Monday, January 20, 2014

The Mindy Project 2.13: "L.A."

“Babe, this is the palest I've ever been. I'm basically a white person. Yesterday I caught myself watching lacrosse, and I liked it.”

“L.A.” took what should have been a rather lighthearted premise, entertainment junkie Mindy gets to go to L.A. for a conference, and turned it into a huge turning point in the personal lives of both Mindy and Danny. I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I do like my comedies to have some depth and some heart now and then. On the other hand, I like my comedies to make me laugh, too. And there wasn’t really a lot that was funny about “L.A.” The group was kind of joyful in the beginning when they were all excited about their upcoming trip, but it quickly spiraled into drama. Danny has to deal with the fact that his father lives in Los Angeles, and Mindy has to deal with the fact that her relationship with Cliff is on much rockier ground than she originally thought. I’m hoping this paves the way for Cliff to be written out entirely, since all the dancing around the inevitable Mindy/Danny pairing is getting tiring, but we shall see.

Anyway, the episode opens with Jeremy telling Mindy, Danny, Peter, and Morgan that they’re going to L.A. for a convention on injectables. At first I was really wondering why an OB/GYN office would get involved in a plastic surgeon’s domain (especially since I usually hear about injectables in the context of the face. Then later, Mindy is reading a book on vaginal rejuvenation. So that answered that question. Anyway, everybody but Danny is really stoked for this trip. They all think they’re basically going to be living out “Entourage,” even though they’re technically supposed to be at a conference. Now I was in Chicago (a really neat city, by the way) for a work training with a few colleagues last summer, and we definitely took some time to see the sights, but the work came first. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to think about the lack of professionalism at Shulman and Associates. I guess it’s supposed to be part of the humor? Do I take work way too seriously? The answer to that would probably be yes.

Most of the episode takes place on the closing day of the conference, when the doctors are all trying to do some touristy stuff before having to go home to real life. Mindy in particular is trying to forget that before she left for the conference, she asked Cliff to move in with her, and he didn’t answer right away. He said he’d have to think about it. Even though his landlord already said he wasn’t going to be able to renew his lease. Cut your losses, Mindy! Anyway, Mindy and Peter are doing some high end shoe shopping when they run into none other than Mindy’s ex-fiancé, Casey. Casey has finally settled down, and he now owns the shoe store where Mindy and Peter were shopping. Casey is happy to see Mindy, and he invites her and Peter to the big pool party he is throwing that night. Later, Mindy mentions the encounter in a phone call with Cliff, and Cliff asks Mindy to promise that she won’t go to dinner with Casey. Thinking that going to the party won’t count as going to dinner, Mindy promises.

Meanwhile, Danny is disturbed to find out that he seems to have been checked out of his room at the fancy Bel Air hotel where the doctors have all been staying. As you might expect, Morgan is responsible for this turn of events. Danny has been holed up in his room for most of the trip, trying to make sure he will avoid seeing his father, and Morgan decided that wasn’t healthy. He checked Danny out of his room, and he wants Danny to stay with him at the YMCA for their final night in LA. First, though, Morgan has an awesome day of sightseeing planned. He knows Danny is old fashioned, so he plans a trip to a set used on John Wayne movies, and Danny absolutely loves it. The mood is killed, however, when Morgan announces that he called Danny’s dad, and he (Danny’s dad) wants to have dinner with Danny that night. Danny wants to know how Morgan could have possibly gotten his father’s contact information. The answer is Danny’s brother Richie, of course. Danny has a short and angry phone call with Richie, who is clubbing it up, presumably back home in Miami. Richie basically tells Danny to man up and see their father.

Mindy and Peter hit up Casey’s pool party, of course. Both of them are pretty awkward among the more polished LA folks. Peter is coming off a second-hand rejection by Maria Menounos (he finds out she’s on vacation with her boyfriend), and Mindy is kind of confused by her recent reuniting with Casey, so they’re both acting pretty foolish. Peter keeps flirting with and getting nowhere with models and starlets. He ends up getting shut out of the party completely when he walks outside to give a homeless Morgan his room key. He just can’t manage to talk his way back into the party. Mindy decides to be weird and go in the pool, and Casey soon joins her. They start having a nice heart to heart, but Casey misinterprets this as an invitation for sex. He taxes his swim trunks off right there in the pool. Mindy is not at all amused, and she makes it very clear that she does not want to resume any sort of relationship with Casey.

Mindy’s cell phone ran out of battery while she was at the party, and when she recharges it, she finds herself in the middle of quite a mess. First there was Danny calling her to ask her advice on what to do about his father (Danny ended up calling his dad before he could get Mindy’s take on the situation). Then there were numerous missed calls from Cliff. Mindy calls Cliff back and says she really, really wants him to move in with her. Cliff was about ready to make that leap, too, but then he saw a photo of Casey and Mindy on a gossip site. He feels that Mindy promised not to see Casey and broke that promise, and now he can’t trust her. Mindy is pretty stunned and doesn’t really know how to respond. And so we leave this episode on a bit of a cliffhanger!

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