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The Mindy Project moves toward its inevitable romantic conclusion

Gwen Ihnat Jun 28, 2016. 24 comments
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As The Mindy Project winds up season four, our lead character’s romantic foibles (this is meant to be a rom-sitcom, after all), inevitably come to a head. This episode picks up right where we left off, with Mindy and Jody kissing after he expresses his support for Leo’s acting career.

Greta Gerwig adds a fun energy that I too could really get on board with, Morgan. She’s simultaneously sweet and unhinged. And it makes sense for Danny to be with someone more docile, like Sarah, after the volatility of his relationship with Mindy. But The Mindy Project gets tripped up in some major plot problems here, basically for the sake of sitcom complications, many of which could be easily solved if people just, you know, talked to each other.

For example: Even if Jody doesn’t want to let on that he has chlamydia, couldn’t he at least just make up something about taking the relationship slow or something? What kind of ob-gyn doesn’t have a healthy supply of condoms, or has that much unprotected sex?

Also: Why would Morgan and Jeremy storm Danny’s office when Danny isn’t even getting in the way of Jody and Mindy’s relationship? (And for someone who takes honor seriously, as Colette points out, he barely gives it a thought.) Worst of all, why would Danny, who took forever to propose to Mindy, be engaged already? He tries to make a case for it to Morgan, and it does appear to be a rebound thing (judging by how begrudgingly he gives his approval to the Mindy-Jody relationship), and apparently he’s still hopped-up on having more kids. But it’s the kind of thing that, outside of the sitcom world, makes no actual sense.

It’s too bad, because this second Mindy script by Jonathan Green and Gabe Miller has a lot of great one-liners, as well as again, some inspired work by the secondary cast, which we’ve been happy to see a lot of this season. Chris Messina continues to rejuvenate the show just by showing up. Maria Thayer makes the most out of her swan song as Courtney. But there are so many smh moments, it’s hard to take it all as seriously as Mindy appears to.

Because as the penultimate episode, we know this is all a setup. Greta Gerwig has a lot going on; she’s obviously not going to stick around. Mindy and Danny are bound to collide next episode in the season finale, while Jody will try to make amends for his terrible behavior. I guess it calls back to his rogueish self, that he would find it easier to lie than to just come clean about his disease, and possibly losing this chance with Mindy. But seriously, just tell the truth! How is she not going to notice that you’re wearing a condom? Being compared to Three’s Company is not a good thing! Last episode’s soap-opera plot apparently flew in out of nowhere, but it was still fun to see Mindy in a different environment, and especially hanging out with Leo. At the end of this episode, as with so many others, we just see Mindy shoving another guy out the door.

Stray observations

  • Flat-out guffawed at this: “That was such a moving story. It’s making me regret ordering goose tonight for dinner.”
  • Come on, everybody knows that “we need to talk” never means anything good.
  • Not only do I love the clothes on this show, but can I get a shout-out to the set designers? I could easily move into either of Mindy’s offices, let alone her apartment, but they do such a great job reflecting all the characters’ personalities in their surroundings: Jody’s gentleman’s club office, for example. And seeing all of Danny’s Springsteen and baseball memorabilia in the Freedom Tower Women’s Health in the least-feminine ob-gyn office ever.
  • Am kind of interested in who Morgan’s birth father might be.
  • “I wouldn’t wish either of them on either of them.”
  • The return of Dot! “Maybe I’m her best friend. I have a lot of friends.”
  • “Could your doctor be wrong? You did say ‘she.’”
  • Mindy’s best outfit: Sarah is right, that pink and red dress is both sexy and classy.
  • Important question: How do we feel about the shoes dress?
  • I’m sure you’ve seen the announcements about pared-down TV Club reviews on the AV Club site. I honesty don’t know what the status of Mindy reviews will be next year yet, but I doubt I will be doing them even if they’re around. After almost three seasons (so, 60-odd reviews), I feel like my analysis is boiling down to: “funny jokes, nonsensical plot.” But unlike other shows I review or stop reviewing, I will always watch this show, and am glad it’s coming back for another season.
  • UPDATE: By “announcements” above I meant various individual TVC writers posting that they’re no longer reviewing a particular show. But our EIC John Teti also just posted this in “Reasonable Discussions” today, if you want more information. Thanks, as always, for your interest in TV Club!
  • “See you, chlamydo.”

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