, Nick and Schmidt give us some golden comedy, and some genuinely touching moments, too.
Schmidt and Winston
Just a few rungs below a friendship that either one of them is really content with, Schmidt and Winston always seem a little uneasy with one another. Their common ground is Nick, a fact so vividly present that his absence (even if just from the room) hinders their ability to communicate. From this jagged relationship comes the comedy. Schmidt and Winston have no idea how to deal with each other, leading them (a pair of loons) to erupt into chaos on the regular.
Jess and Winston
Maybe we’re reading too much into this, but Winston seems to have a personal history completely lacking in healthy relationships. His father ran off, his surrogate father was a narcissistic con man, his ex-girlfriend and he had no connection, his first sexual partner was a prostitute, and his best friend is an emotionally closed off man-child. Jess might be the first person to ever lend Winston her heart, leading for him to be at once bewildered and repelled by her, as well as uniquely drawn to her. The two don’t have a lot of material together, but their relative capability makes them a pair with potential.
Jess and Coach
They did exhibit a lot of energy celebrating the death of bin Laden.
Winston and Coach
I’d like to see a little more of their rivalry.
Winston and Cece
Something is there. Some weird familiarity with the world of “cool” that the other geeks that they spend their time with have never traversed, and yet some understanding that they belong down in the trenches with the rest of said fools. They’ve spent only a bit of time together, but their interactions (co-pranking the Schmidts and Winston’s unwitting crashing of Cece’s pre-wedding family get-together) have resulted in good fun.
Winston and His Cat
It’s enough with that.
Schmidt and Coach
Way too much machismo.
Nick and Coach
We’ll see. No more workout episodes, please.
Nick and Cece
Have these two ever spoken?
So, to rank…
1. Nick and Schmidt
2. Jess and Nick, before getting together
3. Jess and Schmidt
4. Nick and Winston
5. Schmidt and Winston
6. Winston and Cece
7. Jess and Cece
8. Jess and Winston
9. Anyone and Coach, at this point
10. Schmidt and Cece
11. Jess and Nick, since getting together
Of course, the entire list is thrown into flux if we’re including the Nick/Tran pairing in the mix.