Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'The Mindy Project' Review - 1.06 Thanksgiving

        On the newest episode of FOX's The Mindy Project, Mindy decides to cook Thanksgiving dinner at Gwen's house but is caught completely off guard when a former blind date, Dennis (Ed Helms) arrives with his new girlfriend; a lonely Danny mans the empty office; and Betsy and Jeremy visit Betsy's eccentric family for the holiday.

        This was clearly the worst episode of the series to date. None of it made any sense in terms of character and their motivations and none of the plots were exciting or funny. Mindy's adventures at trying to obtain the perfect romantic relationship are a core focus of this series. And yet, the show hasn't done anything creatively to get me to care about her narcissism or her problems with men. Tonight, her blind date from the pilot (Ed Helms) popped up again and the show wanted to make the point that these two have a connection even though there is absolutely nothing to back up this claim - either in this episode or previously. The episode also did a pour job of showcasing the character motivations of Gwen. Don't get me wrong, this was Anna Camp best episode so far but the show didn't illuminate why she took offense to Mindy and the Ed Helms character being together.
        The two subplots felt equally as pointless. I mean how is watching Danny walking around the office doing various things amusing in any way? Nothing happened there and thus the less that can be said about it the better. Elsewhere, Betsy and Jeremy were off celebrating the holiday with her family and everyone involved felt really annoying, over-worked and unrealistic.
        Earlier today, it was also announced that this comedy was doing some fine tuning to its cast by cutting Amanda Setton from the show entirely and downgrading Anna Camp from series regular to recurring. Both of those decisions feel like a step in the right direction. Camp is a terrific up-and-coming actress whose appeared on many fantastic shows lately. And yet, this show has used her so poorly by having her just pop up in the occasion phone call with Mindy. If the show was able to incorporate her into the main fold more often, then they can justify keeping her around. But now, it appears the show isn't planning on changing things any time soon and thusly I'm happy that they're letting Camp pursue other options as well. Letting Setton go also makes a lot of sense. It was extremely weird and awkward that the show had two assistant characters when one would be sufficient enough to carry the workload. Having two characters realistically doing the same job felt redundant and hampered the show from developing either of those characters. Zoe Jarman had the more distinct and well-rounded character of the two - even though she's more annoying - and thus was the better choice to keep around.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Did the show make the right decision to cut Amanda Setton and Anna Camp? How useless was Danny here? Is Stephen Tobolowsky still a part of this show? Share your thoughts in the comments.