Zooey Deschanel: Why Jess & Nick Didn't Work as a Couple on 'New Girl'

"We just needed to see them failing," Deschanel said

Photo: Greg Gayne/FOX 1

Was there anything more uplifting than Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess’s (Zooey Deschanel) romantic, sweeping, Gone with the Wind-style kiss in New Girl‘s second season?

Conversely, was there anything more disappointing than their relationship throughout season 3?

The answer was a resounding no – not just from audiences, but also from showrunner Liz Meriwether, who decided to split them up in advance of the show’s current (and absolutely stellar) fourth season.

“I think the whole thing happened a bit faster than anyone wanted,” Deschanel, 34, told HitFix. “It kind of was a committee decision, and we didn’t even know we were going to be put together until last minute.”

As Deschanel went on to reveal, it was her understanding that Nick and Jess would kiss, “have a little affair” and then break up. Even she admits that would have been “the way to go.”

“I know why they did it,” she said, “because you don’t want to tease fans with it and then take it away. But I think that, in a way, it sort of just sealed its fate a little more in me in the not-going-anywhere direction. But that’s just part of the show. We don’t know how something is going to go until we try it a lot of it is experimenting.”

Added Deschanel, “These characters need to be sort of failing and need to be making mistakes. And when they’re together it was just making them a little too perfect.”

New Girl returns from its winter hiatus Tuesday on FOX at 9 p.m. ET.

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