When The Office ended earlier this year, my biggest problem wasn’t that the finale didn’t have enough Steve Carell or that the whole show didn’t end up being a David Brent dream or something like that. My biggest concern was that we would never know what happened to Danny Cordray, Dunder Mifflin’s traveling salesman played by Timothy Olyphant. It’s not like I necessarily cared about Cordray as anything other than a loose end, but when Olyphant guests on a comedy, he elevates everything about it, turning the mediocre into something more.
Yeah, yeah, Olyphant is great on Deadwood and Justified, but man is this guy funny. Even when he played Lucas Troy in an episode of Archer that added up to little more than a bunch of gay and rape jokes, Olyphant made the proceedings worthwhile. On The Mindy Project, Mindy is still flying through the eligible bachelor’s of New York composed of great cameos like Olyphant’s, and when the cameos are this well done, it’s hard to hope that Mindy ever finds love.
Olyphant aside, “Sk8er Man” is about as basic as it gets. While at a dinner party, Mindy finds out that her friends have given up on her and at this point just want her to settle for someone. Anyone. So she asks out Graham, a 40-year-old skater who literally ran into her earlier, played by Olyphant. Danny decides to ask out the most boring girl at the same dinner party, played by SNL’s Vanessa Bayer.
Both Danny and Mindy complain that the person the other is dating is too boring, or adventurous and dumb, to be worth dating. Of course by the end, both Olyphant and Bryant are out of the picture, Olyphant due to a dinner that ends in his dining and dashing, Bryant because Danny falls asleep as she goes for a kiss at the end of the night.
Even more obvious is the plot between Peter, Jeremy and Jeremy’s dad (Alan Dale, the go-to angry dad on television). Jeremy’s dad gets along better with Peter than he does Jeremy, and by the end everyone ends up working itself out.
I still don’t really understand what The Mindy Project wants to make of Peter. He started off the show as a sort of sexual item for Mindy; now he’s just the chubbier British doctor who can’t get any respect. The show keeps trying to make him a integral part to the series, but can never quite nail down who he actually is.
While I do enjoy Olyphant as a skater who hasn’t grown up with no responsibilities, and while these cameos can be enjoyable, the show needs to become more than just a revolving door for Mindy’s suitors. I think it’s possible that the angrier Danny and Mindy get at each other from episode to episode, the more likely their conflict will end in the two finally hooking up. But right now the proceedings aren’t more than just a little bit of fun without any further consequence.