3.5 Golden Rings
- Mindy's Thanksgiving, including: the free falling return of Dennis; Geeta alternate-Indian girl competition; even Gwen.
It's really something when a lonely man (Danny) and a mouse outshine Jeremy & Betsy's relatively dull Thanksgiving. The latter could have been enhanced if they had already had sex -sounds kinky crazy, but see my earlier review. It's not necessary that they have continued a sexual relationship, but even a secret, one-afternoon stand could have enhanced Betsy's rebelling against her little girl family role and her subsequent heart-to-heart with Jeremy. I just feel Betsy could be stretched past the mostly predictable one dimension we're getting, which is a shame because the actress who plays her is quite delightful.
Fox definitely aired episodes out of order! Episode 11 "Bunk Bed" clearly should have been aired before this one, as it explains how Gwen broke her arm and why Mindy assumes responsibility for Thanksgiving cooking to make it up to her. Without "Bunk Bed," Gwen's Thanksgiving expectations seem demanding/don't make as much sense. The episodic disruption also impairs the audiences' appreciation of their best friendship, which weakens the foundation for the very funny fight that erupts between Mindy and Gwen during Thanksgiving.
"Bunk Bed" probably should have aired before the "Halloween" episode as well (although Gwen's arm wasn't in a cast that episode)- this would have fleshed out supporting characters so they'd seem less like hollow plot devices, thereby making me less critical of both Gwen and poor sweet Riley in that episode.
It's a shame to realize that the writers of the show thoughtfully invested in developing these (fringe) characters and their relationships, which shouldn't be undervalued even in a comedy, but the way the episodes aired gives the unfair impression that this was neglected or haphazard. It's like the difference between Dave Chappelle and me telling Dave Chappelle jokes, when I'm drunk and don't really remember anything but the punchlines - but Dave Chappelle happens to be watching and is like, dude, that's not even the way that joke goes. Dave Chapelle then proceeds to tell the set-up but is interrupted by a commercial break. Then he dies... and critics are like, maybe he wasn't diverse enough or funny enough? How dare they speak ill of the dead, especially a comedy legend. The greater tragedy is the audience never even knows all the laughter they missed out on. But then, three days later Dave is resurrected on Hulu (or returns from a trip to Africa, whatever), so we're all saved! Glory Hallelujah!