Last night a new love interest came into Jess' life in the form of the oh-so-suave Dermot Mulroney, playing classy man Russell Schiller, the wealthy father of one of Jess' students. While we all know whom Jess is ultimately destined for (we're looking at you, Nick), it's still fun to watch her interact with the various men the show has brought on (including some great guest stars). It seems Mulroney will be around for at least one more episode to finish the "Fancyman" series (this week was "Part 1"); as we look forward to his continued presence, let's have a look at the other men Jess has fancied at one point or another.
The Beginning: Spencer, the Douche
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The entire premise of New Girl starts with Jess finding out her then-boyfriend Spencer was cheating on her. As it becomes clear in "Kryptonite," Spencer is not only a cheater, he's also an inconsiderate baby who refused to give Jess' TV back and then asked Jess to give his new girlfriend a ride to the airport. Also, he wears Wellies.
Taking it to the Next Level: Paul, the Male-Jess
On Thanksgiving Jess musters up the courage to ask her work colleague Paul (Justin Long) over for dinner, and he happily accepts. It soon becomes apparent the two are the same person, from their quirky phrases (Paul's love of the word "kazoo") to their sensitive honesty (by the end of the night, Paul has admitted he's intimidated by Jess' living situation and Jess has described, in-depth, her fleshly desire for Paul: "I want to do the wiggly one and the bear attack and the claws in the head"). Unfortunately, Paul ends up being too invested and when he tells Jess he loves her, she is forced to let the male version of herself go. Breaking Out: Feeling "Twirly" With Oliver
When the dreaded Valentine's Day comes around, Jess breaks out of her shell on a quest for a one-night stand. She sets her sights on Oliver, played by True Blood's Ryan Kwanten, an unfortunately dull fellow whose most exciting topic for discussion is lunch. No matter how badly Jess wants a fling, she can't justify getting some "strange" with a guy still living with his ex-girlfriend. A Near Miss: Jess and Schmidt?
On that same Valentine's night, Jess comes home defeated but is met with an encouraging Schmidt who tells her her first one-night stand should be with someone she knows and to not "overthink it." She of course misreads this is as a sign to get her strange with Schimdt, the king of strange, and just as she's about to open the door on Schmidt and Cece, Nick catches her outside the door with a hilariously large box of condoms. While Jess and Schmidt probably won't have any romantic encounters this season, the fact that it almost happened might be saying something. Growing Up: Mr. Fancypants
Finally Jess has met someone who is a true adult, rather than the underdogs she claims are typically attractive. Russell (Mulroney, or, "The Big D") starts by annoying her with his large donation to the school, thereby preventing her from speaking her mind about his daughter's creative education. But soon, despite getting soaked twice (once by his Japanese bidet and once by falling in his koi pond), Jess recognizes it's pretty nice to have someone in a position to take care of you. Will-They-Won't-They: The Lovable Nick
While both Jess and Nick have had their share of romantic pursuits this season, there have been plenty of small but meaningful moments between the pair (who have such a natural chemistry they were continuously told their interactions were "too much!"
) Yes, they probably just as frequently frustrate one another (what real couple doesn't?), but it's because they care for each other deeply. The showrunners continue to tease us with touching bits like their feet being pointed towards each other and falling asleep together on the beach the day Nick found out he didn't have cancer. Sooner or later, it's going to happen--let's hope the payoff is worth the relational build-up.
(Images courtesy of FOX)