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The Mindy Project Review: "Mindy's Brother" (Episode 1.10)

January 9, 2013  |  12:05pm
<i>The Mindy Project</i> Review: "Mindy's Brother" (Episode 1.10)

Sometimes I just want to shake The Mindy Project by the shoulders and scream “I don’t know what you’re trying to be. Why do you make it so hard to like you?”

When we last left Mindy, she had just discovered that her boyfriend Josh was a cheater. I think I may have been even more disappointed than Mindy about Josh. With all the casting changes the freshman comedy is going through, surely they could have come up with a way to keep Josh on the show. And if they couldn’t, did they really have to make him a cheater? Now his character is irredeemable.

Mindy is full of resolutions for the New Year. She’s going to get a better look, get in shape and meet a new guy. But, in reality, she’s still devastated by Josh’s betrayal. The stress of it all is causing her to constantly be on the verge of throwing up.

Now, as a long-time TV viewer, I know that when a female TV character of child-bearing age is nauseous and throwing up, that usually means the character is pregnant and doesn’t know it. I kept waiting for that big reveal but, thankfully, the show didn’t go that clichéd route.

Mindy’s brother Rishi (Utkarsh Ambudkar) comes to visit her in New York and tells Mindy that he doesn’t want to go back to Stanford. He wants to drop out to pursue a career in rap. Mindy immediately slips back into an exaggerated Boston accent upon seeing her brother. It’s a joke that came out of nowhere. And, p.s., if they grew up in Concord, Mass., they so wouldn’t have that accent.

While Mindy is trying to convince her brother to stay in school, Jeremy and Danny are trying to stop the rent on their office space from increasing. This leads the pair to a nursing home and an inspired cameo from Hal Linden.

I can’t quite decide how I feel about Morgan (Ike Barinholtz, who also writes for the series). He’s often given the show’s funniest lines. I particularly like the rundown of music he was exposed to in prison—Nazi rock, white Muslim ska. Or that his cellmate called his performance in a musical “better than solitary.” But then so many of the moments he is given simply don’t work. When he took the stage to perform rap with Rishi, it was like a bad Saturday Night Live skit.

I’m so perplexed that the series continues to try to work in Anna Camp’s Gwen long after it was announced that she has been bumped down from a series regular to a recurring character. They should have some sort of ban on ever having Mindy and Gwen talk on the phone. Yes, in real life best friends talk on the phone all the time, but it’s so awkward on this show.

Mark Duplass returned as midwife Brendan and the series got a few more digs in at the midwifery profession—again an unfunny obsession I fail to understand. Mindy begrudgingly sees Brendan to help her deal with her nausea. Kaling told reporters yesterday at the Television Critics Association Press Tour that in the coming episodes Mindy and the other doctors will come to realize that Brendan and his brother are great midwives and that they all have something to learn from him. This will be a welcome change.

By the end of the episode, Mindy is on stage rapping with her brother and I’m more confused than ever. Again, why does this show make it so hard to like it?

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