The Mindy Project: “My Cool Christian Boyfriend” (Episode 1.19)

TV Reviews The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project: “My Cool Christian Boyfriend” (Episode 1.19)

So far this season on The Mindy Project, action has taken place at an underground rap contest, a zoo, a Chinese restaurant, a sample sale and a high school. So, you know, why not a prison? The show continues its haphazard, frenetic approach in trying to find what’s funny and what works for the show and its cast.

Trying to prove that she is altruistic, Mindy joins her colleagues on a volunteer trip to a women’s prison in “My Cool Christian Boyfriend.” Of course, a prison riot ensues. And, of course, Mindy inadvertently starts it because she gives one of the prisoners (product placement alert) an Almond Joy candy bar. None of this was particularly funny, and it once again allowed for Morgan to do way too much of his weird shtick. Plus, it’s a surprise to Mindy that she’s selfish?

Mindy is trying to impress Casey (guest star Anders Holm), a cute guy she met on the subway who turns out to be a Lutheran minister. He’s all helping others. Mindy, he tells her, isn’t selfless enough for him. My main problem with Casey is that he seemed to be another version of Brendan the midwife. They both have a holier-than-thou/condescending persona. In real life, this would mean Mindy has a type, but on TV it’s just kind of boring to see the show repeating itself. As the end of the episode suggested, we haven’t seen the last of Casey. He’ll be back for three more episodes—starting next Tuesday.

Once again the show demonstrated real sparks of humor that it is still, unfortunately, unable to sustain for a full episode. I loved Mindy taking it as a compliment when Casey told her she was dressed like a rapper’s publicist. I laughed out loud at the fact that she bases her church clothes on Tyler Perry movies. And I completely related to her justification for reading gossip magazines—she needs to know that Tiger Woods’ ex-wife Elin Nordegren is ready to move on.

There was also a certain charm to Casey and Mindy’s first date. The show really captures the awkwardness of early dating and the excitement that occurs when you realize you are making a real connection with someone. I so wish the show could really build on some of that momentum instead of going to clichéd situations and trite characters.

The episode that aired last night was actually supposed to air Thursday, so once again FOX is airing episodes out of order—probably to save guest star Seth Meyers for the show’s Thursday night outing this week. But airing the episodes out of order also makes it impossible for the show to build any kind of continuity.

Other thoughts on “My Cool Christian Boyfriend”:
• Mindy’s brother Rishi was back once again. I wouldn’t be surprised if he became a series regular next season. There are plenty of schools for him to attend in New York.
• I like the show continuing to reveal more of Danny’s character—like the fact that he only has his parish priest over for dinner “five times a month max.”
• Very fun cameo by Moby. I may not be the biggest fan of The Mindy Project, but those in Hollywood clearly are.

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