The Mindy Project: “French Me, You Idiot/Indian BBW” Season 2, Episodes 15 and 16 Review

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The Mindy Project‘s long-awaited return featured two back-to-back episodes that were light on laugh-out-loud moments, but full of great character humor.

After several weeks off the air, everyone’s favorite rom-com-obsessed OBGYN is back with a pair of episodes that revealed exactly what happened after Danny kissed Mindy on the plane. Quite literally, we pick up right where we left off as the two continue to make out in the snack cabin.

As with anything sexy Mindy attempts, things go horribly wrong after she drags Danny into the bathroom so they can join the mile-high club. This made for a pretty funny cold-open, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. What I really liked is how both Mindy and Danny’s stubbornness showed, even as they were getting physical. The fact that both of them screamed “I’m in charge now,” at certain points speaks volumes about their characters, and the type of comedic conflicts they could get into as a couple in the future.

Speaking of their relationship, things moved very quickly as soon as the plane touched down in New York. Mindy almost immediately tries to break things off with Cliff so she and Danny can move forward. While, I’m happy to see this will-they-or-won’t-they pairing progress, I’m nervous that it’s doing so at too fast of a speed. The kiss on the airplane was very impulsive, and there was no moment where either party stopped to think about their actions. I guess the show is trying to make up for lost time before the finale, but I hope the writers are smart enough to pace these characters so things don’t lose steam.

The majority of “French Me, You Idiot” dealt with Mindy’s attempts to break things off with Cliff, and Danny’s attempts to hold back from kissing her until it was official. Things get complicated when Cliff’s grandmother passes away, which of course culminates in Mindy revealing the truth to him at her funeral.

I’ve always liked that this show is full of flawed characters who contradict themselves. Danny not wanting to hookup with Mindy because he’s a Catholic, only to hookup with her in a Church–was a great bit of brilliance. This plotline had a lack of the show’s usual hilarious moments. Still, it featured some decent smaller bits like Mindy’s awfully written eulogy that references Kendrick Lamar’s “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” Morgan breaking down at the funeral, and the fact that Danny brews his own (terrible) beer in his bathroom.

The subplot of this episode dealt with Peter and Brandon the Midwife working together to make a joint bid to be the official medial team for the New York City Ballet. The joke–that Peter knows nothing about ballet–was pretty one-note, but again there some solid character moments. I loved seeing Brandon casually reading a book called “Advanced Yoga Orgies.”

The second half of the hour saw the Mindy-Danny pairing deal with it’s first snafu. Again, I feel like it’s a little too early for this, but maybe I’m making a snap judgment. Mindy tells Danny she wants to take things slow with him. At the same time, Peter shows her that a sex tape she made with Tom (Bill Hader, for those of you who have long forgotten that relationship) has gone viral on a porn site. The tiny clips we got to see the tape were pretty hilarious, especially since Mindy was dressed as a naughty girl scout.

Small moments again stole the show here. Peter’s one-word texting and Mindy almost flashing the creators of the porn site were excellent throwaway jokes for their characters. Also, Tom’s overly bland new girlfriend Margo was strikingly funny for reasons I still can’t fully comprehend. I do feel that the scene at the porn office was full of missed opportunities–save for the aforementioned moment with Mindy–but it didn’t do much to mar this compelling plot. Overall, I really like that Mindy has a sordid past. It makes perfect sense with who she is while adding some interesting new layers to her character.

There was one scene full of big laughs, however, that really worked as a selling point for the rest of the season. When Danny accidentally sees the tape, there’s a priceless back-and-forth of him arguing with Mindy while they both try to hide their relationship from Peter. The whole thing was an awesome example of comedic timing, and was countered by a charming ending moment with Danny reading Bridgette Jones to Mindy on a hospital bed.

These pair of episodes weren’t the funniest of the season, but they provided enough of a warm welcome-back to immediately hook me back in. I’m cautiously optimistic about Mindy and Danny’s future. There’s a lot of good material to work with there, but also a lot that could go wrong. Regardless, I’m so glad Mindy’s back on my TV Tuesday nights.

Grades:

“French Me, You Idiot”: B/”Indian BBW”: B+

 

By Mike Papirmeister

 

 

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