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The Mindy Project goes full Groundhog Day

Hey! That's not a roof in NYC! That's a Hollywood backlot! (Photo: Hulu)
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Well, that didn’t take long. The Mindy Project’s titular Mindy is back with boring nurse Ben.

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Actually, in all fairness, it did take a while—at least in Mindy world. The winter premiere put the chipper Dr. Lahiri into her own Groundhog Day situation, complete with omnipresent “Flowveralls” and a very well-placed Carly Rae Jepsen tune. The premise worked, with Mindy running all seven stages of grief and/or emotion as she lived her Tuesday over and over. She grumbled, then realized she could eat unlimited snacks and spend dumb amounts of money, got really good at basketball, and then got bored. And then she realized she was a shallow, self-absorbed person and somehow convinced Ben to love her again. All she had to do was actually fucking listen to him.

I’m all for personal development—life’s a marathon, not a sprint, and all that—but I don’t know… I still thought this episode was kind of a bummer, character-wise. Regular readers of the Mindy reviews know that, while I’m sure Bryan Greenberg is a nice enough guy, I feel like the Mindy writers haven’t really given Bindy (my mashup for Ben and Mindy) any sort of spark. They’re already boring, and they’ve barely been together for a few months. How are we supposed to care about them making it for years to come? It also seems like Mindy’s settling a bit, and not because Ben’s a nurse. She needs someone who will challenge her, accept her, and really help her spark, and Ben just seems like he’s along for the ride. I get that opposites attract, and I know that, in real life, people can help balance each other out in relationships, but I still just don’t feel like this one’s built to last.

That being said, I’m glad Mindy has learned to listen. It does seem like she kind of enjoys it, and maybe that interest in others will carry on to her office friends and not just her bed buddy. It could make The Mindy Project more interesting and dynamic—or it could make it less fun. I trust Kaling and the show’s writers, though, and I’m willing to see where it goes, if anywhere.

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Speaking of where things go, nothing really went anywhere else for anyone not named Mindy this episode, save for Morgan, who’s apparently in the Navy now. He’ll break his foot and get out of it somehow, but this episode didn’t offer much in the way of character development for Colette, Anna, Jeremy, Beverly, and so on, but that’s fine. They’ll hopefully get their chances to shine down the road.

Stray observations

  • Call me crazy, but I find it a little hard to believe that Mindy keeps a 50-pack of tampons open right on her otherwise Spartan end table. But, hey, whatever. Plot devices are allowed to be insane.
  • I’m glad the show finally addressed the fact that having a basketball hoop on the roof of a building is dangerous. One bad rebound and that ball is in the street and causing havoc.
  • It does make some sense that Mindy would like comic books. I hope we get to hear more of her thoughts on Batman’s hotness and the strength of the Marvel Universe. Also, I thought her Robin costume was much cuter than her Storm.
  • Interestingly, this episode did make me think about what I’d do in a Groundhog Day situation. The “eat what you want with no consequences” angle of things is interesting, as is the concept of just spending loads of money. Things could get even better with some sort of matter transporter, so you could go all over the world and not have to worry about flight times and layovers. You’d go to sleep in Rome and wake up in your own bed the next morning, ready to do it all over again.
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