There have been, in my opinion, two great developments in sitcoms in the last five to ten years. The first is getting rid of laugh tracks. The second is getting rid of the idea of the Moonlighting curse — ie: that a couple can never get together no matter what and relationships must be drawn out as much as possible to keep an audience invested via romantic will-they, won’t-they tension. Case in point, Nick and Jess, who were getting to a truly ridiculous stage of suspending disbelief that they wouldn’t just jump each other already. Nick was so obviously enamored with Jess that I couldn’t get my head around why he hadn’t made his move until the terrible, horrible, wonderful delivery of “not like this.” Ta da!
Of course Nick has thought about kissing Jess. He’s probably spent the last two years on and off thinking about it and cycling through self-loathing and reasons why not to … why it was never the right time, what the right time would be … and so to see him kiss Jess wasn’t just good because it was a great kiss (and it was a great kiss), but because we finally got to see Nick get over himself enough to make that move he’s been waiting to make for a long time. And Nick’s move was perfectly timed and placed; wait longer and it becomes unbelievable that Nick and Jess wouldn’t have hooked up sometime, or that when they did Jess wouldn’t cite their friendship as a reason not to continue. Do it earlier and there isn’t enough of a friendship foundation to make them hooking up high stakes. But have them kiss now, two years in, and the timing is just right.
Also, it was a really great kiss. Have I mentioned that yet?