Season Two, Episode Twenty-Two
For most of the first two season of The Mindy Project, the show has gone through an identity crisis, not knowing exactly what type of show it is. While season two is a lot more focused, it’s still very messy with first and foremost being how Mindy simply isn’t strong enough to be a lead of a sitcom. But if there is a reason to watch The Mindy Project, it’s because of the idea that Mindy has to explore the romantic-comedy genre in a TV show. No, not in the way sitcoms work, but in a way goofy Hollywood rom-coms work. Season one was just the set-up, or the first twenty minutes of the film. Season two had all the makings of a romantic-comedy from the sexual tension, to the first kiss, and now to the over-the-top portrayal of love on the top of the Empire State Building.
Without a doubt, the story between Mindy and Danny has carried this show since day one, and for the past few episodes we were dealing with life after their failed attempt at taking their friendship to the next level. But wait! In classic rom-com form, Danny wants to win Mindy back! How? By pretending to be the handsome guy who was making eyes with Mindy on the subway. Sure, it’s not the best plan in the world, but he thinks it’s romantic.
Sure, “Danny and Mindy” achieves a level of cheesiness that’s almost worth throwing up your dinner, but if you’ve made it this far in the series then you’re more than likely used to it, since it’s exactly what Mindy wants. Danny’s grand gesture is to get Mindy up to the Empire State Building where she will be expecting Andy (the guy on the subway) and instead will realize it’s Danny’s she’s been flirting with all along. Great, sounds like a good plan, except prior to that Mindy admits to Danny how she has moved on from him and how she’s thankful to still be friends. The reaction on Chris Messina’s face is spot on, from complete excitement to realizing that this actually might not work. It’s like a Christmas toy being taken away from a kid after a half-an-hour with it. He frowns, unsure if he’ll ever get her back.
Cue the much-needed moral support! Everyone in the office now knows what Danny wants to do and they back him up, convincing him that they’ll be a perfect fit for each other. Immediately, that frown turns upside-down and Danny runs to the Empire State Building where Mindy is coincidentally taking the stairs to the top. Yes, I am impressed that she even made it because I would’ve stopped at the 50th floor, but it provided with those few seconds where Danny doesn’t see Mindy and suspects she left. But there she is, lying on the ground from exhaustion and that’s where Danny lies beside her, together on the top of the Empire State Building.
My only question now is, what’s next? If this were a romantic comedy, this would be the end of the film. Maybe there would be one more scene showing how happy Mindy and Danny are in the near future, possibly their wedding day or them on their honeymoon in somewhere exotic. But this isn’t a movie, it’s a television series and this isn’t the end. So what’s next? Sometimes shows shoot themselves in the foot when they allow the main character to finally find love. When Marshall and Lily finished their turbulence, their story-line became very stale compared to the rest of the cast. When Jim and Pam got together, The Office concentrated on other romantic story-lines to hide their dead end. How is The Mindy Project going to address this issue? Have them continue their roller-coaster relationship? Give Peter and Morgan more screen-time? Who knows, but let’s just say I’m interested in finding out.