When Leo was born, I knew it was only a matter of time before Annette turned up this season. After all, nothing is more important to Annette Castellano than her family, and it would be impossible to keep her away from her first grandchild. It’s actually more surprising that she didn’t already try to nanny Leo even sooner.
The best part about “Mindy and Nanny” is that it’s entirely about Mindy and Annette. Danny is normally the mediating force between Mindy and Annette, and keeps their fights from getting too out of hand. Both women love Danny and want to make him happy, so they grudgingly put up with each other. But take away Danny from the equation, and you’ve got trouble. Luckily, The Mindy Project takes full advantage of that trouble, using Danny’s absence to explore Mindy and Annette’s relationship without him.
Even though Annette claims she doesn’t like Mindy, it’s obvious that’s a lie. Mindy is the only woman that Danny has dated that’s been able to verbally spar with Annette and still come out strong. Annette bickers with Mindy, but she enjoys having someone around that makes her son happy and isn’t intimated by her. She might put on a mean face when Mindy is around, but we’ve seen in pervious episodes that she approves of the relationship, and even takes Mindy’s side in certain situations. Deep down, Annette really does think of Mindy as family, which makes it all the more hurtful when Mindy tries to hire another nanny.
Let’s face it, the Castellanos are one overly dramatic family that hate talking about their feelings. That’s why it took so long for Mindy and Danny to become a couple (heck, if Danny hadn’t been a Castellano they probably would have been dating by the end of the first season). So instead of rationally talking to Mindy about how her feelings were hurt, Annette tries to take Mindy to court for slave labor. This, of course, makes Mindy furious, and leads to another Annette and Mindy fight. Mindy Kaling and Rhea Perlman are great together, showing the irritation and frustrating love they have for one another. There have been plenty of episodes with the same plot: Mindy and Annette don’t see eye to eye on things, one has their feelings hurt, and they finally realize they care about each other and apologize. But the actresses are so good that I could watch the same formula again and again.
In keeping with the “irritated caring” theme, this week’s subplot involved Jody attempting to expose Jeremy’s girlfriend as manipulating and coke addicted…by sleeping with her. While I’ll miss Cristin Milioti, I hope this puts an end to the “Jeremy’s a pushover” plot. I haven’t enjoyed the new direction Jeremy seems to be going this season, where he has critically low self-esteem and will do anything for someone to love him. Hopefully the writers will cut poor Jeremy and a break and give him a love interest who isn’t manipulating him (and hopefully Jody won’t sleep with them as well).
Notes and Observations
- It was great to see another member of Danny’s family: Don Castellano, semi-competent attorney.
- The root of Castellano family problems: “We didn’t have personal space!”
- Thanks to Annette’s return to the show, we also got to see Dot! I forgot how much I missed her – she’s Annette’s one woman cheerleader and all around awesome person.
- Mindy’s list of names for Annette: Grandmonster, Annette Notfunicello, and Annetti Spaghetti.
- Jody’s weird attempt at raising Jeremy’s self esteem: “You deserve someone who’s going to treat you right. And even if you don’t think you do, I know you do. And I’m gonna keep on sleeping with your girlfriends until you realize it.”
- I’m warming up to Jody as a character, but I still think using a baby as a human shield is a pretty low move. Then again, Mindy was also going to leave her baby alone in a closet, so I’m starting to think that everyone at Shulman and Associates is terrible with children.