Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Mindy Project 2.07: "Sk8er Man"

“Dad does like his prossies!”

As many episodes of “The Mindy Project” do, “Sk8er Man” has the doctors examining where they are in life and what they need to do to truly “grow up.” This indtrospection all takes place as Mindy and Danny both date rather ridiculous people to prove a point to each other and Jeremy deals with a visit from his father. Jeremy’s father is played by the always awesome Alan Dale (“Lost”), and Mindy’s ridiculous 40-year-old skater love interest is played by Timothy Olyphant (“Deadwood”), which is quite the guest cast for one episode of a low rated sitcom. Alan Dale didn’t actually have all that much to do in this episode, although the consequences of his arrival does really drive the B-story. It’s also pretty clear that the show’s creative team are continuing to move the story towards Mindy and Danny getting together. This is one of the rare occasions where I hope that doesn’t happen too soon, though. I think Mindy having meet cutes with many very different guys is an interesting premise to sustain the show for now.

Yeah, I mentioned meet cutes in the plural form. This episode begins with one too. Mindy is walking to work when a skater plows right into her. This skater, however, happens to be 40 years old. Mindy is a bit shocked by this considering he’s doing the whole black socks with shorts typical skater look. This dude is obviously stuck in his early twenties and obviously likes his weed just as much now as he did back then. He flirts with Mindy, which Mindy finds intriguing (especially when she sees his pretty sick skating moves), but she turns him down. Successful, popular girls don’t go out with stoners after all. Haven’t you seen “Clueless?”

Later, at a dinner party, Mindy is horribly bored by Danny’s new girlfriend, and she tells him so. She really can’t believe Danny is going out with someone so boring. Danny tells Mindy that she’s just too picky, and that’s why she never stays in relationships very long. The dire-ness of Mindy’s situation is made even more apparent to her when the party hosts seat her at the couples table instead of the singles table. The explanation is that she always gets so judgey about her fellow singles, and the hosts don’t want to inflict that on their guests. Mindy is very disappointed. The next day at work, Mindy talks about the whole being too picky thing with Morgan and Beverly. They, to Mindy’s chagrin, agree with Danny. To prove everybody wrong, Mindy goes on a kind of epic quest to find Graham, the skater dude. And find him she does. They enjoy a rather disgusting-sounding burrito lunch together, and they decide to see each other again.

Meanwhile, Jeremy is in a rather pissy mood because his father is coming to town, and Peter gets the brunt of that pissiness when he shows up at the office over an hour late. Jeremy’s father shows up at the practice, and it turns out that he’s Alan Dale, who has plenty of experience being nasty fathers on television. Case in point: one Charles Widmore on “Lost.” Just talking about this is kind of making me want to do a best of Desmond and Penny episodes marathon of “Lost!” Anyway, Peter goes full on bro in interacting with Jeremy’s dad, and Jeremy’s dad most definitely approves. He pals around with Peter while chiding Jeremy for his weight. I still miss the suave ladies’ man Jeremy of last season. Jeremy with a pooch just isn’t as funny. It’s such a character change that it doesn’t really ring true for me.

Graham visits Mindy by climbing through the window of her apartment, which kind of freaks Mindy out a bit. I don’t know why she’s so shocked, really. As a woman who loves her girly pop culture who is only a year or two older than me, she should have loved “Clarissa Explains it All” as a tween. Clarissa’s skater boy best friend Sam always came in through the window, complete with his own music cue. I would have found it funny. But I’m a sucker for 90’s Nickelodeon nostalgia. Anyway, once Mindy gets over the shock, she notices that Graham’s elbow is scraped up, and they bond over scars as Mindy patches Graham up. They then go on a double date with Danny and his boring new girlfriend. What is it with sitcoms and awkward double dates this week? More about that in a minute.

Meanwhile, Peter went to a casino with Danny’s dad, and Danny wasn’t invited. This makes both Peter and Danny feel kind of bad (Peter didn’t realize Danny was left out when he accepted the invite). Jeremy is super jealous about the whole thing, especially after Peter talked about what a good time it was. Jeremy and Peter teach a birthing class together (where Peter is trying to be super cool, uses out of date pop culture references, but for some reason everyone thinks he’s hilarious anyway), and the jealousy so overcomes Jeremy that Jeremy rips apart a teaching doll with rage. The class is kind of freaked out until Morgan goes around being his wacky/creepy self and starts giving out baby name suggestions.

Anyway, the double date doesn’t go at all as planned. Danny and Mindy aren’t really having a good time at all. Graham is telling really weird stories that only Danny’s girlfriend finds amusing. Mindy starts making fun of Danny’s girlfriend, which earns her some rightful scolding from Danny. This all gets swept under the rug, however, when Graham and Danny’s girlfriend gleefully announce that they’re dining and dashing. After looking incredulous, Danny and Mindy follow along. Running away from the restaurant is going okay until Mindy has trouble climbing a fence. The gang then tries to help Mindy squeeze through a gap in the fence, but the gap is too small. As she’s stuck in the fence, Mindy breaks up with Graham. As he’s dropping his girlfriend off at her home, Danny starts falling asleep as she’s telling a story. That’s when Danny knows he needs to initiate a break-up too. The episode ends with both Danny and Mindy back at the restaurant together, commiserating about how much the date sucked.

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