Review: ‘The Mindy Project’ – ‘Harry & Sally’

A quick review of last night’s “The Mindy Project” coming up just as soon as I drive a motorcycle through a flaming hoop…

“Harry & Sally” returned to the theme of modeling your life on romantic comedies, which was a huge part of the pilot but has been largely ignored since, while the show has been casting about looking for a clear direction. And this did feel like the most focused episode in a while, as both the Mindy and Danny stories concluded with grand gestures cribbed from the movies, executed clumsily – though Mindiana Jones is just charming enough to work for Jamie, while Danny fails at playing Lloyd Dobler for Eyepatch. (And I like that Morgan was the distracting sidekick in both scenarios.) I’m not sure there’s enough meat in the idea to make it the subject of an ongoing series, which is no doubt why the writers pushed away from it, but as the subject of an arc that puts BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling together on screen again? Why not?

I will say, though, that if I were Anna Camp and watching this episode, I’d be really ticked off that they writers gave Mindy a brand-new blonde best friend from college – even having the guys acknowledge that she has multiples – and then gave Mary Grill more comedy to play in this one episode than Camp got in all of her appearances. Maybe she can’t do all of that slapstick (and I enjoyed the matter-of-factness of Mindy helping Maggie down the steps of her apartment), but she can definitely play more than she was given. But I liked Grill, and I continue to like Mark Duplass as Brendan. At a certain point, though, they need to let the regular and recurring cast settle down a bit, decide who’s important, who’s not, and how every character should be defined.

What did everybody else think?