The Mindy Project: Josh and Mindy’s Christmas Party Review

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Admittedly, my expectations for The Mindy Project’s first Christmas episode may have been a little too high, but despite a handful of good moments, I was still slightly let down by this week’s episode.

The cold open with Josh attempting to rent an ice rink for Mindy but being interrupted by a hockey practice was my least favorite this season. But the set-up for the episode I did love, and not just because it featured “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses.  But Mindy tells Danny and Jeremy that she and Josh will be hosting the annual Christmas party. The conversation among the three is typical of their very funny working relationship.

Danny shows up to the Christmas party in an adorable fashion with a very elaborate gingerbread house, and Shauna shows up with her new boyfriend, a cop, who comes in handy. Morgan brought a karaoke machine that only played Spanish songs, and it was less entertaining than his usual quirky contributions.

Mindy accidentally hears a message on Josh’s phone from a girl. Danny begs Mindy to ignore it for the duration of the party, but obviously she is unable to do that. Mindy ends up confronting Josh, after accidentally calling this girl, and he admits to having a long term girlfriend who he’d been meaning to break things off with. Mindy is obviously devastated, but the entire party is devastated when his girlfriend shows up. She’s played by Ellie Kemper, one of Mindy Kaling’s real life BFFs from The Office. The physical fight that ensues between the two women in Josh’s life is too over the top, due in part to the writing and in part to Ellie Kemper’s acting, and had me rolling my eyes rather than laughing.

Danny and the office staff manage to salvage the party and cheer Mindy up in the end, but the damage was done. To Mindy’s relationship, and to the episode.

While we all saw it coming that Josh wasn’t going to necessarily be “the one” for Mindy, I think this episode really overdid it with the way their breakup was handled. They’ve been pretty low key with their romance, and the breakup was anything but. I think that’s why this episode really felt disingenuous to me, and that’s what I hated the most about it. Mindy is usually so relatable, even when she’s in absurd situations, but almost everything just felt pretty nonsensical this episode.

The high point of this week was how much of the great chemistry between Mindy and Danny we got. They had some hilarious moments, some very sweet moments, and still managed to get in some digs. I absolutely love watching the two of them together. The interactions between the two are what saved the episode for me. Especially when Danny stepped in to save Mindy from her own Christmas speech and quoted Mariah Carey for her, gesture and all. That was definitely my favorite moment. Most of my favorite moments the entire season so far have been between Mindy and Danny. So, whatever missteps there may be with less prominent characters and guest stars, the central relationship that the show rests on remains strong enough to carry it. Grade: B

 

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