Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Mindy Project 2.18: "Girl Crush"

“The closest I’ve ever had to a celebrity patient was . . . do you remember Trishelle from Real World/Road Rules Inferno? Her mom was a patient!”

“Girl Crush” was a bit of a disappointment for me, coming right after the emotional Mindy/Danny breakup in “Be Cool.” I would have thought that this episode would have dealt more directly with the breakup fallout, but it really didn’t. After several episodes in a row that dealt with a continuous, emotional storyline, it felt odd to go back to what was a more typical sitcom setup. Mostly, I’d like Danny to have some remorse for treating Mindy like crap. And I’d like to see him stop continuing to treat Mindy like crap. To be honest, the way Danny acts in this episode doesn’t make a lot of sense. Yeah, he ran away scared from a real relationship with Mindy, but the Danny we’ve gotten to know over the past two years is usually too emotional to go right to flirting with another woman. It was just odd.

This episode really explores what Mindy means to the rest of the crew at Shulman and Associates, although it does so in a rather juvenile way. I felt like the episode just hit the surface, when it really could have dug into the emotions a bit more. Anyway, things begin with Mindy having a chance meeting with celebrity gynecologist Sheila Hamilton (Anna Gunn). Sheila’s main claim to fame is that she delivered North West. Being the celebrity gossip junkie that she is (I can certainly relate to that), Mindy is practically drooling at the prospect of getting to increase her proximity to celebrities through Sheila. Shelia invites Mindy to stop by and see the practice some time, and Mindy is only too happy to accept the offer.

Meanwhile, Peter’s sister Sally is in town. Sally meets Danny, and sparks fly. Personally, I didn’t see a ton of chemistry between the two of them, but I guess the heart wants what the heart wants? Mindy is especially hurt when she sees Danny and Sally flirting, and I think she’s perfectly justified in that. Danny was the one who pursued her (Mindy) in the plane, then he dropped her out of fear (with the ridiculous hope that they could still “be friends”), and now he’s almost immediately started flirting with someone else (who also happens to be the sister of one of her good friends). Mindy handles the whole thing with a surprising amount of grace considering the ridiculousness of it all. Peter isn’t happy about this development, either. He wants to protect his sister from Danny’s particular brand of crazy. This escalates to the point where Peter catches Danny and Sally sexting, which is kind of gross. Peter trying to wipe the memory of his sister’s breasts is kind of funny, but still overall gross.

While all of this interpersonal drama is going on, Jeremy has a new idea to boost the profile of the practice. He bought a bus. The bus has a terrible photo of the four Shulman doctors plastered on it (Mindy is sneezing in the photo), and Jeremy intends to use the bus to provide mammograms in underserved neighborhoods. The first stop is “Spaniard’s Harlem,” and he’s even got a photographer from a Spanish language newspaper lined up to make a big publicity event out of it. Jeremy may have had good intentions (albeit not entirely altruistic…it’s good publicity for the practice), but he completely fails in the execution. More on that in a bit.

So Mindy takes Shelia up on the offer to see the fancy celebrity gynecology practice. It’s very swanky, and Sheila continues to regale Mindy with celebrity stories while Mindy is clothed in a fluffy bathrobe and given a gynecologic exam so painless she doesn’t even realize it’s happening. The whole bit is absurd, really. Anyway, Mindy decides that she is probably going to take the job. More Danny and Sally drama only serves to seal the deal for her. When Mindy makes her intentions to jump ship clear, the rest of the Shulman crew doesn’t take it well at all. They pretty much decide to shun her, and they go out on the Spaniard’s Harlem mammogram expedition without her. Again with the lack of depth, so unlike the rest of the recent run of episodes.

As I mentioned earlier, the whole mammography bus adventure doesn’t really go as planned. Since it’s a bus of guys asking to check women’s breasts, it comes off as creepy, and the guys don’t really do a good job of countering that impression. They act kind of creepy, and none of them speak Spanish, so they aren’t communicating as well as they could be. They quickly amass a full scale protest. The neighborhood residents think that the buss is a peep show bus, and they’d really rather not have it in their neighborhood. There’s a lot of yelling and chanting, and the press photographer is capturing it all. It’s turning out as more of a publicity disaster for Shulman and Associates than a publicity boon.

While the mammogram bus is under siege, Mindy goes to Sheila’s office to finalize the paperwork for her new job. Sheila implies that Mindy is going to have to find all new patients, and this doesn’t sit well with Mindy. For all her love of celebrity culture and glamorous things, Mindy does pride herself on taking hard luck medical cases. Mindy really wants to be able to bring her current patients to her new practice. Sheila says that isn’t going to fly, because her practice doesn’t take insurance, and none of Mindy’s current patients could afford medical care without insurance. Mindy’s conscience gets the better of her, and she walks out on the deal.

Mindy goes back to Shulman and Associates to find that the staff have completely cleared out her office. Mindy’s not going to take this, though. She goes to Spanish Harlem, finds the mammogram bus, and sees the chaos. Mindy takes charge of the situation and assures the crowd that her colleagues aren’t actually pervs. A female presence (and endorsement) seems to diffuse the situation, and they even manage to get a woman to agree to a mammogram. The day is saved, and just like that, the Shulman crew appreciates Mindy again. I don’t see how everything can go back to exactly how it was before the big Mindy/Danny story arc, but apparently that’s where we’re headed as the second season of “The Mindy Project” winds down.

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