We’re officially into summer now, which means, with a few controversial exceptions (“True Detective” Season 2, we’re looking at you), most of your favorite shows are off for a few months. Instead of plowing through our Netflix binge-watch list, we’d like to use this time to brainstorm ways to shake up our missing shows. Case in point, the Zooey Deschanel-starring “New Girl.” Once one of our favorite hangout sitcoms, the show has taken a lot of odd turns over the years, partly due to the fact that it’s slightly locked into place by its premise: A kooky woman moves in with three dudes. Here are three ways we think the show can get its groove back in its fifth season.

1. Stop messing around with Schmidt

We have no interest in revisiting the Schmidt who dated two girls at once, and we’re a little anxious that he and Cece jumped straight from just friends to engaged. Given how much the show struggled with a happy Nick/Jess pairing, we really want the writers to make this one work. Mine comedy from happiness rather than tragedy for these guys. Which leads us to step 2.

2. No more Nick/Jess


Last season ended with some hints that the central duo might reunite at some point in the future, and while we enjoy Nick the romantic lead quite a bit, we don’t need our hearts broken again. We’re fine with the wistful nod to this couple still having some feelings for each other, but let’s leave it at that. Besides, Jess has so many more weirdos out there to date. Bring back Justin Long!

3. Shake up the living situation

During the “mess with Schmidt” era, he briefly rented the apartment across from the loft, which didn’t quite work. We’d like to see Jess get her own place. She’s a vice principal now! She should try living on her own. Plus, it might turn out to be a fun inversion of the premise, and we think she’d go nuts with FOMO about what was happening in the loft, and maybe a new lady can move in with the guys.