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November 15, 2012 - 6:37pm

'The Mindy Project' RECAP: Messina and Kaling's chemistry shines

BY PROMA KHOSLA AND RADHIKA MENON

FOX

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.

Proma: I loved this episode. We’ve been saying for weeks how much we love Mindy and Chris Messina, and their interactions this week were so excellent that I feel vindicated.

Radhika: Why isn’t Chris Messina in all the things? He is an absolute presence onscreen and he and Mindy have great chemistry especially when they’re bickering with each other.

Proma: As of this summer, I think he is in all the things. He’s about to blow up. Their chemistry is definitely the pulse of this show (HAHAHAHAHA). In fact the one drawback of this episode would be that it casts a sharp light on how unnecessary or just uninteresting some of the other characters’ are.

Radhika: I completely agree — in fact, I can’t even remember their names because they are so unimportant and so uninteresting. The only caveat of that is the character of Morgan who I find to be highly entertaining in an awesomely awkward way. That said, it was nice that Jeremy and Betsy were paired together in that random subplot in Mindy’s apartment. I know they’re aiming for a lot of character development with Jeremy when he puts back the watch, but I’m just really uninterested in it.

Proma: Jeremy is the only one I’m remotely interested in outside of Danny and Mindy. I thought he was going to be our garden-variety hegemonic bad boy, but he’s kind of a goofball softie and I like it. Betsy set it off nicely, but she and Shawna can be irritating and just feel superfluous.

Radhika: I like Jeremy because he’s attractive but I’m not completely sold on his personality yet. Betsy and Shawna can be incredibly grating at times and I think it really takes away from the potential of the show. I liked what they did with Shawna back in the episode where they all go to the club because she became more than just a receptionist with a weird accent. But those little characterizations haven’t been present in the past few episodes.

Proma: I think the writers are still in that initial tinkering phase where they try different variations of each character to see what works. But I agree, it’s grating. Anyway, now that we’ve acknowledged these insipid presences, let’s talk about Danny and Mindy!!

Radhika: They are really at their best when they’re arguing with each other (not sure what that says about relationships in general, but I’m a fan). Props to them both for almost following through with that crazy gynecologist scheme — it was one of those situations where I actually wasn’t sure if they would stop just short of the finish line and that type of tension paid off immensely.

Proma: I’m constantly impressed by how well the writers handle this relationship. Any other show or movie would immediately cave and say Danny can’t be Mindy’s doctor because he has romantic feelings, or vice versa. But they were very explicit about saying “personal feelings,” which can be friendly as much as they can be romantic. They can’t be doctor and patient because at the very least, they are friends.

Radhika: Yeah, and the fact that they run with this idea all the way is really impressive.
Moving onto Mindy’s other man-friend, I’m not sure if I’m feeling Josh ... That moment at the beginning when he tried on her pants. I was absolutely mortified for her.

Proma: Oh god, seriously. And I can’t help feeling sad watching her. In so many ways she is just dating Josh to be dating someone, so she can feel like a cute rom-com heroine and wear his shirt and linger in doorways. Hopefully this is just a step in the growing up she promised to do in episode one, and she gets it out of her system with him.

Radhika: Well I think Danny’s spiel about her future really hit home for her — she’s not exactly young anymore and as much as she hates to admit it, her dating days are numbered. I think that little speech could force her to really try to make this thing with Josh work, even though we all know it won’t.

Proma: Apparently Ed Helms returns next week. I’m rooting for him.

Radhika: That’s a recurring guest spot that I can really get behind.

Proma: He’s a cutie. I feel like people judge me for that.

Radhika: No judgment here on The Filter. Overall, I was pleased with this episode — it played to its strengths for the most part. I have a lot of faith in where this show is headed.

Proma: Me too. So far, it’s been good, but it has the potential to be great. I do hope we’re starting to head toward realizing that.