New Girl will achieve a coveted TV milestone tonight at 8 pm with its 100th episode.
The episode will welcome back our titular (at this point, not- so- new) girl Jess (Zooey Deschanel) to the loft after a six episode absence. In reality, Deschanel was on maternity leave and gave birth to daughter Elsie Otter Pechenik last July, but in the universe of the show, Jess has been on a sequestered jury for a high- profile case.
In Jess’s absence, Megan Fox has joined the dysfunctional loft mates as cool pharmaceutical rep Reagan. She immediately caught the eye of perpetual slob Nick (Jake Johnson) and the two’s attraction culminated in a kiss in last week’s episode.
Upon reaching 100 episodes and five seasons of romantic debacles, close- quartered living, and Winston’s (Lamorne Morris) undying love for Ferguson the cat, the cast reflected to Entertainment Weekly about their experience on New Girl.
Hannah Simone (who plays Jess’s best friend Cece) expressed the surreal feeling of being a part of something that went this kind of distance. “When you’re on like 87, 88, you’re not counting. You don’t know that’s where you’re at, so it’s kind of nice that we have this kind of marker where they stop you and go like ‘Yo, you don’t know this, but you shot 100 episodes of TV,’ and you go, ‘I did?’ That’s amazing.”
The plot of the 100th episode centers around Jess attempting to figure out the identity of one of her fellow jurors as she comes home. Granted that Nick and Jess have been the central will- they- won’t- they couple for the entire series, you would think Jess’s return would complicate things with Reagan, but Deschanel insists that there won’t be the typical love triangle drama. “Jess wants to be friends with Reagan because she actually wants to bond with her over their mutual affection for Nick.”
New Girl premiered in 2011 on Fox. Creator Liz Meriwether’s previous credits are pretty sparse but still notable- she wrote for Adult Swim’s bizarre parody show Children’s Hospital and wrote the Natalie Portman- Ashton Kutcher starring No Strings Attached. This alone would be impressive for a relative newcomer, but the success of New Girl makes Meriwether’s career all the more remarkable.
At its best, New Girl‘s strength has always been the friendship between these strange, wonderful characters. Fans should be heartened to hear that friendship exists when the cameras stop rolling. “We goof around so much. It’s literally a fun place to be for all of us,” Morris told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s like having a second family.”