I went into the first season of The Mindy Project with incredibly high hopes. I loved Mindy Kaling on The Office and I loved her even more after reading her debut book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns). Therefore I expected her first show to be an awesome comedy that not only made me laugh, but also made smart points that are relevant to my life. You know, a show where I’m like “it’s funny because it’s true.” While I never felt like Kelly Kapoor delivered that feeling for me on the The Office, I definitely felt like Mindy did in her book. And since Mindy was the the woman behind this show (and in front of this show), I thought she would be able to deliver.
However we’re now halfway through the first season of The Mindy Project and I just don’t like it as much as I want to like it. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a funny show that’s makes me to laugh aloud. But not often. Certainly not often enough that I rush home to watch each week. Like many other shows that I record out of habit, it lingers on my DVR until I get through all my must-see TV for the week. But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s a comedy about a woman made by a funny woman. How did this happen?
While watching the past few episodes I’ve tried to figure out the problem. Diagnose it like I’m some kind of WebMd Symptom Checker for TV shows. And I think that maybe I figured it out. It’s too predictable, like it came from a comedy cookie cutter mold of TV shows past and it’s just being altered here and there for the purposes of the show.
Take Mindy and Danny’s (Chris Messina) relationship for example. Sure it’s incredibly tense now, but we know they’re going to inevitably get together. It’s like Ross and Rachel all over again — except Danny’s really mean to Mindy and that makes it somewhat hard to root for him as her love interest. It’s not so much that there’s sexual tension between the two, but rather, actual tension. We got a fat joke from him in the very first episode.
However, even with that said, if we know that they’re eventually going to end up dating, it makes all their other dates and relationships pointless. Something to get through until she and Danny realize that they’re destined to be together. We’re constantly reminded that we’re watching a comedy where something zany’s going to happen because it has to happen to end the relationship. Whether that’s Allison Williams showing up in an eye patch or Mindy trying to have casual sex with Mark Duplass, we know that these relationships won’t amount to anything.