Chris Messina, Mindy Kaling
Will they or won't they? It's a question as old as TV and yet, one that never seems to get old. However, after The Mindy Project's first season finale on Tuesday, the question has quickly turned to: Should they or shouldn't they? After Mindy (Mindy Kaling) reneged on her decision to go to Haiti with boyfriend Casey (Anders Holm) and turned down his marriage proposal in one fell swoop — a true feat! — she shared an almost kiss with co-worker and friend Danny (Chris Messina) moments before telling him that she reconciled with her ex. However, instead of rooting for these two to smooch, we found ourselves in serious denial. But why? Here are 5 reasons:
1. Because all of Mindy's other boyfriends are so damn charming! It's a tough sell to convince viewers to want Danny and Mindy to be together when the show has done such an excellent job of introducing love interests for Mindy all season long. Pastor Casey has amassed a very devout legion of fans thanks to his fly Christian raps and undeniable chemistry with Mindy. Even Mindy's ex, Tom (Bill Hader) was lovable in last week's episode in all of his drunken, pierced pathetic-ness. At the beginning of the season, Mindy's first steady boyfriend Josh (Tommy Dewey) was so insanely likeable that the writers had to turn him into a cheater and a drug addict just to break them up. Why choose between the lobster and the steak when fans can continue getting doses of Danny at work and a nice mix of hilarious, cute boyfriends at home?
Fox fall schedule: New Tuesday comedy lineup; Bones (eventually) moving to Fridays
2. Because Mindy needs to tie up some other loose ends first. Speaking of likeable love interests, no one can top the disarming midwife Brendan. In someone else's hands, Brendan might come off like a heartless, cold, egotistical jerk, but Mark Duplass makes it nearly impossible to not root for Brendan despite the fact that he's Mindy's work rival, and also burned her pretty bad when they tried for a (not)friends-with-benefits type of arrangement. Brendan made it clear he had learned the error of his ways in the touching final scene from the "Mindy Birthday" episode when he gave her a cluster of stars. But since then — nada! The only sliver of hope us #TeamBrendan fans have is the fact that Mindy seemed so intent on shoving her new relationship with Casey in Brendan's face after the triathlon. Why would Mindy care so much about what Brendan thinks if there weren't still sparks there?
3. Because Mindy is too much of a mess for Danny. OK, OK, that sounds harsh. Let's preface that by saying that Mindy is wonderful and hilarious just the way she is. But for all of her professional success and her inner confidence, Mindy still has a lot of work to do before she's really ready to settle down. Case in point: The entire season finale in which she accidentally got Casey to propose to her, turned him down, got dumped (after she broke up with him last week, natch) only to cut her hair and falsely tell Casey she was pregnant to get his attention. But as fans, we have come to want more for the secretly sensitive tough guy from Staten Island who once got kicked out of a Bruce Springsteen show, but also spends major holidays alone in his office playing Billy Joel on his keyboard. Danny is best when paired with someone who is as equally, if not more, take charge than he is, like Mindy's BFF Alex (Kelen Coleman). Also, isn't it going to be like super awkward when when/if Mindy has to tell Alex that she's into Danny?! What about the girl code?!
Season MVPs: The year's best on TV
4. Because shouldn't a Mindy-Danny pairing have happened already? It took all of two seconds into The Mindy Project pilot before a clip from a beloved rom-com classic (When Harry Met Sally) popped up. Like Kaling herself, the show's heroine makes no secret of her lifelong love for the genre and her desire to fall similarly madly in love. So if Mindy is so high on love, wouldn't she have at least considered Danny before the show started? Sure, for a point, she was with Tom, and Danny was at one time married to Christina (Chloe Sevigny). However, it's hard to believe the thought never ever crossed Mindy's mind before or that something never happened.
5. Because they feel like brother and sister! This is a very hard point to argue and also one that will surely get the most angry comments. While lots of fans may feel the intense love sparks between Mindy and Danny, we just don't. Every time they've had a "moment" in recent episodes, whether it was the plane turbulence-induced hand-holding or the kind of, almost kiss at the end of the season finale, it just felt icky! The way Danny always gives Mindy a hard time for her bad life choices is more reminiscent of a big brother than of a boy pulling on the pigtails of the girl he likes.
Fall TV Scorecard: Which shows are returning? Which aren't?
However, this last point may work greatly to the show's advantage in the long haul. While other will-they-or-won't-they couples in recent TV history (The Office's Jim and Pam, Parks and Rec's Leslie and Ben and most recently Jess and Nick on New Girl) have had such an undeniable connection that the writers could only justify keeping them apart for a season or three at most, it seems completely plausible, and possibly wonderful, that it will take Mindy and Danny a good seven or eight seasons before the timing is right for them to be together. Thanks to Danny's ex-wife and Mindy simply being Mindy, these two have a long way to go before they could realistically pair up for the long haul. No matter what happens, we just want Mindy to get her rom-com-esque happy ending. Just not too quickly. Their courtship is definitely a work in progress.
The Mindy Project returns in the fall on Fox. Do you think Mindy and Danny should get together next season? Which one of Mindy's love interests has been your favorite?