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Last Night's Episode Of 'The Mindy Project' Is Why I Refuse To Ever Give Up On This Show

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | January 8, 2014 | Comments ()


The Mindy Project has been one of the hardest shows for me to love. I’m constantly singing its praises while quietly slinking off into a corner when it delivers an uneven episode. And it delivers a lot of uneven episodes. I was wondering to myself, over the break, why I’m still trying to make this fetch happen. Why defend something that’s so rocky? Because of episodes like last night’s “Danny Castellano Is My Personal Trainer,” that’s why. The show delivered everything I want from Mindy Kaling. It was fun, it was fresh and it said something true about womankind in the way we wish the best rom-coms would. (Bridesmaids is the only thing to have come close in years.)

It’s uncanny timing that this episode (a perfect counterpart to the other highlight episode of the season, “Wiener Night”) should come hot on the heels of the short-lived “controversy” surrounding Elle’s recent cover shoot featuring Kaling. Many people (myself included) extrapolated from the close-up shot of Kaling (versus the full body shots of the other, thinner women) that Elle was somehow making a statement about the “rightness” or “acceptableness” of Kaling’s body. Here’s the photo:

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And Kaling’s perfect “controversy” busting response.

So, fine, my bad. But here’s the kicker. Last night’s episode was one of the most delightfully realistic depictions of women, body insecurities and (gents, take note) the ideal response from the other side of the gender aisle. It also demonstrated how far the show has come. Let’s compare the nastiness of early season one to what we saw last night. (Also Danny’s complete lack of awareness as to how he helped create Mindy’s problems.)

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Maybe the ideal rom-com ending isn’t flowers and a dramatic fire escape gesture. Maybe it’s someone yelling at you about Michael Fassbender’s penis and then telling you you’re perfect just as you are. Messina and Kaling have been killing it in the will they/won’t they department all year and this tightly paced episode benefited from a B-plot that incorporated all the second string cast members. That means we never get too much Morgan or Tamra or Prentice. Just the right amount.

But mostly we have to give it up for naked, steamy Mindy and Dr. C. and all the physical comedy we could ask for. Here are some highlights:

That Children’s Story Joke
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Serious Suggestions Only Please
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Because Fassbender Penis Jokes Are Still Relevant Today
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Callbacks
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Puppy Dog Eyes
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