The Mindy Project: “Bro Club For Dudes” Season 2 Episode 6 Review

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There were definitely some solid laughs this week, but at what cost?

A sitcom can often veer into dangerous territory when it starts to exaggerate its characters.  This usually happens several seasons into a show, when a character has a certain quirk that is often played for laughs, and it ends up completely consuming his or her personality.  You can see it happening right now, in fact, on the otherwise brilliant Parks and Recreation.  In the most recent episode, Ron Swanson must be convinced to leave his children a share of his wealth in his will.  Sure, Ron is anti-government and is known for painstakingly guarding his finances, but he’s also cares about his friends and family.  It doesn’t make sense that he would need that much convincing.

Unfortunately, something similar went on in this week’s Mindy Project.  I wouldn’t say it was to the extent of Parks and Rec‘s caricature, but it felt out of place nonetheless.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, Mindy Lahiri is very, very girly.  She’s obsessed with romantic comedies and wears a lot of bright, colorful clothing.  I totally love her for it, but I also love the fact that she’s intelligent, confident, and good at her job.  It didn’t make sense that she would honestly think it was a good idea to take Peter to an American Girl-esque café for lunch in order to win him over.  Mindy can be kind of self-absorbed sometimes, but this was a little ridiculous.

Furthermore, it’s a little strange that she wants Peter to like her so much in the first place.  Just last week, it seemed as though she was reacting to all his antics with chagrin.  As was Danny, who now appears to be in some sort of boys club with Peter, along with Morgan and Jeremy.  Did this episode jump forward several weeks in time, or did I miss something?  I guess everyone is pretty chummy with Peter now, and Mindy is desperate to be included.  The whole nonsense made the climactic MMA-wrestling scene feel very overdone.  Mindy tries so hard to be one of the guys, but really she should just stick to being herself.  I know the cast change-ups for season 2 were ultimately a good thing, but it’s times like these where I miss the presence of Mindy’s friend Gwen, who was always quick with the wise advice.

That’s not to say that this episode was all bad. The truth is, even when the plot was wearing the thin, the jokes were still flying high.  The cold-open was once again hysterical thanks to some Nerf guns and Peter’s awesomely twisted war persona.  Even in the faulty wrestling scene, both Mindy and Peter had some very funny dialogue.  If anything, this episode was a great showcase for Adam Pally, who proved himself a worthy comedic element in the show’s workplace family.  Another highlight was Morgan’s subplot with Tamara. Both of them got some really good one-liners in, and Morgan’s crush on Tamara was very charming.

Oh, and how could I not mention all the celebrities who dropped by?  Seriously, this episode could easily have been renamed “Guest Star-palooza.”  UFC fighter Dana White cameoed as himself, while former Playboy Bunny-turned-reality star Kendra Wilkinson played the ring girl at the wrestling arena.  The biggest guest spot, however, came in the form of Josh Peck, who played Tamara’s cheapskate boyfriend Ray Ron.  His character was amusingly out-of-touch, and I hope we get to see more of him in the future.  (Quick Aside: if you’ve been wondering what Peck has been up to since his Drake & Josh days, I recommend skipping the terrible Red Dawn remake he starred in, and instead seeking out his wonderful indie The Wackness. End of Aside.)

Overall, I was displeased with Mindy’s direction this week, and I hope things improve very quickly.  At the episodes’ end, Jason breaks things off with her after he realizes he’ll never be able to compete with her work family (Ginsberg, we hardly knew ye!).  Their relationship was dealt with a little too quickly, but I hope this means she’ll have more room for Cliff the Lawyer because their chemistry was a lot more interesting.  Still, this show manages to impress me with how easily it can generate humor, even in a dumbed-down scenario.  That definitely gives me something to look forward to.  Grade: C+


By Mike Papirmeister

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