The Mindy Project's Back with More Romance, Crises (and Bill Hader!)
Mindy Kaling and Ike Barinholtz
The Mindy Project is back (finally!). Series writer Ike Barinholtz, who also plays Morgan on the Fox sitcom, spoke to TVGuide.com about why viewers need to tune in Tuesday, Mindy's busy love life and what's up with Danny's (amazing) dance moves!
After a three-week hiatus, the freshman comedy returns Tuesday at 9:30/8:30c with an all-new Halloween episode. Sadly, the show will once again be pre-empted next week due to the presidential election, a move Barinholtz calls a mistake. "I mean, think about it," Barinholtz tells TVGuide.com. "Every other station has the election results and we have The Mindy Project. We'd have a niche!"
Unfortunately, the people at Fox didn't agree with Barinholtz' iron-clad reasoning. In the meantime, we'll have to settle for Tuesday's "Halloween," which finds Mindy (Mindy Kaling) thrown into crisis mode after running into her ex (played by Bill Hader).
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"[Bill Hader] comes on and he was so, so funny," Barinholtz says. "And they have this interaction and it's like everything's great, but then, without spoiling things, he has moved on in many ways and she can't deal with this."
To make matters worse, Mindy not only has to deal with her past boyfriend, but her current one as well (oh, first world problems). Wait, Mindy actually has a boyfriend? That's right! The episode will re-introduce the sports agent Josh (Tommy Dewey) who she met at the club and pose a dilemma for Mindy when she can't decide whether or not to go to an ESPN Halloween party with him.
But while the rest of the office attempts to help Mindy with her meltdown, Jeremy (Ed Weeks) and Danny (Chris Messina) are dealing with a crisis of their own. Both doctors spend the spooky holiday stuck at the DMV trying to get their driver's licenses. (And apparently, nothing brings two guys together like being miserable in a government office!)
This new friendship could affect potential romances with Mindy as the show goes on, considering that Jeremy is Mindy's former hookup, while Danny is the obvious Ross to her Rachel.
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When it comes to Jeremy, Barinholtz notes, "That temptation is always there. Once there's someone that you had a physical relationship with, it's very difficult for that to completely evaporate." And though Jeremy is smolderingly handsome, we've already decided to throw all our hopes towards a potential Mindy-Danny romance—and we aren't the only ones! Barinholtz describes Danny's relationship with Mindy as "more, long term, slow burn style," before adding, "I still always, in my mind, think that they should end up together."
Besides, how could Mindy resist Danny's awesome dance skills that he showed off recently at the club? "Oh god, how good was he?" Barinholtz exclaimed. "It was so weird. We couldn't believe it." Apparently, those moves were pure Messina. "He's always talking about this dance contest he won in Long Island, but we used to thinking he was bullsh---ing. Then when we got to the club he's this amazing dancer." Barinholtz promises Danny will be kicking off his Sunday shoes again later this season.
But before Mindy and Danny can work up to their first dance or kiss (we'd even settle for a loaded and lingering look), the show still has to contend with Josh. Mindy's new boyfriend will be around for a while and has major potential to polarize fans. "One thing we like about their relationship is that she's constantly talking about 'Hey, look at my super cute, blond-haired boyfriend. Isn't it crazy we're dating?'" Barinholtz explains. But while Mindy might have hit the jackpot with Josh's good looks, he isn't quite her Prince Charming. "He really knows how to walk the line between 'What a handsome gentleman' and 'What a jerk,'" Barinholtz says.
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The actor also promises more cheeky nods towards romantic comedies in The Mindy Project's future. "I think we're always kind of looking for those kind of classic rom-com takes to skewer and poke fun at a little bit." Some potential nods will include a When Harry Met Sally tribute and a cameo by the Empire State building (a true rom-com staple).
But just because The Mindy Project enjoys a satirical take on iconic films, don't expect it to completely abandon the real world. "There is that cinematic winking take at the romantic comedy that we do have, so in those scenes that are from Mindy's POV we try to make them as fun and light as possible, but at the same time treating everything like real stakes," Barinholtz explains. "It's like at no point is she going to walk up to [Avengers star] Chris Evans and grab him and they're going to start making out. Our take on it would be she sees Chris Evans at a restaurant, walks up and tries to kiss him and before you know it, she's being led away by security."
Are you excited The Mindy Project is back on-air?
The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c.