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The Mindy Project backslides

Illustration for article titled The Mindy Project backslides
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One of the problems with this show post-Danny, speaking of backsliding, is that we’re basically transported back to The Mindy Project of two years ago. Mindy’s dating again and, surprise, very few of these guys will last longer than an episode or so. The decision to bring back Anders Holm as former-pastor/now-shoe mogul Casey only highlights that fact. So the episode suffers from comparison not only to earlier episodes, but the fact that the perfect “Backslide” episode has already been covered on New Girl.

Among the most egregious retreads: Mindy’s conversation with Jody about the guy she likes is the same conversation that she has with Danny at the end of “You’ve Got Sext,” where she talks about being ready to move forward with someone, and Danny thinks it’s him, but it’s not, it’s Cliff. Also, Casey’s insane tattoos, as funny as they were (a Minion dressed as Shrek!), only brought to mind Timothy Olyphant’s “Sk8er Man” (admittedly a common occurrence for me) with his pregnant mermaid tattoo and “My body is attracted to your body but when you talk, my brain gets angry.” Mindy talks about how hot Casey’s face and body are, but could she actually sleep with someone with a pizza rat tattoo? Even Mindy’s efforts to get the bros to like her smacks of similar efforts she made to win over Peter when he first joined the firm.


So for a variety of reasons, it all seems like well-worn territory. And the efforts to craft Jody into a Danny substitute—even giving him a wardrobe makeover this episode, along with a scruffy new beard—just make us, like Mindy, wish he was someone else. As Danny pointed out a few episodes ago, if it didn’t work out with him, why would it work with Jody? They’re both old-fashioned traditionalists. It is interesting, though, that Jody has been supportive of Mindy’s career, while for Danny, it’s the main reason why they broke up. Wonder if Jody would be as positive about such a high-powered partner if he were the one dating Mindy? It looks like the show is determined to flesh that out one way or the other.

When Mindy dates less-mature guys, like Casey in this episode and various other man-children, that doesn’t seem to work out either. Maybe dishy Marcus (Ne-Yo), a very with-it, mature guy who still is obviously a scenester as well as a patron of the ill-advised performing arts, will offer Mindy the balance she needs. But a look at her dating batting average suggests that he’s not here for the long haul.

On the upside, Ashley’s Celibacy And The City blog is a note-perfect send-up of Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex And The City column, with lines like “I wish my gentleman caller was more of a gentleman baller,” and “I could ride this clotheshorse all the way to the finish line.” Another plus: With the lack of Danny, there’s a lot more room for Jeremy, as Ed Weeks has been shuffled off to the sidelines for far too long. So it’s great to see him as Mindy’s dinner companion, or shoving her out of the way after hearing news about the new Buchanan musical. I like to think it’s payback for him getting shoved out the way of Peter in “Christmas Party Sex Trap.” Side note: Is it possible I’m too invested in the show? I feel like a Mindy Project historian.

So much so, that I know the writer of this episode, Chris Schleicher, has submitted some solid recent efforts, and he appears to have a handle on the show’s many zingers that dot its dating plot landscape: Buchanan being one of Buzzfeed’s 28 most popular gay musicals in April. Tamara despairing “What about what’s weird that’s going on in our lives? I keep seeing the number 16 everywhere!” Morgan’s sage advice about exes that “If they didn’t like you with 20 dogs, they’re not going to like you with 40.” Jody’s reluctance to give up his suspenders, and chiding Ashley that he “will need to talk to your manager at the internet.” Ashley’s retort that ”If I wanted to lie, I’d go back to my job predicting travel times at Google maps.” There are a lot of good one-liners here, even if the plot is a little thin to hang it all on. Just like in a regular dating life, maybe Mindy just needs to revisit her past, and date a few more random guys, before she gets to who her endgame will be. It’s just not clear right now whether the show wants Danny or Jody standing there at the finish line.


Stray observations

  • If the office is reading Ashley’s blog, wouldn’t Mindy also be reading it and then find out how Jody feels about her?
  • One refreshing turn Mindy has taken on Hulu is how much more open sexually she is (now that she’s no longer on network TV). This episode included references to pegging, masturbation as exercise, a “half-chub,” and this twerk exchange with Jeremy: “Can you please get an erection?” “I’m on a lot of anti-depressants.”
  • After Ashley demotes Jody from “Colonel Suspenders” to ”Major Crush”: “She’s overestimating our knowledge of army rank!”
  • It’s true, George Clooney was Richard Kind’s best man at his wedding.
  • This explains a lot about Jody’s wardrobe: “I inherit all my clothes. This jacket is from a juror from the Scopes monkey trial.”
  • Mindy’s best outfit: A lot of party outfits this episode (who’s watching Leo?), so I probably have to go with the sequined red shift Mindy wore to the Dope Feat party.
  • I’ve never seen Die Hard either.
  • Just a heads-up: I snuck ahead a little on the screeners, and next week’s “The Greatest Date In The World” is the best-ever submission by frequent Mindy writer (and portrayer of Lauren) Tracey Wigfield.

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