October 31, 2012 - 8:00pm
BY PROMA KHOSLA AND RADHIKA MENON
Straight from the heart and mind of Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project” is all about Dr. Mindy Lahiri and her quest for true love. Daily Arts Writers Radhika Menon and Proma Khosla recap the latest episode.
Radhika: So, here we are recapping the show we were born to recap: “The Mindy Project.” The first few episodes of the new sitcom have been great so far, and I think yesterday’s Halloween episode was another great installment.
Proma: It felt like the strongest episode since the pilot, since we’re starting to see some character growth from Mindy and Danny.
Radhika: Yes, definitely. Although I thought that Danny’s subplot was somewhat out of place in the Halloween-themed episode. I don't necessarily think that Halloween would be his favorite holiday, but I think I would've rather seen him complaining about it than seeing him in the unrelated Driver's License B-plot. That said, the unlikely pairing of Danny and Jeremy was actually funnier than I expected.
Proma: I think Danny’s plotline itself speaks to how little he cares about Halloween. It was good to see him and Jeremy connecting, though having them explicitly state why each was jealous of the other felt a bit trite. Danny’s story itself was quality writing, though. We’ve already seen that he places great emphasis on what it means to “be a man.” This is one of the most fundamental aspects of his personality but also one of his biggest insecurities.
Radhika: Yeah, Danny is written in a really interesting way — he’s the total hegemonic male in most domains, but he’s got a lot of insecurities. Previously we’ve seen him as douchey (the pilot), letting loose (in da club) and now we’re seeing him as a male who’s struggling to get over one of his biggest fears. I like that there’s a lot of character development already within the first few episodes of the series because I'm already drawn in by the dynamic characters.
Proma: Danny is my favorite. He and Jeremy could do great work together. But let’s talk about our girl, Mindy.
Radhika: Mindy, our main lady. She’s dating this guy, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about him. She’s clearly enamored by him, and I know that she’s giving him a real chance if only to be able to say that she did. But she’s such a catch! I did like that they reintroduced her ex (Bill Hader FTW) because he sort of drudged up a lot of her feelings from the pilot about being inadequate and unwanted and I think that's why it was so poignant that she gave her new guy a real chance.
Proma: Bill Hader could easily have been a one-time gimmick for the pilot, but to see Mindy actually delve into the issues he triggered was a smart writing choice. And having him of all people tell her not to settle must mean a lot to her.
Radhika: Yeah, it’s clear that she really trusts him and respects his opinion even after everything he put her through. The scene of her watching that home video of him eating the hot pizza really hit home for me. It’s one of those inside jokes that only the people involved get, but it was written in a way that lets us in on the joke, too — it brings back memories of a time in her life where she was really, truly happy. But now that it’s over, she can’t dwell on it; she has to move on.
Proma: I think their encounter gave her some necessary closure that will either open her up to dating Josh or put her at ease with being single as she waits for the right guy.
Radhika: I’m really interested in seeing where her relationship with Josh goes because right now he’s still borderline creepy in using all of his connections to basically stalk her life. But it’s weirdly OK because he’s really into her? I don’t know. It was also an interesting narrative choice to not even show the super cool rich person party that they were going to attend — where other shows would have focused on getting to that party, “The Mindy Project” stops just short of it.
Proma: A nice visual representation of the idea that the journey is as important as the destination; watching Mindy become the stable heroine of her life-size rom-com is going to be as important as her actually finding the guy to share it with.
Radhika: For being such a young show, “The Mindy Project” has a clear sense of where it wants to go, even if the details are a little bit hazy. I for one am excited to be part of this ride.
Proma: As long as Danny’s not driving us there.