‘The Mindy Project’ is doing something fascinating

mindy 2007

When The Mindy Project first aired in 2012, I was charmed by its commitment to being like a romantic comedy, complete with the sweet tropes and cliches that are inherent in the genre. The show, of course, convinced me that Mindy would get her happy ending, and she did…for a while.

Spoiler alert: if you haven’t watched the mid-season finale of The Mindy Project, there will be spoilers below the jump!

Last week’s “When Mindy Met Danny” is an episode that defies all rom-com cliches. Ever wonder what really happens in “happily ever after”? It might be moving out of your fiance’s apartment and back into your own with your son because your fiance turned out to to be a controlling maniac instead of the lovable grouch you thought him to be. But I digress.

This season has been confusing me for a while now. Danny was absent from much of the season, tending to his estranged father across the country, while Mindy held it down at home as working mom with not one, but two full-time jobs. When Danny was around, however, he became obsessively fixated on one thing: Mindy being a stay-at-home mom. He wants Mindy to leave her job as an ob-gyn and abandon her fertility practice to take care of Leo full-time, and he also wants her to have more children almost immediately, something that Mindy doesn’t know that she wants. Danny resorts to reproductive coercion, tracking Mindy’s ovulation days and seducing her on these days with romantic carriage rides and wine-drenched dinners.

But the one thing Danny won’t do? Quit his job to do what he wants Mindy to do so badly. It’s a terrible situation to watch, especially because Mindy keeps wheedling her way out of having a serious conversation about her work and not wanting more kids, instead opting to secretly take the pill so she won’t become pregnant when she discovers Danny sneakily tracking her cycle. Guys, it was hard to watch, but the final straw was when Danny used his only leverage–their engagement and upcoming wedding–to manipulate Mindy into doing what he wanted. He called it all off, and she called him on his bluff.

The last scene shows Mindy in her old apartment that she hasn’t sold yet, with Sam Smith’s heartbreaking “Stay With Me” in the background. She’s measuring space in her closet for Leo’s crib, and yes, it fits. Then she does what we’d all do: she sits down and cries.

The episode was called “When Mindy Met Danny”, of course, because the entire show really is about them and their relationship, from start to (maybe) finish. Interspersed among the Mindy/Danny drama are scenes from Mindy’s first day at work, where it’s apparent that Danny has always had it out for Mindy. On her first day, he attempted to create a hostile environment so she’d leave. Danny has, after all this time, not changed a bit.

I’ve always rooted for Mindy and Danny. I love seeing them on TV together. Kaling and Messina have great chemistry, and show an interracial couple who are so different but totally crazy about one another. But these last three or four episodes have me wondering: have we been rooting for the wrong guy?!

I’m feeling pretty wrecked by the whole thing. What did you guys think of the mid-season finale?

mindy

 

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