Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project
Episode 4: Halloween
Episode 5: Danny Castellano is My Gynecologist
By: Carlos Uribe

The Mindy Project is about an OB/GYN named Mindy.

Spoilers Ahoy?


Halloween is an episode of the Mindy Project that largely concentrates on Mindy's personal life. She's currently dating a nerdy guy named Josh. He was introduced in the previous episode and it looks like Mindy is still with him. He asks her to go to a Halloween party with him but she isn't convinced. It makes sense because she's not entirely convinced that he's the right guy with her. Mindy wants to settle down and get married. This is a character who spent college watching romantic comedies and she very much wants to be in her own. She doesn't want to waste her time dating a guy that she doesn't see a future with. She's also worried that she won't be able to impress him and his social circle. Josh hangs out with atheletes and he wants to go with someone wearing a cool costume. At the end, she does end up going to the party with him. Dressed as Diane Chambers from Cheers, Mindy is able to impress him and this makes her happy. She's dating Josh but there's doubts that he's going to be long for her. It's hard to invest in a relationship when you know that the character isn't in the main credits. He's only going to be here as long as the show deems it necessary.

Let's break down the two reasons she's hesistant to go to the Halloween party with him. The first is because she doesn't know if she wants to be with him. When she describes him, it's pretty much as a dick. The reason she decides to go with him in the first place is because she runs into her ex-boyfriend and finds out that his wife is pregnant. The life of Tom has gone so perfectly and Mindy desperately wants that life so much that she's willing to force herself to give Josh a shot. The second one is revealed when Mindy has her friends try to come up with a cool costume. They aren't able to do that which makes her cancel the date. It isn't until she's later in her apartment that she isn't willing to just quit on him. She makes a costume herself and it manages to impress him. The two inner conflicts are related in this episode but the first is partly on why the relationship is doomed. It would be surprising if Mindy and Josh actually have a future together and this is going to be what comes between them. Mindy wants a family and she wants kid but she's losing time. This was an atypical Halloween epsiode because it didn't concentrate on the Holiday but merely took place within the same time frame.

The best part of Halloween is when it pairs up Jeremy and Danny for a great sub-plot where the two spend their holiday trying to get their driver's license. Jeremy manages to get his easily as he gets a decent score on his test and charms the driving tester into passing him. He gets his license without really trying. Compare this to Danny who spends the entire episode panicking about it. He manages to pass the written test but it's his fourth attempt. The first time he gets behind the wheel, he drives the car into some decorations. It's only because Jeremy lies for him that Danny gets a second shot. Danny is able to pass the test despire being a nervous wreck. Danny can now legally drive. This is good for Danny because having a license represented freedom for him. It was a funny sub-plot that's relatable to me. I'm a lot like Danny when it comes to getting a license. The only difference is that I've never thought of driving as a symbol for being independent. The conflict between the two is over the effort that the two have to put in for the same results which is a good way to use their different personality traits to generate tension.

Overall: Halloween was funny and it was a pretty good episode.

Danny Castellano is My Gynecologist:

Danny Castellano is My Gynecologist goes to my favorite part of the show and that's the scenes between Mindy and Danny. The two have great chemistry together and the show's humor really flourishes in their banter. The episode's premise is simple: Mindy needs a new gynceologist. This manages to lead to a situation where Danny claims that Mindy can't be his patient because she's attracted to him. She claims that he can't be her doctor because he has feelings with her. A competition over who can drive the first person away from the doctor-patient relationship begins. It's this entire idea that drives the conflict between the two of them. Mindy and Danny use this situation to stab at each other's problems. Mindy goes after Danny's divorvce while Danny goes after Mindy's insecurities in her life. They both cross the line at multiple times but it's enough for Mindy to prove that Danny has some connection with her.

So what do we learn about them in this episode? Danny reveals that his mom was a maid and he never knew his dad. He doesn't mind that this made his life difficult because it made him the person that he is. We knew he was divoced, but this episode helped to reveal his fear of being alone when he was running his fictional scenario for Mindy. We don't actually learn that much about Mindy. We know about her personal life and desires. That the banter doesn't reveal new information about Mindy feels like a wasted opportunity for the show. This is the perfect time for Danny to reveal new layers of the character but he doesn't. All this plot does is develop him some more when it should have been a two-way street.

The weakness of the episode is the Jeremy and Betsy plot. Jeremy wants his watch. The watch is currently at Mindy's apartment since he left it there when they last slept together in the pilot. She doesn't want to give it back to him because he was mean to her. This leads to a sub-plot where Jeremy decides that he'll get his watch back. He involves Morgan and Betsy in but Morgan quickly leaves when he realizes they aren't there to throw a surprise party. Betsy does help Jeremy find his watch but she's disappointed that he would stoop so low or something. I'm not entirely sure why Betsy is so against Jeremy having his watch back other than she was inadvertently tricked into breaking and entering. Jeremy decides that stealing his watch is wrong and leaves it in the apartment. I'm not sure what this sub-plot was about and it was just too silly to really work. It simply felt like this was another show at times.

Overall: Danny Castellano is My Gynecologist is a gunny episode that was made strong due to the banter between Danny and Mindy.

Other Notes:

Gwen continues to be forced into the series. I love the character but she seriously doesn't fit in the show. I'm not sure what she does, but maybe she could become the hospital's lawyer, which would at least allow her to be drawn into the world better?

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