The Mindy Project: “Christmas Party Sex Trap” Season 2 Episode 11 Review

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Who knew a Christmas party with no liquor and no gluten could be this much fun?

Holiday episodes have long been a treasured sitcom staple. It makes sense, since the winter season is rife with comedic material. There are awkward family visits, boozy office parties, and tons upon tons of ugly Christmas sweaters. There’s also the whole naughty vs. nice thing, which usually makes for some good character introspection. 30 Rock, in its seven great seasons, managed to pull of some truly hilarious Christmas episodes. I only mention this because Tracey Wigfield, a former 30 Rock writer, penned tonight’s episode and it was a true Mindy Project masterpiece.

This season hasn’t been going as smoothly as I’d hoped, but tonight’s episode proved just how magnetic this show can be when it’s firing on all cylinders. There were sight-gags, a celebrity cameo, and of course, plenty of one-liners. All of that provided some hearty laughs, but the true Christmas miracle came in the form Mindy and Danny, who had their most romantically charged scene yet.

If you’ve seen the episode, you know what I’m talking about. Having given Mindy several fakeout Secret Santa gifts, Danny suddenly surprises her with a choreographed dance to Aaliyah’s “Try Again.” It’s very charming, and actually very well-done. If you remember way back to the beginning of last season, the episode “In The Club” proved that Dr. Castellano has got some sick moves. Mindy is touched, and just when it seems like the two are about to share their first kiss, Peter and Jeremy burst through the door.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had to stop themselves from throwing the remote at the TV. What a tease! At first, I was conflicted as to whether or not this was a low point in the episode. I mean, I couldn’t find a logical reason why Danny wouldn’t want to go out and get a breath of fresh air with Mindy. Still, I can’t really take away points since the buildup was so fantastic. Also, it might be a good thing that the writers are milking the will-they-or-won’t-they angle for all it’s worth. Fox’s other hit comedy New Girl decided to cash in its chips way too early, and now it’s left with a season of ridiculous plots that seem to all be saying the same thing. Besides, Mindy ended up with Cliff in the end and I like him just fine. I’m excited to see where this goes.

I would be lying if I said the Mindy-Danny moment wasn’t the most thrilling thing about “Christmas Party Sex Trap,” but that doesn’t mean the rest of it wasn’t great as well. From the excellent Christmas tree destruction in the cold-open, to Mindy’s wine bra, to Extra host Maria Menounos singing a sexy version of “Santa Baby,” this episode was comedy gold. Peter and Jeremy’s subplot to help each other stay sober during the party–Peter with alcohol, Jeremy with fatty foods–was very entertaining and made terrific use of both of their characters. Now that Dr. Reed has dropped the fatsuit, I’m interested to see where his character will go.

Overall, this was a classic episode of The Mindy Project and a classic holiday sitcom episode in general. It definitely has the potential to be listed amongst the likes of Friends, The Office, and of course the aforementioned 30 Rock. I don’t really have much else to say, so I will close with a quote from our beloved Mindy Lahiri: “Dammit! The wine bra is empty! I knew I should have brought the Long Island Iced Panties!” Happy holidays everybody. Grade: A


By Mike Papirmeister

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