Urgh it’s such a cheap shot blaming the Nick and Jess relationship. So irritating.
And now it’s just going to get worse in S4. Nick/Jess fans were the ones willing to stick around.
I hate to even think it, because I love them together, but if the writing for the characters was off, and the actors were bored, maybe the Nick/Jess relationship WAS the problem? How can we say what was the cause and what was the effect?
I think the biggest problem in S3, for me anyway, was the fact that there were way too many times when I wondered if the characters even legitimately liked being around each other. They seemed to ALWAYS be at odds, and actually downright nasty sometimes. The characters have always been awkward and not always the most self-aware individuals, but I never felt like they were actually TOXIC to each other like I did at times in S3. In the first 2 seasons, they at least called each other out on their BS and there were heartfelt moments where if they did something wrong, they at least could admit it.
Schmidt was an awful friend the entire season. They completely wrecked his character with all the revenge stuff, never had him apologize at all, and then made him have the audacity to expect NICK to apologize at the Bar Mitzvah for not being at his beck and call. There’s a huge difference in some of the silly banter/teasing that had been done with the characters in S1 and S2, and the way they treated each other in S3. It was a rarity that I felt like they actually CARED about each other last season. So much of the season saw the characters acting pretty selfish.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some really amazing, “classic” NG episodes in there too. Nerd, Longest Night Ever, Clavado, Birthday, and Big News were definitely some of their highest caliber work. But then you had some really horrible, character assassination episodes like The Box, Schmidt whole cheating arc, etc.