For those new to The Mindy Project season one premiered last year in the UK on E4, a US comedy series about a doctor called Mindy (played and written by Mindy Kaling) and her hilarious struggles with her love life. In the series we see her go through many love interests, the series ending with her agreeing to work in Haiti with new boyfriend Casey (a Minister she met in the last series, played by Anders Holm) despite rejecting his marriage proposal. The series concluded with a surprisingly gripping scene considering it was only based around fellow doctor Danny putting Mindy’s glasses back on.
The new series kick-started on Tuesday, with Mindy and Casey in Haiti, with (as usual) main character Mindy’s voiceover providing some general context on what viewers may have missed. The voiceover itself can be seen one of the reasons we fell in love with Mindy’s character in the last series, so it was a wise decision made by the producers to keep it for season two. The recap explains how in Mindy’s absence, she has been writing to fellow doctor Danny (played by Chris Messina) every week and a new doctor has taken her place in the practice. Within the first two minutes of the episode the successful romance of Casey and Mindy is thrown at us with an impromptu proposal. The couple now set to marry. Whilst off celebrating; Mindy falls ill and is rushed back to New York for gall bladder surgery.
Even in the first few minutes we are witness to the show’s sometimes ridiculous comedy lines, Casey in particular having a unique way with words. One main theme of the series’ comedy is the hilarious “accidental” insults fired in Mindy’s direction. Although not all of us are doctors travelling to Haiti, Mindy’s character remains incredibly easy to relate to. Gorgeous but unglamorous, intelligent but embarrassing, and wonderfully honest.
We are then reintroduced to Danny Castellano, who in contrast is bitter, cynical and at times socially awkward. He is in sex therapy with girlfriend Christina (played by Chloe Sevigny) who is joined by a familiar face who has now jumped on The Mindy Project bandwagon, James Franco. Franco we meet playing a somewhat bizarre character, in one of the scenes he begins showing an animated picture of his sperm. His role as Doctor Paul Leotard certainly brings a new dynamic to the show.
We are still however drawn to the plot line that caught our interest last series: Danny and Mindy’s relationship. Instantly on hearing Mindy is in hospital, Danny runs to her aid instantly accusing her of doing something stupid in Haiti. Danny’s complete desperation to see her reminds us of his possible feelings and again his complete denial of accepting them.
Although most of the show is focused around Mindy, we do see a glimpse into the relationship of Christina and Danny, in particular her anger and desperation to improve their sex life. Their plot however does appear a little weak and over emphasised, in particular a scene where Christina snaps Danny’s laptop in half after catching him watching porn. Though this is familiar of the Mindy Project. Danny’s panicked response is that he must marry Christina, to Mindy’s emphasized disapproval. All hope for the pair is not lost however. In the final scene of Mindy and Casey’s wedding, we are confronted with a scene mirroring the last series, where Mindy and Danny are talking alone away from the party. It provides a tiny ray of hope for this relationship we all long for. Mindy does though still return to marry Casey, though her beau calls it off last minute in order to give Mindy the wedding she really wants, instead of the rushed one in her living room. We are left with Casey returning to Haiti and Mindy staying at the practice to raise money for a wedding though of course her position has been filled at the surgery.
The first episode therefore certainly provides some new dilemmas to ensure we keep watching. How is Danny going to cope with Mindy back and Casey nowhere around? And how will there be place for Mindy in the surgery when Paul Leotard has pretty much filled her position?
With the perfect level of drama and comedy, the new series appears not to disappoint so far. A personal highlight to the season’s first episode however stemmed from the surgery’s nurse Tamara when first seeing Mindy: ‘we don’t want no candy bars little boy.’ Dialogue like this is just a clip from a large sample.
However the show is definitely a ‘marmite’ subject. The series tends to run like an extended funnier chick-flick, not to everyone’s tastes. In particular if starting to watch the show from scratch it takes some time to get into, but once you’re in, you’re desperate to see how the story will pan out. If you are looking for a chilled easy but funny watch, The Mindy Project is a worthy investment.
The Mindy Project is broadcast on E4 Tuesday’s at 9.30pm.
6/10 – familiar of the Mindy Project style and sets up the new season well but so far nothing too shocking