Spoilers below for New Girl's Season 7 premiere, so be sure to watch before reading on.
After more than a full year off the air, New Girl finally returned to Fox for its seventh and final season, and as viewers noticed, a lot of things changed thanks to the three-year time jump, from new kids to pregnancies to Nick's global success to Schmidt's distressing mustache. With so many different elements at play, creator Liz Meriwether was under much pressure to craft a winning send-off. To make things a little easier, Meriwether and the writers made the decision to uphold an old sitcom rule of thumb where characters are always visiting each other. In her words:
One big decision we made was that all of these characters could still show up at each other's houses for no reason. We wanted to keep that sense that they were still co-dependent in their friendships, because the show has always been about these people being too good of friends. It was actually really nice to have all three couples in it for life, so we weren't going to tell stories about couple drama --- or 'will they or won't they?' drama. The only question about Nick and Jess is if they're going to get married, not if they're going to make it as a couple. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to maintain the DNA of the show while totally changing the premise.
It's always amusing to me when modern sitcoms in big cities like L.A. or New York City show characters dropping by each other's houses and apartments so often, regardless of how minor the motivation, even though the traffic times must be outlandish. But like so many elements in sitcoms that defy casual belief, this trope is mostly accepted and enjoyed by audiences, so it makes perfect sense that New Girl's happy couples are still making the efforts to hang out together on a consistent basis.
That detail, which Liz Meriwether shared with THR, may seem like a minor one, but think about it. How often do parents of toddlers hang out with their unmarried and childless friends during a weekly basis? And with the kids in tow, no less. And what adults hear about a party full of three-year-olds and refrain from running away while screaming? Plus, many pregnant women would prefer and need to stay comfortable at home, as opposed to galavanting around and kicking it with people who aren't carrying around new lives inside them. But on New Girl, none of these life changes can stop this quirky bunch from hanging out full-time. As it should be.
While they did stick to those particular sitcom-esque guns, Liz Meriwether and the other New Girl writers did manage to avoid several other TV tropes by taking on the three-year time jump. With all three couples firmly established and on different planes of familial commitment, there wasn't any need to revert back to wondering if Nick and Jess were meant to be together, or whether Schmidt and Cece's marriage would face any problems regarding Schmidt's womanizing past. This final season of New Girl, while still offering up its fair share of character complications, is thankfully embracing all of the show's goodwill and none of the awkward plotting.
Will Nick and Jess ever get married? Will Schmidt's mustache make an uncomfortable return before the season is over? Will Winston survive long enough to make it to Aly's delivery? Find out when New Girl airs on Fox on Tuesday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET. Before the next episode airs, be sure to head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are popping up soon.