The Mindy Project 4×23 ‘There’s No Crying in Softball’: Time to get meta

Mindy Drew

Last week in my review I talked about my frustration with Mindy’s revolving door of boyfriends in season 4B. While normally the show produces funny, charismatic short-term boyfriends for Mindy who contribute to the plot (Josh, Casey, and Cliff, for example), this season’s boyfriends left too quickly to actually have much of a personality. It seems like the writers have picked up on that too, as this episode was all about refocusing the practice (and show) after Danny’s departure.

The comparison of Danny leaving the practice and Chris Messina not appearing on the show as often is pretty blunt, but it works. It’s nice to see the writers admit that Mindy’s dating life post-Danny hasn’t been great. It’s equally nice that they bring up the idea that she could have a relationship that lasts longer than two episodes. From the hints they were dropping, Drew seems like he’ll be staying around for a few more episodes at least, something I’m happy about. The character works well with Mindy: he’s mature enough to fit with her new responsibilities (he gets excited about getting to meet Leo) and his laidback manner fits in well with her more frantic one. It makes sense that this is the boyfriend that Mindy (and the writers) want to have stick around.

Source: Hulu

Source: Hulu

However, this episode wasn’t just about Mindy learning to try for a more lasting relationship again, it was about her facing up to the idea of moving on from Danny professionally. Not only is Mindy Lahiri trying to move on from Danny’s reputation at Shulman’s, but Mindy Kaling and the writers are trying to move on from Chris Messina. When Jeremy points out that the patients are noticing “a lack of stability”, he’s also talking about the audience. Mindy and Danny were the show’s beating heart, and without Danny the show’s spun off its axis a bit. The main focus of the show used to be their romance, and without it, the show’s center is gone.

However, this episode reminds us that Mindy is still here, and this is still her story. Even when Danny was on the show, The Mindy Project was about Mindy, her adventures, and her personal growth. She’s not about to just fold up shop when Danny leaves. She’s going to keep journeying on and to find her stability again. She’ll do it with humor, heart, and “a handful of colorful characters of varying usefulness”.

Notes and Observations

  • So apparently Mindy’s romance with the bartender from ‘Mindy Lahiri is DTF’ blew up pretty badly, and I really want to hear the story behind that one.
  • Jody always makes sure to come to Colette’s sports games and I think that’s pretty adorable.
  • Morgan never plans on having dinner, and a bowl of nuts is his meal for a month. Can someone please help this man?!
  • I’ve missed Ethan and Duncan. Their best moments in the ep.: Brendan’s insane competiveness and Tamra teaching Duncan how to dance.
  • Additionally, I loved Brendan’s description of Drew: “Who is this handsome person with leadership skills?”

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