Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Mindy Project 2.03: "Music Festival"

“Oh my god! You’re like a white Beastie Boy!”

“Music Festival” was easily the best comedy I watched this past week, which makes me sad that of all the shows I cover here on MTVP, “The Mindy Project” is the most likely to be cancelled sooner rather than later. This episode had a great mix of humor and heart, with the humor coming from an abundance of music festival stereotypes and the heart coming from Mindy and Casey’s break-up (sorry…spoiler alert) at the end of the episode. The whole thing was just enjoyable to watch, which couldn’t really be said about the other comedies this week. I genuinely laughed at the music festival antics. And Morgan was stoned for a large portion of the episode. How could Ike Barinholtz pretending to be stoned not be funny? Seriously, people!

The set up for Mindy and Casey’s break-up is there right from the beginning of the episode. Casey is back from Haiti for good (I guess he decided to come home early), and his church is having a big welcome home service. Everything seems to be going well, and the congregation is really excited about Casey’s engagement to Mindy, and then everything goes off the rails. Casey announces that Mindy’s support of his dream to go to Haiti has inspired him to chase yet another dram. He’s leaving the ministry to pursue a career as a DJ. Casey says this is all thanks to Mindy, so the congregation starts booing her. Mindy herself isn’t too thrilled about this either, though.

Even though Mindy’s dubious about Casey leaving a steady job for an entertainment-based attempt at a career, she tries to be supportive at first. After a few weeks of basically doing nothing but working on mixes (Mindy’s stuck earning all the money and doing all the housework), Casey finally gets a DJ gig. The gig is at the Pennyfarthing Music Festival upstate. I get the sense that it’s supposed to be a Woodstock-type deal. Mindy’s going to go to the festival to support Casey, and Danny, Betsy, Beverly, and Morgan are going to go with her. Danny’s going because his favorite band, The National, is going to be playing on the main stage, and he doesn’t let us forget that’s the only reason he’s going.

The other plot going on here is that the practice is trying to hire another doctor to replace Dr. Leotard. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me considering Dr. Leotard was a replacement for Mindy, and now Mindy’s back. Last week they didn’t even have enough decent offices for four doctors. Maybe they’ll put the newbie in Mindy’s closet/office from last week? Anyway, they’ve been having trouble getting good applicants until Peter Prentice (Adam Pally) walks in. On paper, he looks great, with both undergrad and medical degrees from Dartmouth. It’s when he speaks that there’s a problem. He’s pretty much the bro-iest bro that ever bro-ed. He’s a frat brother who likes to say “bro” a lot, in other words. He has trouble believing that Mindy is actually a doctor (because she’s not a white male), so he says some really insulting things that pretty much guarantee he won’t get the job.

Anyway, we spend much of the episode at the Pennyfarthing, which is really where we see most of the best material of the episode. Danny, of course, just wants to see The National. Mindy’s kind of freaked out by the hippie-ness of it all. Morgan’s the star of this part of the episode, though. A woman offers him some pot brownies, which Morgan declines. The woman has some cupcakes, though, and Morgan, not realizing that those are laced too, asks for one. Morgan ends up taking two cupcakes, so you know he’s going to be baked. Morgan goes nuts, and he does a cannonball right into the hard ground of a field. Surprise surprise, Morgan injures his tailbone with that stunt. Mindy and Danny take Morgan to the medical tent and are appalled by what they see. The people providing medical assistance are just as wasted as the people who need medical assistance. It’s like battlefield medicine up in there. Mindy and Danny can’t ethically let that continue, so they start manning the first aid tent themselves. This becomes a problem when Mindy is supposed to go watch Casey spin and Danny is supposed to go see the National. Danny convinces Mindy that she should go see Casey, with a speech about how she needs to look him in the eye to know if this is truly what he loves doing.

Mindy does indeed go see Casey, and she doesn’t regret it (at first, at least). Casey’s got the whole tent moving with his mix, and Mindy can see how good he is at DJing. Casey sees Mindy in the crowd, and he gets everybody to crowd surf Mindy towards the stage. Poor Mindy gets some bumps and bruises from that. I know I would not be thrilled at being thrown around a tent of stoners if I were her. I’ve got serious back problems just like Mindy (unless her screaming about her scoliosis was just for laughs, in which case, shame on the writers), so I don’t play with that sort of thing. Anyway, afterwards, Mindy congratulates Casey on being awesome. Casey, however, isn’t satisfied. He tells Mindy that he was concentrating more on how the fire exits were all blocked. Now he thinks his true calling might be event planning. Danny doesn’t end up missing the National, by the way. Morgan convinces them to give Danny a private show in the medical tent by pretending to propose to Danny. Danny is seriously weirded out by this, but he ends up going with it to see his favorite band. Which was pretty hilarious.

Meanwhile, back at the practice, one of Mindy’s and one of Danny’s patients go into labor at the same time. Jeremy’s freaking out because he can’t exactly deliver both babies at once. He tries to enlist some of his colleagues at the hospital to help him out, but they’re all busy too. The only person around to help is none other than Peter, so Jeremy lets him go deliver one of the babies. That delivery goes off without a hitch, and Peter even manages to talk the dad at Jeremy’s delivery down from completely freaking out. He does it all in an annoyingly bro-ish way, but he gets the job done. Jeremy’s happy that Peter helped when nobody else would, and that Peter helped competently, so he offers Peter a job at the practice after all.

The next day, Mindy is not happy to hear Casey’s latest scheme about what he wants to do with his life. He wants to go to grad school in Texas to get his master’s in event planning. He paints this awesome picture of what his and Mindy’s life could be like, complete with regular barbecue joint. Mindy thinks that sounds great, but she knows it won’t last. As soon as she gets used to that life, Casey’s going to want to do something different and drag her away from yet another life she’s created. Mindy and Casey end up breaking up over this, and they’re both pretty devastated by it. I appreciated that even though they made it happen quickly, the creative team built a real case for why Mindy and Casey should break up. Will Mindy and Danny take advantage of being single at the same time? How long will Peter last at Shulman and Associates? Please watch “The Mindy Project” and find out so it doesn’t get cancelled just when it’s getting good!

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