The Mindy Project Season 1 Review “Mindy’s Birthday”

So, as you know by virtue of reading this, if you didn’t know it already, “The Mindy Project” was able to get a reprieve and was picked up for a full season by FOX. Whether this is by simple default because FOX needed to plug a hole after the more successful “New Girl,” or because Kaling had just enough fans at the network to pull it off in the short-term is open to debate, but regardless, the show is back for another round of episodes, and that is good news for us fans.

For her first episode back, entitled “Mindy’s Birthday,” Mindy got a most unwelcome surprise when the gang and a few select others got together to throw her a party. It wouldn’t have been so bad if their gifts weren’t so condescending and reinforced her single status a bit too much for her liking, but there it was. I thought the cookbook was good for a laugh (Danny: “That’s perfect for you! You have no idea how to cook and you’re single!”), and especially amusing was the Chris Evans “body pillow.” (I got a kick out of one of Mindy’s male friends snuggling up to it later at the hospital.)

They also got her an elliptical machine, which Mindy deemed as “kind of a lecture in the form of a gift, if you ask me.” Ticked off by the back-handed gift selection, Mindy bolted from the restaurant to seek solace elsewhere. In a local restaurant, she ran into a sympathetic group of friends who were also celebrating a birthday and invited her over to hang. Mindy was over the moon, noting the birthday girl’s pageant-esque attire: “This is the best group of friends ever. You wear cool sashes so people know what’s up. I mean, you look like a sexy mayor.”

She also runs into former employee Beverly, who is working as a busboy in said restaurant, and waves off the birthday revelers when they turn on Mindy. Says she, upon recognizing Mindy: “Well, look what the cat threw up.” Beverly was sort of the MVP of the night, getting the best lines of the night on the whole.

I also liked her take on Mindy’s frame: “Don’t listen to them, you’re fine just the way you are- built real sturdy for sex.” Says Mindy, clearly flattered: “Thank you! I never fall off of the bed.” She offers Bev a new position at the office, this one with better pay. Beverly reluctantly takes it, lamenting that she’ll “miss the guys in the kitchen- but not the knife fights.”

Meanwhile, the gang is out looking for Mindy, while Danny and Jeremy are also doing their best to seduce Mindy’s pal, Alex. At one point, in full competition mode, Danny falls into an open manhole, and lands himself in the hospital, which ultimately gets him an in with Alex. Lucky guy- she’s a cutie.

As soon as Mindy finds out, she off and running to the hospital, trying her best to soothe Dr. Danny, though Morgan has fibbed a bit about the level of issues Danny was having, leading Mindy to promise some wacky things: “If they tell you that you can’t have children because your penis doesn’t work anymore, I will get you a sex surrogate or something that can bring your loins back to life.” LOL.

I thought her ex Brendan’s gift was super sweet- he named a real constellation after the fake one Mindy made up, and presented her with a picture of it. She was clearly touched by the selfless gesture, especially given his typically self-absorbed ways. Might they be headed for a reconciliation? I also loved her initial reaction to what she thought the gift would be: “What is this? Some sort of donation in my name so that Guantanamo inmates can have soccer balls or something?” Brendan shot back: “No, although the limit on those guys’ leisure time is a shock to the conscience.”

All in all, a decent episode, though nowhere near the best this show is capable of. It was nice to see Mindy’s brother again, and those gifts were a hoot. What did you think of “The Mindy Project”? Glad to have it back, or surprised it came back at all? Do you think the chances of it getting a second season are good or a pipe dream at best? Let me know what you think in the comments!