Credit: John P. Fleenor/Fox

“It’s time for the characters to grow a little bit,” showrunner Liz Meriwether says of the impossibly mature, endlessly entertaining bunch at the center of Fox comedy New Girl. “They’re not good at being adults.”

Case in point: The season 5 premiere includes Jess (Zooey Deschanel) hijacking a neighbor’s motor scooter, Winston (Lamorne Morris) deploying one of his terrible pranks, and Nick (Jake Johnson) accidentally kidnapping someone.

“We’re like Scandal,” Meriwether jokes. “Just twists and turns and constant surprises.” Not to mention new faces: Peter Gallagher and Fred Armisen stop by in future episodes, and Megan Fox will enjoy an extended stay during Deschanel’s maternity leave.

For more on this season’s twists and turns and constant surprsies, read below to see what Meriwether had to say about Winston’s romantic future (it gets worse before it gets better), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece’s (Hannah Simone) impending nuptials, and the group’s possibly impossible goal to mature this year.

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On Winston’s romantic prospects

“KC (Kiersey Clemons) and Winston are doomed. [Laughs] Winston has been so unlucky in love throughout the series and so we’re starting the season off with him once again being unlucky in love, and then, over the course of the season, he succeeds and he sort of finds love with [Nasim Pedrad’s] character. So we’re excited to basically tell the story of their relationship. Poor guy! It’s taken a long time. He’s definitely owed a good relationship.

There is also a very big prank in the middle of the season that kind of changes everything, so I don’t want to give anything away. [Laughs] He continues to be terrible at pranks. Catastrophically bad at pranks.”

On Schmidt and Cece’s future

“There is a wedding this season. The bond that they have with each other is really strong and there’s an amazing kind of love that grows between them this year and as they’re preparing for the wedding, their relationship is getting deeper. But there are external factors that are making the engagement difficult, starting in the premiere with Cece’s mom not approving of the marriage. I think them having to throw the wedding on their own creates some money issues, especially because Schmidt has been dreaming about his wedding since he was a little boy. So Schmidt takes over the wedding planning, and he has to constantly rein himself in because of their budget. But for all the problems that they face putting the wedding together, their relationship just keeps getting stronger. They’ve had enough drama as a couple over the years.”

On Jess and Nick’s future

“[Deschanel’s] not in six episodes, so their relationship gets a little bit more complicated toward the end of this season. They’re not on a path to getting back together this season, but they continue to have a very complicated relationship that affects relationships with other people. I think we can expect some further developments with their relationship later in the season. But they’re definitely not getting back together this year.”

On everyone’s future

“This year, Schmidt and Cece are taking this big step forward and getting married and taking a step forward to being adults, and we wanted that feeling to be for everybody across the board, for all the characters to take a step forward as adults. It’s time for the characters to grow a little bit. But we are talking about these characters. They’re not good at being adults. Just because they’re taking a step toward being adults doesn’t mean they’re good at it.”

Watch the season 5 premiere of New Girl when it airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

Episode Recaps

New Girl

Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.

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