Fox's New Girl had the quintessential "growing pains" season last year. After lighting the world on fire (not an understatement) with the Jess/Nick romance in season two, the show tried to do a lot of things that didn't quite gel for season three. Jess and Nick settled into co-habituating couplehood and had to confront each other's flaws; Schmidt tried to cruelly juggle two girlfriends and of course lost them both; Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) rejoined the cast mostly because Happy Endings was canceled, and the writers tried to figure out how to fit him in to the established dynamic basically on the fly.
I wouldn't call season three a disaster (others might) but it definitely tried to do too much, a lot of it without any clear-eyed planning, and ended its season by blowing everything up and breaking up Jess and Nick, since they had become pretty dramatically inert as a couple. That's a common TV problem, but showrunner/creator Liz Meriwether herself admits that she doesn't know how to write couples well.
Writing New Girl Season 4... Turns out I'm much more comfortable writing about single people. It'd be nice if that changed at some point.— Liz Meriwether (@lizmeriwether) June 24, 2014
As she told Alan Sepinwall, Jess and Nick's problem was that they became "too real"—Jess had to become an increasing scold and mommy-girlfriend to Nick because almost everything that's funny about him is how his life is in disarray. Trying to mix in Coach was also tough to watch—bringing Wayans back was a smart move because he's an incredible comic talent, but they had to both define his character and fit him into a group that had just started to figure out how to deploy Coach's replacement Winston.
Season four, which premieres on Fox tonight, is a very clear attempt to hit the soft reset button. We're not forgetting about Jess and Nick's relationship, but the show wants to stop generating plot from the two of them clashing, and go back to its original concept, being more of a general hangout show about feeling frustrated and confused in your early 30s. "The Last Wedding" sees the gang trying to get laid at the final wedding bash of the season, since they're at the age where everyone is getting married all of a sudden, and mixes in guest stars Jessica Biel and Reid Scott (Dan from Veep) as a romantic rival and love interest respectively. As New Girl episodes go, it's fine—kinda on-track for the show's season premieres in general, fun and airy, with Biel especially feeling like she's just there for the sake of it.