The Mindy Project Season 1 Review “Harry & Mindy”

Kind of a sequel to last week’s romantic comedy tribute, this week’s “The Mindy Project” picked up where “Harry & Sally” left off in exchange for “Harry & Mindy.” But was Mindy capable of filling those shoes? Under normal circumstances, I’d say absolutely, but with Jamie and Lucy’s bond being as inseparable as it is, and Lucy being Eva Amurri Martino and all, yeah, forecast for Mindy…not so good. Hey, at least they confined it to a relatively stealthy two-episode arc.

You can tell Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak are friends in real life, and co-writers as well- their dialogue rings true: they’re the real-life Jamie and Lucy here. But this is TV and we can’t pair off the lead this early on in the game, so we got a nice, concise little relationship that was fun to see even if we knew it would be short-lived. These two just work well together, and you can’t fake chemistry like that.

Although, maybe Novak was like “Hook a brother up with a fly honey to make out with on your show” and Mindy was like, “I can do that” and we have what we have here. If so, well-played, Novak. Well-played, indeed.

Things were foreboding from the jump, with Mindy hilariously being mistaken for a potential terrorist when she’s only a girl standing in a place hoping for a guy to love her. Not that Mindy had a clue her behavior was suspicious. I mean why would anyone find someone showing up around the same time every day and staking out the joint for a guy they didn’t know suspicious?

Captain of security at the Empire State Building (Common!): “We’re gonna need Miller from Homeland Security.”
Mindy: “Homeland Security? That’s a cool show!”

Though they never really showed how Mindy got out of that bind, apparently she not only did, but everything was still okay enough for her to return there later in the show! I thought for sure someone was going to bust out and arrest her again. But we did get to see Novak take a pretty credible pratfall, if that was him and it appeared to be.

Having a tough time as well was Danny, who started out the day passed out drunk on the floor of his own office in his underwear. Mindy is not happy.

Mindy: “When I lay on the floor, it is adorable and it is tragic. When you lay on the floor, you look like an upside-down ladybug.”

Mindy later goes to an art museum with Jamie, where he gets a sticker for whatever reason.

Mindy: “Your sticker is coming off.”
Jamie: “Actually, leave it. I like people to know that I had a more cultural day than they did.”
Mindy: “It’s like the artsier version of ‘I voted.’

Meanwhile, Jeremy is helping the clueless Morgan score a date with a girl who works in the mortuary. Morgan ends up getting more than he bargained for when they hook up in a mop closet! Mindy also gets in on the matchmaking and decides to fix Danny up with Lucy in a diabolical plot to get Lucy paired off so that Jamie will focus on her. Danny shows up early at Mindy’s place, which she isn’t happy about.

Mindy: “You’re ten minutes early, Danny, which is worse than two hours late. Those last ten minutes? That’s when I go from ‘whoa’ to ‘damn’!”

Off to the restaurant they go, where Lucy informs them if her intention to get a tattoo somewhere ‘special.’ Jamie warns her about the ‘what’ of the tattoo.

Jamie: “Is your grandson going to understand why you have a Radiohead lyric under your belly button? I can’t understand Radiohead now.”

Much to Jamie’s shock, Lucy and Danny hit it off and he’s clearly jealous about it. Mindy calls him on it.

Jamie: “I’m not jealous of a guy who wears boot-cut jeans, alright?” He goes on: “Lucy is like my best friend, and if I love her, it’s the same way I would love a sister.”
Mindy: “Uh, I have a brother, and if Rishi looked at me that way, I would have to talk to my dad.”

Of course, Mindy’s right on the money- these two are clearly meant to be together, and Jamie finally admits it after Mindy relentlessly grills him when they’re back at the Empire State. This leads to a shiny, happy Jamie, who’s possessed by the glories of a love realized.

Mindy: “Can we just walk and maybe not dance and stuff?”

Even though it was completely her doing that led to her relationship’s undoing, Mindy is still none too happy to be proven right. She has a revelation, rom-com style.

Mindy: “I’m like the Joan Cusack character in the romantic movie of your life!”

Of course, in a rom-com, there are always obstacles. In this case, it’s Danny, who is currently macking on his Lucy. They catch him in the act, and neither Mindy nor Jamie is thrilled.

Danny: “I left my gloves at your place. I just came here to pick them up.”
Mindy: “Did you think you would find them inside of her mouth?”

Of course, in true rom-com style, Jamie finally professes his Harry-like love to his Sally-like Lucy and the two go right into make-out time, while Mindy and Danny, clearly not wanted, go up to Mindy’s, with Mindy griping afterwards.

Mindy: “Danny, I was this close to spending Valentine’s Day in the Empire State Building. To put it into your terms, that’s like losing your virginity in Yankee Stadium.”

Danny sweetly reassures her, if in his own inimitably oddball way.

Danny: “The most romantic place in the world, you don’t know it’s gonna be romantic ahead of time. For you, it could be anywhere…like a barbershop. An ATM shelter. H&R Block?”

Though I’m guessing it won’t be any of above, I think he’s right. You never know when and where your life is going to change. Love always strikes when you least expect it…and sometimes where you least expect it, unless you’re Jamie and Lucy, I guess. Might that be in the cards eventually for Mindy and Danny? We shall see…

Pretty decent wrap-up to the story arc begun last week. It was fun seeing Kaling subvert certain romantic comedy tropes and put her own spin on it, while making sure her main leads mostly ended up miserable, save maybe Morgan. The opening bit at the Empire State Building was priceless, and it was fun seeing Danny hit rock bottom- in the office, no less. I think it’s safe to say we all knew Jamie & Lucy were going to end up together, but it was still fun seeing it play out. I will miss the natural rapport Kaling and Novak have together, though.

What did you think of “The Mindy Project” this week? Sad to see Mindy get unceremoniously dumped? Or was it inevitable? Do you think she and Danny will eventually end up together? Did you get a kick out of the rom-com references? Let me know in the comments!