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Tag Archives: “Cooler”. True American

Best of TV Costuming 2013: New Girl and Trench Coat Nick

10 Dec

Continuing TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2013″ costuming series and rather than doing a straightforward countdown we’re going to do a variety of posts that look at which costumes and shows have made a huge impact this year. From items that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

Back in January, New Girl took a giant step with their “will they/they won’t they” couple and in the episode “Cooler” ALL THE THINGS HAPPENED.

NG_Ep215_sc22_1325Nick spent the majority of the episode wearing a trench coat, a trench coat that was delivered to their apartment by mistake and one that also happens to be a women’s coat.* Nick doesn’t take it off for the majority of the episode and he’s given plenty of opportunity to do so, as it’s probably the reason they got kicked out of a club and they later play a game of True American Clinton (strip) rules. Nick keeps reinforcing the idea that the coat gives him confidence and this is why he won’t take it off. Trench coats have several different connotations from London Fog type gentleman, spies and of course flashing dirty pervs. For Nick it embodies the first two, even if during True American he might end up looking like the latter.

[Source]

What the coat ends up doing is it acts as a barrier between Nick and Jess; Nick claims it gave Trench Coat Nick guts, instead rather than kissing Jess as part of a game he chose to exit the room via the window instead of the door. This year one TV Ate My Wardrobe’s most popular pieces has been “The Worthiness of Nick Miller” and this episode backs up the long running notion that Nick has very little belief in himself and his current relationship with Jess is helping him evolve and change into someone who is gaining confidence.

Now I’ve jumped ahead to where the story is in December 2013; back at the start of the year Jess was dating Sam and Nick had just been dumped by Angie after their trip to the cabin. When Nick takes off the trench coat, he takes a leap and delivers one of the most incredible kisses I’ve seen on screen.

Nick and JessIt was one of those moments that you can still best describe as ‘water-cooler TV’ even if the location is social media and not work; it sent my Twitter feed and email inbox into a flurry of excitement. Even 11 months later, rewatching this scene gives me all of the feels as Nick leaps instead of retreating like he would have done in the past. When they are sat behind ‘the iron curtain’ with their kiss challenge Nick doesn’t want to do it “like this” and the tension that has been building for an season and half feels like it could burst.

In the original version of the episode there isn’t even a kiss and it only got added after the table read. The writing process on New Girl sounds rather organic and they will write extra material if it looks like the episode needs it. It’s also a testament to Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel as their natural on screen chemistry had the audience clamoring for them to become more than just roomfriends.

Regardless of how you feel about Nick and Jess as a couple in season 3, “Cooler” took a bold leap and stuck the landing. “Will they/won’t they” relationships in sitcoms come with a huge amount of expectation and baggage and like Nick, New Girl ditched the trench coat of protection and made the first big move.

*True story – a male friend of mine is convinced that Liz Meriwether has incepted his life as there are many similarities between him and ol’ Nick Miller – for a period of time he wore a black belted women’s coat and it did look fabulous on him.

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