Mindy Kaling has beauty, brains and smashing success. Now, join us on our mission to find her Mr. Right and make the rom-com happy ending of her dreams come true!

She's Just A Girl, Standing In Front of a Boy, Asking Him To Love Her...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

TMP-a-thon: Season 1: Episode 5 - "Danny Castellano Is My Gynecologist"

4.5 Golden Rings

Strengths include:
  • Mindy calculatingly waking Josh up in the morning wearing his shirt, followed by Josh in Mindy's jeans
  • Mindy & Danny EVERYTHING
  • Beyonce Pad-Thai origin story
  • Finally addressing the Jeremy-Mindy stray relations from the Pilot

Side plot: The Mindy apartment invasion/Jeremy watch-heist kind of puttered out. This could have been an opportunity to really push the envelope. For example, after Betsy passionately confronts Jeremy, they could have spontaneously had sex at Mindy's place.Then, Jeremy leaving his precious watch behind would have been motivated by a greater secret to hide. This unexpected event could have fueled future episodes, for example, providing a stronger reason for why Betsy includes Jeremy in her family visit in the next Thanksgiving episode, and helped better develop Betsy's character.

TMP-a-thon: Season 1: Episode 4 - "Halloween"

3 Golden Rings

Strengths include: 
  • Continuity - picking up with Josh; Josh being a dick; Josh as Inigo Montoya after stalking Mindy on the internet
  • Return of Tom and Mindy sentimentally rewatching his embarrassing hot pizza video
  •  Mindy’s rejected Halloween costumes, including Little Wayne on the Prairie and Dirty Harry Potter.
  •  “In Sickness, Health and Murder”
  •  Stray cat!
  • Doro Wat reference


The obvious*
Gwen continues to suck as a best friend and really isn't used in any pivotal way.
Riley, especially as a Princess for Halloween which was so unoriginal. Sorry kid, you ARE boring.
*Post-review note - see my review of the Episode 6 "Thanksgiving" which has expanded my understanding/softened the Grinch.

Danny & Jeremy at the DMV
Their interaction is cute but their surreptitious DMV visit was way too random and also a waste of the Halloween theme. Who wouldn't have loved to see Danny in his Halloween costume? I know it's a comedy but in stronger episodes, the side plot is better integrated into the main story line. An easy way to resolve this disconnect (although I would have preferred a side plot related to the actual Halloween theme), would have been to ground Danny's reason to get his driver's license to something related to another character (most obviously, Mindy - see below*) and not just the arbitrary motivation of "a license to be a man." Also, Danny crashing the car during his road test was too obvious to be especially funny.
BELOW: This episode strays too far from Mindy and Danny's relationship - not that their interaction has to consume every episode or that they need to be in every scene together. However, the previous "In the Club" episode demonstrated how, even when Mindy and Danny are not interacting, the show hasn't abandoned exploring and furthering their relationship - even in a scene of Mindy simply eyeing Danny getting into a cab with another woman. In fact, this episode could have picked up from the last one. Danny and the mystery woman from the club the other night are going out to a Halloween party; mystery woman shows up in a costume (further maintaining the mystery- for example, if she's wearing an eye mask) identical to one Mindy was planning (and even wearing), and thus this costume idea is also ruined/rejected last minute - leaving Mindy in a lurch both costume-wise and emotionally.

Halloween Costume
Mindy is really cute as Diane from Cheers but that show is too dated to resolve Mindy's earlier angst and "nail it" as a costume that is "both hilarious and sexy." Realistically, she'd be unrecognizable to anyone but hardcore Cheers fans, i.e. mostly middle-aged (practically elderly) folks. 
My alternative "cool and witty girl who kills it in bed" finale costume – Mindy should have gone to Josh's party as (one of) the hot girl(s) from the Office (wink, wink). 
Here's how I imagine the dialogue could go:
Josh (enthusiastically, in recognition of Mindy's Halloween costume): Kelly Kapoor from the Office!
Mindy: What? No - do you think all Indian girls look alike? I'm obviously Pam. 

Loved Little Wayne on the Prairie

TMP-a-thon: Season 1: Episode 3 - "In the Club"

5 Golden Rings!

Strengths include:
  • Falling asleep during Amelie (which I've done) - "I had spilled so much red wine on myself that I thought for a second I had been shot."
  • "This is cream of oak."
  • "It roofies the roofie."
  • Nightclub high jinks of the entire gang
  • "Keep your racism voice down" and everything that preceded this.
  • Mindy's big dramatic moment in the doorway after entering the club.
  • Red wine with ice sangria substitute 
  • In the club "...What? ...What? ...What?" convo
  • Shauna responding to "Hermione liking Voldemort": "I don't know those words."
  • Danny's dancing
  • Danny and Shauna's dancing
  • Basketball player guest stars
  • Introduction of Josh, the sports attorney
  • Morgan's duffle bag, including the morning omelette eggbeater; working the bathroom and paying for bottle service with $37
  • Mindy rescuing Betsy from the creepy Ukranian and carrying her after her maxi-pad blue alcohol overdose 
  • Amar'e and Mindy's pashmina
  • "What my friend is trying to say is he has crazy diarrhea."

The pilot set up a friends with benefits dynamic between Mindy and Jeremy; it's fine to abandon this but weird to not acknowledge it even existed before moving on, especially in this setting.

*Post-review Note - As I'm watching more of Season 1, it seems episodes may have been aired out of order - WTF Fox??? This could explain things- as the Jeremy-Mindy coital relations were addressed in later episodes which may have been intended to be aired before this one "In The Club."

TMP-a-thon: Season 1: Episode 2 - "Hiring and Firing"

5 Golden Rings

"She earned this."

Strengths include "Upper Body" plus:
  • Introducing the Mindy Project Theme Song!
  • Subway narration beginning and "Yea. I'm happy" ending
  • Beverly
  • Seth Meyers as Bookstore guy & Mindy's high-maintenance yogurt standards
  • Chocolate fountain in "Mindala's" office meeting
  • Female best friend dynamic (even with poor Gwen) - it's a shame this couldn't be preserved in the series
  • Mindy's "Librarian in a Porno" look
  • everything!!! Mindy & Danny (handshake versus verbally... hahaha)
  • Mindy-clone Claire
  • Nurse hiring and introducing "You're not a black woman" "Ransom" Morgan Tookers: "Remember, doggy-style only."


Um... what happened to the Bookstore guy? 

TMP-a-thon: The Mindy Project Pilot, Season 1: Episode 1

Amazing pilot!


5 out of 5 Golden Rings

About everything, including:
  • Sandwiching episode in between romantic comedy movie scenes with flashbacks to younger Mindys 
  • Bill Hader as Mindy's oral surgeon/rom-com hero gone wrong
  • Mindy's wedding speech, biking, pool-crashing, hot doll  convo, subsequent jailing & mean prison lady interaction
  • Mindy & Danny - "Is your date with Elton John on New Year's Eve?"
  • Ed Helms as Dennis
  • MIA Bad Girls highlighting Doc Mindy coming to the breach rescue badassness (including changing out of sexy panties into comfortable underwear - awesome)
  • MIA Bad Girls questionable decision/I'll be better tomorrow ending
I like Betsy. I like that other office assistant too. I wonder why they had to go... I'll keep watching. 

Gwen the BFF.
A critical BFF is totally fine. A blond princess harpy is not going to work however, especially when Mindy herself is so flawed. We need a BFF who is relateable to ground Mindy's crazy hilarity.
Gwen lows:
Threatening to cancel Mindy's date with Dennis made Gwen instantly unlikeable. 
Mindy's retort to the daughter, "You're boring" is comedic gold. Gwen's response ruined everything: "Don't call my daughter boring. Honey, you're fascinating." A true best friend would have not taken Mindy so literally. There isn't anything particularly funny about Gwen's tightwad-ness to redeem her. I can already see why she gets the axe eventually. 
Is Gwen painting eggs at the end? What is this? Is she Martha Stewart-light just because she's blond and robotic? Why are these two people even friends? And her "Carl" references are grating. Is she supposed to annoy us? I don't get it. 
I love your extensions girl and your actual first date look.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Mindy Project-a-thon...

So, I would never run a marathon - at least, not unless I was under some sort of major duress. Even then, despite my most ardent intentions, whatever disaster hinged on my completing that marathon is most certainly erupting. You could give me days... the world and its inhabitants are still doomed.

However, I'm all about great television binge-watching marathons! Yes, when it comes to this sport, I am an Olympian and real life hero.

So, in honor of Mindy and her writing team regrouping to work on the upcoming Season 4, I decided to watch every episode of The Mindy Project ("TMP"), starting from the Pilot which aired in 2012! I signed up for a Hulu membership (which, by the by, offers a free one week-trial) to support the savior of our beloved's show.

I plan to not only watch, but review, every single episode on my blog. Now, this won't be a true marathon because life will interrupt me spending the weekend on my couch (where my heart and ass long to be). This will be more like a leisurely stroll (with high risk of meandering off-course) and not a lean, mean, Kenyan-machine.  

As an aside, I recently saw a clip of Mindy and Tracey Wigfield, her friend and writing team member on The Mindy Project, attend an "Entourage-a-thon." They went to support their TMP buddy, Adam Pally, who was MIA. The comedian subjecting himself to this live torture came off less comedic and more slowly dying experimental lab rat, having been sleep-deprived for something like 30 hours at that point. It was so entertaining (for a weirdo voyeur like me) to see the superbly awkward interaction among polite and engaging Mindy, her "bestie" rather than employee Tracey, the zombie host, his oddly unfriendly or socially awkward wife, and his upbeat/trying to pick up the slack friends. 

By the way Trace, some wing-woman advice - next time, be smoother about not blowing up your girl's spot when she's covertly asking you the time (forgetting repeatedly that you're not wearing a watch) so she can savvily gauge whether you have satisfied your obligation so you both may make a graceful exit.