There are those shows you watch, that you wait weekly for. The characters that you root for. The shows which you can’t explain why you love it so much. The ones that make you laugh. Make you cry. Then by the end when you have spent all that time with these fictional characters and just as you bid them that final farewell, the writers fuck it up.
The Mindy Project is rom-com kind of show starring Mindy Lahiri as a colourful hilarious OB/GYN. Mindy is awesome, she is confident, she pulls guys and has a good time, along with all that she is also accomplished. In the beginning shes a hot mess, actually shes a little bit of a mess the whole way through but who isn’t? Also I know I said that it was a romantic comedy-esque kind of show but I’m using that lightly. She has had her fair share of romantic encounters but they don’t feel forced. No super cheesy grand romantic gestures, not all the guys were the princes they once seemed to be and that is what makes it different to any other show.
Throughout the first few seasons she has had extremely hot guys fall for her, I love the eye candy and they were easily shippable. Some guys were real slimeballs, some didn’t last long and others came with an important message, however behind all these escapades there was Daniel Castellano, a colleague to Mindy and one half of the couple who had the “will they/won’t they” relationship. They had chemistry with the witty banter, they had friendship sprinkled with some healthy rivalry. After a few season of that sexual tension, everyone was pleased when they finally got together.
But no, that wasn’t when the curtains closed and read happily ever after, that is the beauty of The Mindy Project. They had problems, a lot, a lot of problems. In about 1 season the whole build up of the romantic connection was destroyed. Danny became the character we loved to hate, he refused to marry Mindy after he knocked her up, left her alone for ages (he was caring for his dad so we can accept it but he dealt with the situation horribly) and he wanted her to give up her career. Eventually I was rooting for her to leave his sorry ass.
It,s better to be alone than to be with someone who holds you back, that’s the message. It’s a message that isn’t often addressed especially with the growing pressure to be in a relationship, being single doesn’t seem like an option. This show did that, Mindy had her own business, thrived in her career and was a single mother. Sure, she wasn’t perfect but she was doing it.
Then came dependable Ben, I’m not going to bullshit you- I loved him. He was exactly what Mindy wanted, he was committed, he liked her and they both were divorced parents. But she fucked this one up. Constantly thinking she was better than him because he was a nurse and just in general, she didn’t treat him right. Just like how I applauded Mindy when dumped Danny, I was practically cheering when Ben found his self worth and declared “I’m too good for you”.
However the creators really had to make sure that bridge was burnt with this couple as they got together, got hitched and got divorced. Ben said “we should get divorced” atfer a series of events proved Mindy liked being apart from her husband constantly. Mindy simply agreed. He desperately hoped she would fight a little for their marriage but was heartbroken when she didn’t and that was the end for them. I liked this story line, I would have preferred it to be a bit longer but it showed how there was no spark in it for Mindy. It mirrored her relationship to Danny but in this case, she was Danny, oh sweet irony.
The whole way through we get a strong Mindy, who has grown up and wants passion but at the same time understands being single. Then again its fucked up, conveniently Danny is getting a divorce, after being portrayed as a dick for the past few seasons, and still doesn’t become remotely likeable, he is reintroduced as the love interest. While watching I couldn’t believe they were going to get back together and thought of it as a plot device to show why they would never work. However after watching the season finale not long ago, I was disappointed. All those lessons she learnt, all the reasons a relationship won’t work, all the battles won and lost, only to revert back to your old ways.
This was a step back in both plot and character development, to simply get back together with Danny just because she thought he changed by one gesture. Give me at least a half decent reason they should be together, not this bullshit.
The main thing was it didn’t fit into the tone of the show. I wanted an ending that was full of possibilities for Mindy not a not-so-grand empty gesture. Why make us spend so much time despising Danny for him to come back and try to make him seem like a half decent guy who deserves the lead character?
I always loved this show. An accomplished strong minority woman as the lead, it kind if reminded me of Ugly Betty, which i absolutely love. Mindy was super relatable, the episode which showed her rewatching the princess bride over and over, that is basically me. She was witty and likeable, loved to eat, was overall unapologetic about who she was which all felt so honest. It brought many characters and plot lines which were entertaining and Kahling did a great job as Mindy.
The other characters were disregarded by the end of it, a quick fix for a few of them which again were completely out of character. Then ignoring the rest (I really wanted on last hurrah for Peter). The running theme in The Mindy Project is that the guys are meh and the women settle, some character development or any context would have been great.
The ending honestly just killed it a bit, there were moments along the way which were great to watch. The end was cheap and clearly forced, a desperate attempt to end on a high. HOWEVER, saying that, as much as the quality decreased, I will happily rewatch the show and I look forward to see what Kahling has up her sleeve next.