This article contains spoilers about the Season Six finale of New Girl.
Last night, Fox aired the season — and possibly series — finale of New Girl. There's still no official word on whether the network will renew the Zooey Deschanel-starring sitcom for another season. But according to hints from star Jake Johnson, who plays Nick Miller, it's likely that this could be the end.
So, despite the lack of official cancellation news, many fans of the show, myself included, went into last night's episode expecting a series finale.
We knew from TV Guide that Lorde's "Green Light" would be featured in the episode. As a fan of soundtracks and music supervision, I spent a large portion of yesterday considering this fact. I imagined the song overlaid to a Friends-style shot of the gang leaving the loft, until my colleague Ariana reminded me that Fox isn't going to abandon the show's most famous set if New Girl hasn't officially been cancelled yet. She thought the song would be overlaid in a Nick-Jess moment, and she was right.
"Five Stars for Beezus" ended with "Green Light," and with Nick and Jess kissing in their building's elevator. I don't not want them to be together, but the finale made me realise I was never invested in them as a will-they/won't they couple. I always thought of New Girl as being more about the entire gang — Jess as the "new girl" in an apartment full of guys. So the finale's focus on Nick and Jess's relationship felt like a letdown.
I went into the finale with excitement and tissues, because I remembered how strong the Season Five finale was. The wedding was perfect, and there were so many callbacks to the show's pilot and earlier seasons. Schmidt (Max Greenfield) stepped on the douchebag jar; there was a game of True American; even Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) was there. I tear up just thinking about that episode, the same way I do with the HIMYM finale (I'm a defender of it, full disclosure).
The Season Five finale made me realise just how invested I was in these characters, and even in Cece's (Hannah Simone) and Schmidt's relationship. Conversely, the Season Six finale made me realise I could truly not care less about Nick and Jess.
Plus, the callbacks to the pilot in last night's episode felt rushed and out of place. It was nice to hear "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" again, but I don't see why that was a turning point in Jess' decision to run back to Nick; in the original scene, the song represented all of Jess' new roommates willingness to incorporate her into the group. I appreciated the return of the "Schmidt happens" hat, but it was nothing compared to the nostalgia of the Season Five finale.
With this disappointment in mind, I came up with a quick list of everything I wish had happened in the season/series finale. Fans deserved better.
Where was Coach? If he showed up for the last finale, he really should have had a cameo in last night's episode.
Tran should have been at Nick's book reading. He brought a homemade lasagna to Cece and Schmidt's rehearsal dinner, but he's not there to support Nick?
Winston should have pranked someone. The reveal about Winston's father added a potential plot if there ends up being a seventh season, but Winston was wasted in this episode. (Winston's streaking is yet another reason the fifth season finale was superior. )
Schmidt should have pronounced something wrong. Schmidt was too much of the perfect guy/straight man in this episode. As Ariana reminded me, Schmidt cannot pronounce "chutney," and his inability to say basic words was even a part of Cece's wedding vows. But there was none of that in this finale.
The douchebag jar should have made an appearance. When Nick went to look in Jess's empty room, either the jar or their sex mug should have been in the centre of it.
The bar should have been mentioned. How did a potential series finale not include a visit to the Griffin?
Outside Dave should have moved into the loft. Okay, I didn't actually think this would happen, but it would have been a funny reference to one of the show's minor recurring characters. Alternatively, the old principal from Jess' school could have moved in, too. I would even have settled for an appearance from Brian Posehn's very funny biology teacher.
There should have at least been a reference to True American. What kind of a finale doesn't hearken back to the show's greatest ongoing gag?
Furguson needed to be there. It goes without saying, but a finale without Winston's cat isn't a finale at all.