Friday, February 8, 2013

The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project
Episode 14: Harry & Mindy
By: Carlos Uribe

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

Spoilers Ahoy?

It is entirely possible that I might stop watching the Mindy Project because of Morgan. That's not entirely true as this series has been plagued with so many problems that the level of quality that I want isn't there. Its just that if someone asked me the main reason on why I stopped watching this show then the answer would have to be Morgan. He's a side character I simply can't tolerate. It's true that most of the side characters on this show have one personality trait that defines them. Jeremy's entire character is based on ability to win women and the desire to keep the relationship casual. This basically limits the plots he's able to effectively be in but at least he can deliver an occasional line that gets a small chuckle. His plots might be dull but at least he doesn't make me want to leave the room. The same can be said for Betsy. I might not like her much but she doesn't make me want to switch the channel to see if something interesting is on. It's different with Morgan simply because he's not really a character. He's basically a joke machine. There are characters like this in a lot of comedies. The only they work is when the writing and performance is strong enough that it feels like a character is actually there. A perfect example for this is Tracy Jordan. 30 Rock excuses his behavior by making him a crazy movie star but Tracy largely started out as a one-dimensional joke machine and remained that way for most of the show. The show made it work because the jokes constantly landed and because Tracy Morgan made the character work. The writers of the Mindy Project keep forcing Morgan into the episodes and he's really started to drag down the show for me. I don't like him, he annoys me, and he's not funny in the least. He is basically the definition of a showkiller but the show is treating him like the breakout character. That he's only getting a more prominent role on the show makes me want to watch this show less and less.

For instance, take the sub-plot. Jeremy is going to be spending Valentine's Day at the hospital because he doesn't want to a girl to think he's taking their relationship seriously. When he notices Morgan trying to flirt with a mortician, Jeremy agrees to help him so that Morgan can go to the batting cages with her. Only Jeremy thinks it's a euphemism for sex so he helps Morgan have sex with the girl in the supply closet. It makes sense for Jeremy to think this because he likes to have casual sex with women and he believes it's perfect to skip all the boring parts. That doesn't work for Morgan as he wants the dull bits. Morgan is a romantic as he desires a serious relationship with someone. There is a huge difference between the two. Jeremy's character trait is established at this point while Morgan's aversion to causal sex has only been mentioned once. When Jeremy takes Morgan out to the batting cages, it's supposed to be a sweet scene where the two are bonding but it doesn't ever really work. Jeremy's character has yet to be fleshed out enough to really sell that he would care about Morgan and Morgan's character is too non-existent for the batting cages to really hold any real emotional meaning. The sub-plot was simply painful to get through. I'll admit I laughed when Morgan took out a barbie head out of his pocket simply because it was so unexpected. That's pretty much the only time but the rest of the sub-plot was an unfunny mess that simply dragged the entire episode down.

The main plot for the show isn't actually that bad. The idea is that Mindy is now dating Jamie but she doesn't like how close he is to his best friend, Lucy. When you're dating someone and you feel like a third wheel, it's a pretty good idea that it's not even worth giving the relationship a try. It doesn't help that the show never really gives the viewer a reason on what Mindy sees in Jamie. Mindy gets the brilliant idea that she'll try to set Danny and Lucy up. This would allow her to spend some alone time with Jamie and be happy. There's not very many places that the plot can go so it's no surprise when Danny and Lucy hit it off. Jamie gets jealous even if he doesn't realize it so he tries to make his date with Mindy work. That is until Mindy makes him realize that he's actually in love with Lucy. He rushes over to her and the two unite in a kiss. Danny is a bit perplexed as he had just been kissing her but it does lead to a nice scene where he tries to show Mindy that the best romantic spots aren't predefined by culture but by what's special to that person. Danny thinks the most romantic spot in the city is some terrible pizza place in the city because that's where he met his ex-wife. Mindy doesn't really get his message because she still expects her life to be like a romantic comedy. The idea that this show becomes a love letter and parody of romantic comedies is a bold one and it's largely working in the show's favor. The main plot is funny and the emotional conclusion actually feels earned based on what we know about the main characters.

When I finished watching the episode, I wasn't thinking about how much I enjoyed the main plot. I was thinking about how annoying Morgan is. The annoying and terrible part of the show is easily overshadowing the parts that I do like. I'm not going to give up on this show just yet because it's still trying to figure itself out but I'm finding my desire to watch this show continue to slip as the weeks go on. When it gets to the point where I'm dreading to watch this show then I'll stop covering this show. The scary thing? I'm pretty close to getting to the dread because Morgan keeps pushing me there. The Mindy Project might have a lot of flaws but it's biggest one is that Morgan is still on the show and he's getting a bigger role.

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