Friday, September 20, 2013

The Mindy Project 2.01: "All My Problems Solved Forever ..."

"I really thought that I’d changed. I just got really good at pretending to like things that I didn’t."

So, apologies in advance. This year on MTVP, my contributions are going to primarily be sitcoms about quirky women around my own age. What can I say? I guess I’m a bit of a narcissist? Oh, and I’ll be covering the new Joss Whedon offering, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as well. So at least there will be some diversity. Anyway, as I think I might have mentioned here around this time last year, I really enjoy the combination of “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project” on Tuesday nights. I get to work out my quirky perpetually single almost 30-something (seriously…my 30th birthday is next month…what the hell) girl issues out in one night of sitcom goodness every week. “New Girl” is the twee, mostly positive version of the story, while “The Mindy Project” is a little grittier. Both are fun in their own way. Anyway, last season’s finale saw Mindy and her pastor boyfriend Casey heading off to be do-gooders in Haiti. This episode gives us an idea of what happened next.

The episode opens with a sequence narrated by Mindy that shows her and Casey’s new life in Haiti. Mindy is desperately trying to be upbeat and all, about the bug zapper being the best entertainment, and she and Casey being able to “car pool” (aka ride on the back of a cart together) to work. Mindy has also been writing pretty constant letters back and forth to Danny back in New York. It’s pretty apparent that while Mindy is trying to make the best of her situation, she really does miss all the comforts of New York. Early one morning, Casey takes Mindy out to see a sunrise while sitting in a tree, and he is pleasantly surprised by how little she protests. Mindy’s reward is a proposal and engagement ring. Mindy doesn’t have much time to celebrate, though. Later that evening, she starts not feeling well at all. Next thing she knows, she’s waking up in a hospital bed with Morgan of all people looming over her. That is not what I would want to see when I’m not feeling well. Morgan is creepy as all get out. It turns out Mindy was rushed back to New York for emergency gall bladder surgery.

Mindy is only supposed to be back in New York for a week or so before heading back to Haiti, but she sure packs a lot into her time there. For instance, she goes back to the practice and finds she’s been replaced by an OB/GYN/Sex Therapist named Paul Leotard. Dr. Leotard is played by James Franco, so you probably already know exactly what he is going to be like. Super mellow in that Keanu Reeves way. And I don’t mean that as a compliment. I’m still a bit bitter over that Oscars hosting fiasco a few years back. I don’t like when my awards shows flop! Anyway, Dr. Leotard is a male model turned doctor, so of course Mindy fawns all over him, and that kind of pisses off Danny. Danny claims his irritation is because Mindy is flirting with somebody when she’s engaged, but it’s pretty obvious that Danny just wants Mindy for himself.

Speaking of Danny, he’s trying to make things work with his ex-wife Christina, because in TV land, that’s what people do, even when it’s a horrible idea (yes, I do intend to finish the TV Rewind of “Wonderfalls” at some point in the near future). They are just very mismatched, I think. Danny’s a chill, kind of boring in an endearing way kind of dude who just wants to be left alone to watch his Ken Burns documentaries in peace. Danny and Christina go to sex therapy sessions with Dr. Leotard, and Christina wants to try some of the stupid things Dr. Leotard suggests, but Danny just isn’t into it at all. Probably, once again, because he really wants Mindy. The creative team kind of hits this point on the nose repeatedly throughout the episode.

Casey and Mindy have some preliminary wedding discussions, and when they start to realize how difficult the logistics could be (Mindy’s family is in Boston and India, and Casey’s family is in California), Casey suggests something a bit more impromptu. He suggests they have a small wedding in Mindy’s apartment before going back to Haiti. Mindy clearly always wanted the ostentatious fairy tale wedding, but she decides to go along with it, because she just goes along with whatever Casey wants these days. Then, as she’s getting ready for the big evening, Casey accidentally pees on her wedding dress (long story). Mindy ends up having a heart to heart with Danny out on her balcony, where each questions the other on their current relationship choices. Danny wants to make sure that even though this isn’t Mindy’s dream wedding, she’s happy about the guy she’s marrying. Mindy says that she is, and Danny decides to be supportive.

Mindy decides to wear her scrubs for the ceremony, but when Casey realizes how craptacular this wedding has become (dress ruined, banner falling off the wall), he decides to call it off. At first, Mindy thinks he’s breaking up with her, but then Casey clarifies that he wants to marry her, just in the fairy tale way she deserves. He also wants her to stay in New York while he goes back to Haiti. She’s clearly much happier among her New York creature comforts, and if they’re going to have a big wedding, they need the money Mindy can earn at her New York practice. Mindy is sad when she has to take Casey to the airport to go back to Haiti, but it’s pretty clear that she knows this is ultimately a good decision for her. I like that Mindy is a bit of a prissy city girl, because I can be too. Heck, I don’t even like camping. Give me a hotel any day. Anyway, the episode ends with Mindy making plans to start slipping back into her old life. Care to take bets on how long this ill-fated engagement with Casey will last?

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