The Mindy Project: “Frat Party” (Episode 1.23)

TV Reviews The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project: “Frat Party” (Episode 1.23)

As I discussed last week, the key to enjoying The Mindy Project is to wholly embrace the show’s title character. So, for example, I have to accept the fact that a doctor wouldn’t know that Haiti was ravaged by an earthquake and not a tsunami. I also have to be OK that she would think of Haiti as party island.

In the same way, I’ve come to accept Mindy, the show has fully committed to her narcissistic character while simultaneously offering up some real commentary about being a professional single woman in your 30s. So when Mindy’s boyfriend Casey (returning guest star Anders Holm) tells her he’s going to Haiti for a year, she tells him “I don’t have a year of my life to put on pause.” Any single person in his or her 30s can probably relate to that.

The cold open hilariously put a much more realistic spin on the sexy shower scenes viewers typically see on TV. And Mindy spoke the truth about the whole shampoo/conditioner conundrum. We all know they should absolutely not come in the same size bottles. These are the moments where The Mindy Project truly shines. If the comedy capitalized on these moments and continued to explore them, Mindy could become 2013’s version of Bridget Jones.

But the show continues to struggle in the same areas. The comedy seems to love a good fight (they’ve had them at jails and sample sales), but the fights are never particularly that funny. I’m never going to warm to Brendan and Duncan. And the supporting cast continues to struggle to find a purpose. I remain unclear why the series added Tamra to the cast when the existing office staff doesn’t get enough screen time. Especially because Tamra’s recurring shtick (she sings everything and calls Danny “girl”) isn’t funny.

But it was fun to see Bill Hader again as Mindy’s ex-boyfriend Tom. And I thoroughly enjoyed a drunken Casey (“I look fine and I smell legit!). In the same way Josh did, Casey has totally grown on me. In next week’s finale, Mindy decides to join Casey in Haiti. We all know that can’t actually happen (there wouldn’t be a show if she did that) but I hope the show gives Casey a send-off that allows for his return and doesn’t turn him into a cheating drug-addict.

Other thoughts on “Frat Party”:
• Loved Mindy’s description of Casey: “He looks like the villain in a National Lampoon movie.”
• Danny’s renewed romance with his ex-wife wasn’t talked about much this week, but Chloe Sevigny will be in next week’s season finale.
• Great to see Francia Raisa, who played Mindy’s protégé Katie, breaking free of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
• Since I prefer Morgan in smaller doses, I was rooting for him to stay with Brendan and Duncan.

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