The Mindy Project Season 1 Review “Teen Patient”

“Teen Patient,” this week’s episode of The Mindy Project, let Mindy get a little mixed up in her own version of a teen sex comedy courtesy of her young neighbor and patient, Sophia.

In the same way that pilot episode of The Mindy Project took a romantic comedy stereotype and twisted it around to fit into Mindy’s “real life,” this episode’s story was set up for a “teen-plus” Mindy version of a teen comedy. Sophia’s mother is out of the picture and although her father has helped raise her to become a compassionate, intelligent, and studious young teenager, he’s bad with the lady-talk. We’re led to believe that Mindy has known Sophia since she was a very small child, so as her doctor and family friend, Sophia turns to Mindy as her responsible adult.

Once Mindy gets to Sophia’s high school, the teen tropes continue to pile on as we meet Sophia’s schoolmates who seem to parody characters from Glee, only in a much more welcoming and socially conscious school environment. The kids were amusing and Mindy’s somewhat straight played frustration with the nonstop stream of annoying teens made for some hilarious moments and lines (I especially loved her struggles on the bean bag chair and her, “I’m an adult. Move. Move!” line.)

I appreciate that Mindy didn’t necessarily try to play it cool when it came to giving Sophia advice about sex and contraceptives. Because Mindy knew Sophia personally, she made the conversation about sex with Sophia personal. She was honest about her opinion about Sophia and Henry being too young for sex, but she never made it seem like what they were considering was shameful or that she was condemning them for wanting to move forward at 15. It was a nice balance for the topic and delivered with Mindy’s dramatic flare.

Meanwhile, the b-story sort of floundered about throughout the episode. It was as if the story was thrown in just to remind us that Mindy has coworkers at her office even when she’s not there. To be honest, I’m fine with The Mindy Project being a story about Mindy and the people in her life, even if the stories are not constantly set in a hospital or doctor’s office.

The set up of Danny having to awkwardly mediate between Morgan and Shauna got off to a really strong start with Morgan’s bizarre fixation on the office’s dog rescue policy and Shauna not being at all phased by Morgan’s staring. Unfortunately, Morgan and Shauna were quickly dropped from the story line and replaced by Betsy. Danny’s growing awkwardness over handling the HR crisis was good stuff, but the way Betsy confided in Danny was more weird than funny. I don’t mind Betsy as a side character with her occasional quirky commentary, but as was the case last week, she’s just not strong enough of a character to play a major part in a secondary story line.

Sophia’s desire to strike back at Mindy’s embarrassing inquisition didn’t exactly backfire on Mindy, but it opened new can of commitment worms between Josh and Mindy. Thankfully, the conflict was short-lived and patched up with a bouquet of fragrant travel deodorants and conversations about the “possibility of forever.”

I am so impressed by how Josh has developed in the little time we see him from episode to episode. His character surprises me at every turn and every stereotypical boyfriend pitfall I expect him to succumb to, he somehow avoids. I like that Mindy seems to expect him to fall into those romantic pitfalls as well, so she’s just as surprised when he admits that he’d like to have children, or that he could imagine his ashes being mixed with hers. The things he says in casual conversation make him sound like such a tool, but he’s honest and his actions consistently speak louder than his words in a positive way. I am really enjoying having to constantly adjust my expectations for what might become of Mindy and Josh and even if they don’t end up together forever, I would love to see Josh’s character stick around on The Mindy Project in some permanent way.