The Mindy Project: In the Club
Fox has enough faith in Mindy that they gave the show a full 22-episode order. While I will cop to a burgeoning girl crush on the titular star, I am still sort of on the fence as to the show’s ultimate promise, as this week’s episode left me with a similar feeling to last week’s – strong main storyline, side plots and supporting characters that are less entertaining.
This week’s episode revolves around a “work night out” at a club, after hottie receptionist Shauna grudgingly agrees to get the gang into a new hotspot after a liaison with the doorman. Mindy is shocked when curmudgeon Danny agrees to go (and even more shocked when she learns he is a great dancer, but more on that later.)
Mindy is anxious to meet a rich dude or an NBA player and dons her best red bandage dress and joins her co-workers for a glitzy night at a trendy club. We admire Mindy’s utter lack of self-consciousness as she brags about how black men love her, and our inclination to cringe at her politically incorrect borderline racist comments is overridden by our urge to laugh. Just as in the club she orders red wine with ice in the absence of sangria without an ounce of embarrassment, and her geeky smile isn’t diminished as she fails to make a love connection in her initial laps around the club, or even find a suitable hook-up partner. During this time Shauna reveals a crush on Danny who takes to the dance floor with multiple partners. “It’s like Hermione liking Voldemort,” muses Mindy.
The supporting characters provide less amusing moments as Jeremy hits on a bride-to-be during her bachelorette party, while Morgan inadvertently becomes a bathroom attendant which nets him a small fortune in tips (well, $37 to be exact, but he applies that to Betsy‘s bartab, but more on that later.)
Mindy is thrilled to be summoned to the VIP area which is rife with NBA stars, until she learns her ticket in is actually arrogant sports lawyer/Matt Damon clone Josh (Tommy Dewey.) Mindy is more interested Amare Stoudemire (until he steals her Pashmina scarf, but more on that later.) A hilarious conversation ensues in which the athletes compare favorite rom-coms and Mindy sees a different side of Josh after Baron Davis reveals that Josh introduced him to “Splash.” Just as an invitation to the after-party seems like the answer to Mindy’s dreams, she notices a very drunk Betsy is about to succumb to a slimy seducer which may or may not lead to her becoming a Ukranian sex slave.
Dumping Betsy off in Shauna’s lap, Mindy prepares to make a quick getaway until she notices Shauna is sad and distracted. Seeing Danny hit on a random club skank brings out jealousy in both of them, although Mindy does a better job of hiding it. She jokes to Shauna that Danny is probably into freaky stuff like biting and most likely cries during sex. Shauna assures Mindy she is fine, but just as she is about to leave with Josh and his stable of sports stars, Mindy has a change of heart and can’t abandon her friends. They settle up Betsy’s hefty bar tab before indulging in a good boogie on the dance floor.
A limo driver awaits them outside with a note from Josh saying she owes him dinner because he is returning Mindy’s Pashmina which he bought from Amare for $500. She witnesses Danny get in a cab with his conquest with mixed feelings. Morgan is thrilled when his co-workers make him an honorary member of the office girls’ club and manages to repress his creepy side in lieu of goofy pride.
This was a fun, yet uneven episode. It really succeeded in humanizing Danny, which is a big jump from where he was on my likeablility scale in week one. The show continues to develop the supporting characters but Jeremy and Betsy still feel like caricatures, and what’s the deal with continually wasted best friend Gwen who keeps getting these abrupt throwaway scenes? Ike Barinholz has yet to hit his stride but shows some promise, while Mindy capably manages to shoulder the brunt of the comedy and deserves kudos for the repeatedly well placed cameos.