The Mindy Project: “Girl Next Door” Season 2 Episode 21 Review

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Just when things were beginning to look their most bleak, The Mindy Project pushed itself out of a corner in the penultimate episode of the season.

The Mindy Project seems to have been stuck in a period of indecisiveness lately. The show is much more than “see who Mindy dates next,” but since romance is so integral to the central premise, it’s hard not to imagine the possibilities in store whenever she meets a new guy. First it seemed as though her and Peter were building up to something, but those two remain to be friends. Now she’s met an interesting new cop named Charlie (Tim Daly), just as Danny has magically rediscovered his feelings for her.

I guess my main complaint is that this all seems like a rather roundabout way to get Mindy and Danny back together. The problem is, the show never really gave them time to establish as a couple. Maybe it’s because there was a two week period in which The Mindy Project aired back-to-back episodes, but everything has felt very rushed.

Luckily for us, “Girl Next Door” is an episode that decided to take its time. It was co-written by, and also guest starred, the awesome Tracey Wigfield. The former 30 Rock scribe has been responsible for some of the season’s best episodes, including the stellar “Christmas Party Sex Trap,” so her name in the opening credits brought on a lot of anticipation.

The main plot this week dealt with Mindy’s decision to buy an apartment. After almost buying a place in an up-and-coming neighborhood called “Little Chernobyl,” she’s convinced by Danny to look at an amazing apartment in TriBeCa. The catch? It’s down the hall from his place…and he also owns it.

It’s plain to see that Danny is using this as a move to get closer to Mindy, something that I initially found infuriating. When Danny blatantly interfered in Mindy’s plans to get closer to Charlie, all I wanted him to do was leave–although I highly enjoyed his and Charlie’s attempts to out-Staten Island each other.

With all my skepticism, however, I underestimated the show’s ability to be wonderfully unpredictable. Just as Danny goes into kiss Mindy before her date with Charlie–clearly trying to recreate their moment together on the plane–she shuts him down. It was a moment that made me proud of Mindy and how far she’s come. Danny’s breakup with her felt so unfair, and it’s time she called him out on it.

Meanwhile, the equally entertaining B-plot revolved around Peter’s attempts to woo a brain surgeon named Lauren (Wigfield). Lauren is a much more sophisticated girl than he’s used to dating–her name doesn’t end in an “i” that she dots with a heart. This storyline once again allowed Adam Pally to show off his comedic charm, especially during a restaurant seen in which he uses every trick in the book to gain Lauren’s affections. Wigfield also proved to be an acerbic screen presence, and I hope we get to see more of her soon.

Speaking of comedy, I should probably mention that aside from the positive outcome of this week’s episode, it was also freaking hilarious. Mindy’s drug-induced cold open where she doesn’t have a ride home from surgery immediately reminded me of the time Liz Lemon got root canal. There were also a dozen brilliant throwaway lines, including this gem uttered by Mindy after Danny asks her if she’s hungry:

“Well, I did just have an enormous meal, but a doctor once told me that my metabolism is so high that I basically have to eat every hour. That doctor…was me.”

Quick Aside: Dear Target, if you guys think you were being subtle with your massive product placement throughout the episode, I’m here to tell you, you were not. Don’t worry, I still love you though. End of Aside.

All in all, it’s nice to see the show return to its usual balance of whipsmart humor and quality character development. Mindy and Charlie’s date under the stars was cute, and now I honestly have no idea which direction the show is going in. The final episode is titled “Danny and Mindy,” but after this week’s standoff, I’d be surprised if romance was an option. Still, you never know what to expect with a show like this, which is part of the reason why it’s so fun to watch. Grade: A-

 

By Mike Papirmeister

One Response to The Mindy Project: “Girl Next Door” Season 2 Episode 21 Review

  1. Renata says:

    I disagree with you about romance not being an option for next week’s episode. I actually think that romance will be the driving force behind the episode, and everything this week definitely is definitely leading up to it. Have you even seen Mindy Kaling’s instagram?!
    Haha, but seriously, it’s DEFINITELY leading up to something super lovey dovey.

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