Tuesday, October 31, 2017

REVIEW: Hulu's 'The Mindy Project' and FOX's 'The Gifted' (October 29-November 4)

Various comedy and drama reviews for October 29-November 4, 2017:

Hulu's The Mindy Project - Episode 6.08 "Doctors Without Boundaries"
FOX's The Gifted - Episode 1.05 "boXed In"

In 2017, it's impossible to watch every scripted show out there. There are over 450 of them. It's even more impossible to even provide adequate coverage of some of them. Great shows slip through the cracks. Some shows take awhile to figure themselves out. So as a way for me to provide more coverage of various shows, I'll just be writing some paragraph reviews of the various shows that aired new episodes from October 29-November 4, 2017. Enjoy!

The Mindy Project - "Doctors Without Boundaries"
Annette is furious when Mindy uncovers a secret about her and decides to get involved. Jody attempts to keep his new girlfriend from taking a job overseas. Tamra dives headfirst into Morgan's religion. Written by Guy Branum and directed by Marco Fargnoli

This show has always presented itself as a story of romance. It's the journey of one woman figuring out her life based on all of the ideals she had growing up. It's been a complicated story for Mindy. But one that is inevitably building to a happy conclusion between her and Danny. But the show has lost all sense of perspective with romance. Everything in this final season just feels so lazy and off-putting. Morgan and Tamra just don't work as a couple no matter how hard the show is forcing them together. Tamra would never try to convert to his religion or take his last name. But this episode wants us to believe that's possible. It sacrifices character for a couple of jokes that aren't even that great. Meanwhile, Jody's romance with Mary is horrendous. It's awful that Morgan and Jeremy are boasting their secrets for landing women who are out of their leagues. It's as if it is a game where a man has to trick a woman into loving him! That's horrible to say out loud. And then, it's rewarded! Tamra has a moment where she "genuinely" talks about her love for Morgan. And later, Mary is forced into accepting love because her patient is tired of her complaining about no guy wanting her. She shouldn't have to settle for someone as gross and misogynistic as Jody! She deserves to hold out for better. The show has presented no evidence that he will ever genuinely change. So, all of this ultimately feels forced. And even the inevitable conclusion with Mindy and Danny will feel forced. It's the show idolizing what that relationship was and simply given the audience that happy ending for them. Mindy and Danny were always great together. But there's no sense of how they would operate in the present. Danny hasn't had a visible role for a long time - except for that one episode a few weeks ago. Yes, he and Mindy are still close. Yes, Mindy is able to keep Annette's secret. But the audience has no understanding for how they could possibly be better the second time around. And so, it ultimately feels like the show doing the bare minimum to create story where everyone involved is basically already out the door and thinking about their next projects. C

The Gifted - "boXed In"
Motivated by a tragic event from his past, Jace throws all the power of the Sentinel Services into finding the Mutant Underground Way Station. Blink's vivid dreams lead her to confront Dreamer. Written by Jim Campolongo and directed by Jeremiah Chechik

This episode feels like the one where the audience should walk away with a greater understanding of the pain and loss that is motivating Jace into action. Last week I noted it's difficult to care about any of these characters because the show isn't telling a conventional superhero story with clearly defined good and bad guys. That's perfectly fine. It just hasn't made for the most exciting narrative so far. A greater understanding of Jace would help. The audience knows his daughter was killed by mutants. This episode opens on that moment. And yet, it provides no new context for that brutal moment. It's just a bunch of offscreen action that never adds up to much. It feels cheap in a way that doesn't add anything new or interesting to the character. With that being said though, the final moment where Jace returns home to his wife with his memories of the last few years wiped by Dreamer is very devastating. It's a tragic moment because he is forced to experience that grief all over again. That may make him an even more compelling character because his fight with the Mutant Underground is even more personal now because Dreamer, Polaris and Eclipse are the ones who put him through this new trauma. This show needs more specificity and this will help with that. It's a promising development even though the execution is still pretty lame and predictable. Meanwhile, Reed's story of needing to prove his worth to the underground was fairly boring. Either he would get caught by Sentinel Services and that story would repeat once more or he would prove himself and the mutants would trust him. The latter is what occurs. It's just not all that exciting. It's not as inherently dramatic or intense as what's going on with Eclipse and Polaris after they decide to lure a drone away and kidnap Jace in the process. Meanwhile, there should be significance to the Strucker family being able to sit down and enjoy a meal together again. But I still have zero attachment to any of those characters and the happiness they want. B