Tuesday, September 16, 2014

REVIEW: 'The Mindy Project' - Danny Dances for Mindy Again While Peter Throws a Punch in 'We're A Couple Now, Haters!'

FOX's The Mindy Project - Episode 3.01 "We're A Couple Now, Haters!"

Mindy and Danny try to set new relationship boundaries for each other in the office. Meanwhile, things get a little complicated when Jeremy tries to organize a charity event with Peter's girlfriend, Lauren; and Morgan's cousin, Lou Tookers (Rob McElhenney), pays a visit to the doctor's office.

Rom-coms typically end when the boy and girl finally get together. Mindy and Danny have long been the emotional center of the series. The second season pulled them together in interesting ways. Now the show will have to figure out how to drive the story forward now that the two of them are an official couple. Granted they are still in the early stages of their relationship but the premiere is a pretty strong starting point for them.

This episodes asks what happens when the very private Danny starts dating Mindy who shares every single detail of her life with their co-workers. It's a precarious situation because Mindy has never dated anyone she works with - long term at least once you write off whatever was going on between her and Jeremy at the start of the series. So they have to grow in order for this relationship to work. And that frankly is very difficult for both of them. They want to trust one another but it's hard to do that knowing that any secret will soon be exposed to the entire office. Of course, said secret is that Danny used to be a male stripper in order to pay for medical school. And that's just wonderful. This really is a fantastic episode for Chris Messina - but perhaps the show is pandering to his fans a bit too much? I'm not gonna argue too much because I love him. Seeing him in a pink shirt, wearing breakaway glasses, playing Frozen's "Let It Go" on the piano and most importantly strip is all collectively fantastic. It's just a small thought that I had. In the end, they come to an understood of trying to trust each other more. It's a murky ending hidden a bit by the hilarity of the situation. So I'm still just cautiously optimistic about the pairing.

The rest of the premiere is solely setting up arcs for some of the supporting male characters. So we get the start of a new love triangle between Peter, Jeremy and Lauren. Tracey Wigfield really should be the next writer-actress to write and star in her own show. I'd definitely watch that. She was great last season in her one episode - but doesn't quite do as much in this opener. Still it's a story I'm intrigued to see more of. And then, there's the introduction of Morgan's cousin Lou who is played by It's Always Sunny's Rob McElhenney sporting an awesome neck tattoo. There's the revelation that it was Lou who ratted Morgan out and got him sent to prison as well. Morgan's reaction is awkward. He accepts it but is still furious about it. It's a very weird moment that maybe if it's dealt later again will prove to be more meaningful to the character.

Some more thoughts:
  • "We're A Couple Now, Haters!" was written by Mindy Kaling and directed by Michael Spiller.
  • Loved the opening bit of retrospection from both Danny and Mindy and how they never saw themselves with each other but couldn't be more happy that they did.
  • The show still doesn't quite know what to do with Tamra but her recording the big blowout between Peter, Jeremy and Lauren was hilarious.
  • Mindy: "After years of dating losers and sociopaths, I'm now dating the man of my dreams: a devote Catholic divorcee."
  • Mindy: "What is a relationship if not doing things you hate in between sex sessions?"
  • After Mindy drops her knife down the fire escape, "Great Danny, I probably just killed someone.... and I lost my best knife."