The Mindy Project Season 1 Review “Harry & Sally”

On this week’s “The Mindy Project,” as predicted, Mindy is shown to have gone through with the Brendan booty call…and is clearly having a little buyer’s remorse, though not at first. Managing to convince herself that all is well, she heads to a colleague’s party, hoping to score with some random single men.

She has a meet-cute with former “Office”-cohort, BJ Novak, who also co-wrote the episode with Kaling. Novak plays Jamie, a Latin teacher. Mindy wastes no time with the barbs.

Mindy: “I guess it’s hard to sell kids on learning a dead language.”
Jamie: “Oh, we don’t like to use the term ‘dead.’ We try to go with ‘pointless’ or ‘waste of time,’ ‘useless’…

Alas, Jamie has a gal pal already, and the two are awfully snuggly, though he insists it’s solely plutonic…meanwhile, she’s firmly planted in his lap half the night. And no offense to Mindy, but if the girl sitting in your lap is freaking Eva Amurri Martino, of “Californication”-fame and celeb-spawn of Susan Sarandon…well, let’s just say the phrase “check, please” come to mind. If he hasn’t made a move on that girl, he must be gay, or in heavy, heavy denial. I give you “exhibit A” if it please the court. See what I mean? Okay, one more.

Naturally, the office calls BS on this development, labeling them the titular couple, “Harry and Sally.”

Danny: “He’s Billy Crystal, she’s Meg Ryan!”
Mindy: “Well, then who am I?”
Jeremy: “Bruno Kirby.”
Mindy: “I’m not even Carrie Fisher?”
Danny: “Nope. You’re the lady who says “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Mindy: “I’m Rob Reiner’s mother?”

Well played, “Mindy Project.” Not entirely sold, Mindy goes on a date with Jamie, and they are back in the zone. Still, Mindy is hesitant, cautious, for obvious reasons.

Mindy: “I don’t want to be that, like, rando that Gerard Butler wastes his time with before he realizes he’s really in love with Kate Beckinsale.”
Jamie: “Wait, what movie was that?”
Mindy: “Oh, it’s not a movie. I just think they’d have great chemistry together.”
Jamie: “Yeah, they would, because they could both do action, too.”
Mindy: “Well, duh.” (I’m not exactly Mr. Rom-Com…even that term annoys me…but she might just be onto something there.)

Meanwhile, on the set of another real-life romantic comedy is Danny, who gets unceremoniously dumped by “Eye-patch,” who can see clearly now the patch is gone. He handles it a little too nonchalantly for his own good before realizing all too late that he was dating the hot girl from “Girls” who plays, like, a girl or something- possibly Brian Williams’ daughter, if I’m not mistaken. Aren’t all the “Girls” someone famous’ daughter? I think that lead chick is, like, Tina Fey’s cousin or something. (I kid. “Girls” is obviously crazy-awesome.)

Anyway, Danny recognizes the need for a grand dramatic romantic gesture, so he pulls a page from the guy-friendly “Say Anything” and decides to serenade her with…Korn? (Hey, it could have just as easily been Fishbone.) Turns out she actually loves the decidedly more girl-friendly- and animal-friendly, one would think- “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia. (And the most random pop culture reference award goes to…) He should have gone with this one instead.

So, Eye-patch is history, it seems, though you can’t blame a guy for trying. They only love you when they’re down and out, *big sigh*. Really, though I’m surprised these two ever hooked up in the first place. I think she was in it for the medical advice, personally, and who can blame her with the Obamacare and the whatnot and the amIright?

I think they should hook Danny up with an older love interest, someone a bit quirky, like Vera Farmiga (I think she’s got a gig right now, alas) or maybe Jill Hennessey or hey, I hear that Tina Fey’s free for the moment. What do you think? Who should be Danny’s love connection?

It certainly isn’t looking good for Mindy, who after getting miffed with Jamie when his non-GF GF sends them wine at dinner and they get to chatting on the phone, leaving her not too amused. So, it’s off to the movies for Mindy and pal Maggie, who run into Brendan, who’s with an exotic, minimal English-speaking hottie. Though their relationship was supposed to be casual, Mindy flips, taking him to task and giving the usher a what-for when he tries to confisticate their 3D glasses.

Brendan: “He’s just trying to do his job.”
Mindy: “Oh, I’m sorry, patron saint of movie ushers and hot refugee women.”

Clearly, that relationship is going nowhere, but Maggie does her best to talk Mindy down from off the cliff, by pointing out the obvious.

Maggie: “Hey, whatever happened with that guy you were hooking up with without any feelings or emotions?”
Mindy: “No, no. That was the guy.”
Maggie: “I know, you dummy!”

Realizing she’s not exactly f*buddy material, she decides to give it one last shot with Jamie, against her better judgment. Looking pretty adorable in a fedora and armed with a whip, she busts into his classroom and starts trying to smack some sense into him, all too literally. Some of the students are alarmed and threaten to inform the school security.

Mindy: “What are you going to say? That there’s a sexy Indian woman with a whip and a hat? He’d be like, yeah, that sounds like paradise.”

Mindy-ana Jones earns herself a second date, and she tells Jamie she’ll “see you in the Temple of Doom. That’s what I call my apartment.” LOL.

Some good jokes throughout, if a bit scattered. I liked Maggie and some of her wheelchair-assisted physical comedy was pretty amusing. My favorite thing, though, was probably Morgan’s wingman assists. The Indian Jones- Nazi-themed one was a funny one to go out on, but the best was undeniably the scenes with the animals.

Morgan: “How much for the sea dog?”
Jillian: “Sea lion.”
Morgan: “How much for the flightless bird?”
Jillian: “Step away from the penguin.” (Speaking of a nice one to go out on…Allison Williams, you will be missed. We hardly knew ye.)

I also liked the bit at the beginning with Danny addressing the party.

Danny: “I want to go, but it’s really annoying to me because I gotta put on pants, and a t-shirt, and shoes.”
Jeremy: “You’re describing getting dressed.”

A pretty solid episode, all around. It’ll be fun seeing how this whole thing with Jamie plays out. What do you think? Doomed? Is Mindy a goner, sexy whip moves be damned? I loves me some Mindy, but that’s a tough call. I don’t know how many men would pass up a lap full of Amurri. But who knows? Mindy writes the show, after all. Why not reign supreme over a hottie because, I don’t know, she can? Ah, the power of running your own show. Although if I were in her shoes, I’d probably do the Tina thing and line up as many hotties of my own as I could. Single life 4-evah! Hey, turnabout’s fair play, after all.

About The Author

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. His impossible dream is that "Twin Peaks" will one day be resurrected and pick up where it left off. Until then, he drowns his woes in anything remotely similar, from "Buffy" to "Lost" to "Pretty Little Liars." This has not always been a good thing-cough, "Ringer", cough- but now at least it can help pay the bills.