September can’t get here fast enough as I wait for TV’s current most funniest woman, Mindy Kaling to return with her hit series The Mindy Project. For the hardcore fans, it’s going to be all about the relationship between Mindy and Danny in season 3, and for the rest of the viewers, it’s going to be all about the jokes and the laughter, in addition to Mindy and Danny of course.
I’ve learned that comedy shows have a habit of becoming tiresome for me: How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and New Girl all started off strong until they hit rock bottom. The Mindy Project has already surpassed New Girl, as it’s second season was much stronger but since it’s following the same pattern, bringing two leading characters together, I’m tiny bit worried. That being said, I have high hopes for Mindy and Danny becoming TV’s next Monica and Chandler with ups and downs on the way but no breakups, anymore! So, as I hope for these two to power through the next season, I look back at this wonderful show and all its great moments.
As I rewatched the entire series in three days last week, I was convinced of the fact that instead of a steady decline, The Mindy Project’s writing kept climbing towards perfection. Though I won’t call the show perfect, I do honestly believe that it has finally found its niché and confidence to keep growing. With better writing, many elements and characters on the show have become more refined, including Mindy, whose journey through the dating pool has been a delightful mix of awkward moments and well written suitors. Granted, part of the improvement for The Mindy Project were the subtle changes in between season 1 and 2 which eventually paid off rather than backfired.
What makes Mindy so likeable is her juxtaposition: she is a smart doctor who loves reality shows and celebrity magazines! In truth, I see a little bit of myself in her, though I have no steady career path, I do tend to have extended knowledge about pop culture and actually consider it to be a good thing. Yes, knowing about politics and history is important but Mindy Lahiri proves that you don’t have to be somebody you’re not and if pop culture is your thing, be okay with it!
Another thing I love about Mindy is the way she supports positive body image! Though there are such shows as Ugly Betty and Drop Dead Diva, The Mindy Project somehow does it better and louder. The episode that pops into mind is the one where Mindy was worried to wear a bikini in front of Cliff, and the point of the whole episode was stated by Danny: don’t suck it in, embrace it! With Mindy being a curvy Indian woman, she is breaking the mold for the typical leading lady and by wearing colorful and loud outfits, she’s making sure you notice her, in a good way. And she doesn’t have to wear mesh tops and show off her wobbly bits to portray healthy body image, she covers it up, gracefully, looks gorgeous and I love her for that.
This brings me to Danny, oh, Danny.. Chris Messina is the perfect guy to portray Danny because instead of being straight up funny, he is dry, sarcastic and funny without pushing it too hard. A lot of that is to do with great writing because there is a certain balance between serious and funny in Danny’s character that is refreshing to witness. He is also the opposite of Mindy, in every possible way they clash, even their apartments look like from two different planets and that is amazing. That is also the reason New Girl’s it-couple didn’t work well, they were too similar and they didn’t have that conflict factor going on. I also need to mention that Chris aka Danny has such a great smile that I can’t wait to see more of it next season!
Though there is Morgan, who is portrayed by the lovely Ike Barinholtz, and Jeremy (Ed Weeks), I would have to give the nod for best supporting role to Adam Pally as Peter instead. Yes, he had a rocky start, being the kind of unreliable man character the show didn’t really need but throughout season 2, he improved, he become more refined and smooth around the edges. From a character that seemed to be all over the place, Peter suddenly became irreplaceable, especially for Mindy. It is said that Peter will have his own problems with relationships next season, becoming the new Mindy with multiple love interests, so it’s hopefully going to be female guest appearance heaven for The Mindy Project.
Speaking of guests, has anyone noticed how amazing the lineup for The Mindy Project has been so far? Seth Meyers, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Ed Helms, Kevin Smith, Maria Menounos, Common, Jenna Elfman, Anna Gunn, Timothy Olyphant and many others with the hopes of many more to follow. This is impressive, and though other shows have guests stars as well, I’m going to go on the record here and say that nothing trumps The Mindy Project and its guests.
With a high number of great characters appearing in an episode or two, there is still a pretty big number of series regulars in each episode. Granted, most of them disappeared after the first season, Mindy’s two girlfriends for instance, but few stayed and many were added to the practice in season 2. Wasn’t quite thrilled about some of the additions and frankly, don’t really care for them at this point either but I guess every show needs those filler characters that provide one-liners and drama if the episode feels a bit dry. That being said, having so many little characters and personalities to choose from does keep the show more fresh in the long run.
Another thing that works for the show’s benefit is the fact that it has continuity. Now, I watched both seasons back to back, so I know what I’m talking about, I think. What I’m trying to say is that while the show has good one episode characters, it also allows itself to go back to those characters later on – Bill Hader’s Tom for instance! Many shows will introduce a character for a specific episode, for a specific need and then set them aside but with The Mindy Project, you get to see them pop up here and there. Duplass brothers, for instance, Anders Holm aka Casey as well as Tommy Dewey as Josh. So, while Mindy did go through many men with two seasons, we did see them again and that is the kind of continuity that is rare in television shows.
This brings me to the other great little thing about The Mindy Project, which is a nice addition to any show to be honest, and it’s those repeat moments, scenes and things that also pop up here and there. Yes, I’m talking about continuity again but this time I have one specific character in mind: Danny and his ass-grabbing. Yes, there, I said it, I brought up the number one thing tumblr seems to be obsessed with because who wouldn’t! Now, though all of that grabbing came to the surface in season two with Danny going all hands on Mindy, I actually saw a pattern! Back in season one, when Mindy was grabbed there by Danny’s best friend from childhood, Danny mentioned that his friend had in fact stolen the move from him! I sincerely doubt that Danny’s ass-grabbing was decided then and there but I do think that keeping his preferences throughout the series makes Danny more realistic and believable as a character and as a man really.
Pushing this post far beyond normal lengths, I have one more thing to mention and it is this specific episode that comes to mind with The Mindy Project: episode 8 from season 2, You’ve Got Sext is, to this day, the best episode ever! I mean, that episode has all the right elements, all great performances and it has that element of a surprise in it as well. What makes this episode even better is the fact that Mindy Kaling wrote it herself and she clearly knew what the fans of the show wanted to see. Sure, it has many cliché type situations of a comedy but it’s fun, it’s fast and it is over way too soon. I have now seen it three times and I still laugh my ass off every time and if that is not comedy gold, I don’t know what is.
There you have it, 10 things about The Mindy Project I love and hopefully the list will grow soon enough – season 3 of The Mindy Project premiers on September 16th and I’m super excited!