I noticed earlier in the day yesterday that Mindy teased on her Twitter account that this episode would be so risque she’s still surprised she got it on network TV. And we understand why immediately. Again and again, I am amazed at how Mindy’s writers find clever, fun, and interesting ways to talk about sex on TV, especially on Fox. What became more pleasantly surprising is how we go from quirky, clever sex jokes to exploring female insecurities about sex and, ultimately, the notion of consent. When Mindy tackles larger subjects, it’s usually done in such a fun way we almost don’t notice at all. But when Mindy asked, in her hospital bed, to check in with her before they start exploring “freaky deaky” stuff, I couldn’t help but draw the connection between this discussion of consent and what’s going on these days for many young women and the rise of “Yes means Yes.” Besides the tried and tired Jeremy stuff, this was a pretty clever and hilarious episode of The Mindy Project, filled with great wordsmith and some physical comedy, too.
The cold open was definitely the most clever thing of all, and it becomes immediately clear what’s going on just by audio, and no visuals. It was a daring move, and they continue to make that moment the butt of all the jokes (had to throw in the pun there) for much of the first and part of the second act. As we unpack Mindy’s shock and disapproval of what Danny was trying, it turns from getting Danny to admit the truth (at the eye doctor, no less, who hilariously deadpans about the fact that he just got sucked into the middle of their relationship issues) to this sudden fear that Mindy is now boring in bed. I love the way Peter is used in this storyline early on, from Mindy confiding to Peter what happened to see if Danny really just “slipped” to asking for advice on what else she could do to spice things up in the bedroom. This is definitely a common thing that comes up in growing relationships, and it’d be realistic in the timeline of Danny and Mindy that this would become a thing. And of course, Peter being Peter who researches these things on the internet, he decides to help her out with a “have you ever” demo using a skeleton. Peter’s sex lesson scene with the skeleton is so wonderfully absurd that even Mindy says she’d rather just let Danny try anal sex before anything else foreign to her.
The part of the B storyline that connects back into Mindy’s main storyline is Morgan feeling slighted by his friends for not supporting him when he finally gets his nurse practitioner license. This is so wonderful and interesting a turn for Morgan because he’s clearly always been the better and supportive friend to everyone else at the practice, even Jeremy, but more on that later. As a nurse practitioner, Morgan can now write out prescriptions. So Mindy enlists Morgan’s help to drug herself so she doesn’t feel anything when she next approaches Danny to let him try stuff out. This is actually some pretty dark and daring stuff for Mindy to delve into, especially once she goes back and forth between deciding to go through with it or not once she’s with Danny. Ultimately, though, her insecurity gets the best of her, and she drinks the drugged drink. This probably was the most fun for them to edit Mindy getting high and paranoid and freaked out, and I loved how quickly the effect of the drug goes from happily text-promising Morgan a friend vacation to feeling like she’s falling off the bed. This was a really well done sequence.
Mindy’s storyline wraps up in the hospital, again with some pretty dark undertones. An investigator at her hospital bed wonders whether or not she had been date raped by Danny, and it’s both a tender moment but a very raw moment for Mindy to say she went through all this trouble just because she didn’t feel she was experienced enough in the bed. The great turn here? Danny isn’t as experienced in the freaky stuff as Mindy feared, so they were really in the same boat all along. Again, this is actually a pretty huge issue (at least the way Mindy let it play out), and by using comedy and adding some good twists and turns, we get to have a happy ending while exploring some deeper topics in sex and consent.
The B and C storylines for the week intermingled more than Morgan and Mindy did throughout. The C storyline felt a little flat and not even really resolved. Besides Morgan returning to more of his meddling role ways, we get this mini office rivalry, pinning Team Peter against Jeremy, who kind of says out loud what the audience should be thinking anyway – that everyone kinda hates him. He was the funniest he’s been in a while, mainly when Morgan finds Jeremy sadly playing the banjo in his office. Jeremy is lonely, and he’s lost all grip on his connections with the office since everyone is siding with Peter. We think at first Morgan is just extending the olive branch and being a friend by inviting Jeremy to dinner, and of course it turns out Morgan uses it as an intervention. But instead of guiding it, he leaves it alone to cater to Mindy texts, leaving Jeremy and Peter to throw water and fire at each other at the table. (I will say that fire effect was a little cheeseball, but maybe I just work too closely in post production to notice that stuff) Danny asking them to remain professional in the office to end the feud almost feels undeserved, and unrealistic. Even eyebrow-less Peter says that he’ll only let it go about Jeremy AT the office. It feels like a forced way to end this storyline to move onto something else, and I honestly don’t quite care how they move on for Jeremy at this point.
Overall, besides the Jeremy nonsense, this was a fun episode that dug deep.
And now, some odds and ends:
-Out of all Danny’s surprise gifts, the nose trimmer was definitely kind of the best thing. I love how crass and unabashed Mindy can be about her own body image and femininity.
-One of Mindy’s butt quips: “My office only has one entrance, and I don’t think that’s enough for you”
-Mindy walking out backwards from the opthalmologist office: “I don’t want to give you any ideas!”
-Speaking of the opthalmologist, I wish we knew about Colin sooner! And I hope he comes back. And I loved that he guilts Mindy and Danny about his two-year-old’s birthday, and Mindy chiding Danny about it.
-Tamra talking about how everyone in the office is on Peter’s side: “I’m hashtag-Team-Peter!”
-Mindy about Peter: “You’re my most perverted friend.”
-Peter about his eyebrow hairs: “You burned the only straight hairs on my body!”
Till next time!