Let me start by saying that I love Mindy Kaling. I watched the Office, I’ve read her books and I’m one of the millions (I assume it’s in the millions now) that feel we’d be the best of friends. While I don’t share her fashion sense, I’d like to learn and I’d make up for it in sarcastic wit. I also love the Mindy Project. From the first episode I just felt like finally, this was the kind of comedy I’d been waiting for.
Yes, there has been a high turnover in the casting department, particularly in the early seasons. From Dr. Shulman, best friend Gwen, best friend Alex, Shauna, Betsy, Beverly (the first time) but all of those things can be overlooked because that’s the natural progression of television. Actors come and go onto other projects and often before it found a home at Hulu the Mindy Project was constantly on the bubble at NBC.
But I can’t help but feel frustrated with the direction of season 5. It’s not because I blindly believe Mindy and Danny belong together forever. While I admit I’d hoped things would steer that way, I found the episodes surrounding their break up so well written and true to life that I couldn’t even be mad they were breaking up. People often want different things, have different expectations and may have had a child together before those things are realized. But what gets me is what they’ve done to Danny’s character.
Now, I understand that Chris Messina has a film career and schedules are what they are. Combined with the fact that Mindy makes many episodes, it is a big time commitment. So maybe Danny can’t be included in every episode. But we’ve invested in Danny. His mother, her crazy friend Dot, his brother – all these characters that have been built around Danny and who he is are a part of the show, and this season we lost all of that. Even if he was in less episodes or off somewhere, did they have to make him such an asshole? Yes, he needs to be heavy handed with the criticism so we see clearly why things with Mindy don’t work, but he just cheated on his fiancée with Mindy. Meanwhile in the early days of the show he was wrecked after his ex-wife had been unfaithful to him. It just seemed so unnecessarily gross and out of character.
What happened to the guy who learned the Aaliyah choreography as her Christmas gift or knows how to make a killer gingerbread house? I don’t want to hate him and I feel like the show is giving us no choice in the matter. Danny is better than how they’ve depicted him this season. Never mind the whole issue of Jody, why do the men that love Mindy seem to hate her first! Where’s the guy that is just excited to be with her? Not that I’m still carrying a torch for Casey. But seriously, I loved that guy. They even managed to make me not like him this season. Where are all the likeable men? Is Peter all we have left? And Morgan, I guess. I’m just a little reticent about season 6. I know Chris Messina isn’t a series regular next season, but let’s bring Danny to a less hate- able place.