The Mindy Project
Even the most die-hard Mindy Kaling fans had to acknowledge that The Mindy Project's first season had some flaws. And unfortunately, right when the show seemed to be finding its groove, the season was over. Now, The Mindy Project is back for Season 2 and poised to be the great comedy we always wanted it to be.
The first season of the The Mindy Project suffered from a severe lack of focus. Torn between being a workplace comedy and a meta rom-com, The Mindy Project was a little all over the place. Certain episodes featured so many disjointed story lines that it felt stitched together like a comedy Frankenstein. But even amid the confusion, the show always had enough great jokes — delivered by some of Hollywood's hottest actors — to keep me watching.
GIFS: How to find love, courtesy of The Mindy Project
Fortunately this season The Mindy Project seems to have found the perfect balance between Mindy's Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan delusions, her work as a successful OB/GYN and the show's insanely lovable supporting characters, including Mindy's possible OTP Danny (Chris Messina), her dopey friend Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) and her frazzled boss Jeremy (Ed Weeks) — who is being seriously underused, if you ask me.
Barinholtz, who also writes for the series, assured us that the show has returned with a much clearer vision. "Everyone we have now, we love and we know their strengths," he tells TVGuide.com. "Now that we've established who [Danny, Jeremy and Morgan are] and we're comfortable with who they are, it's just much easier and more fun to write towards that. It's more fun to act towards that and as a viewer, I think it's more fun to watch."
That being said, there are still a few things that make me nervous for Mindy's future. Before the second season even premiered, the show had already announced seven new guest stars — James Franco, Adam Pally, Glenn Howerton, Timothy Olyphant, Kris Humphries, Alan Dale and Ben Feldman — in addition to more appearances from Mark and Jay Duplass,Anders Holm, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper and Chloe Sevigny.
And while Seth Rogen, B.J. Novak, Tommy Dewey and seemingly every other available Hollywood eye candy were all fabulous as various suitors of Mindy last season, it might be nice to put Mindy's love life on pause. At least for a little bit. The rotating boyfriend-of-the-week format can get a little overwhelming at times when combined with the already eclectic ensemble. And after the multiple cast shakeups the series endured last season, it might be smart to let us get to know the core cast before introducing so many new faces.
Take Tamara, for instance. The series regular, played by Xosha Roquemore, was added at the very tail end of Season 1, but amid the drama of Morgan being fired, Casey moving to Haiti and the dizzying Mindy-Danny chemistry, the singing nurse was easily forgotten. The same goes for Beverly (Beth Grant), who was introduced briefly during the show's early episodes and resurfaced later as a regular, and whose only purpose thus far has been to deliver crass and obtuse jokes in an otherwise very clever series.
Barinholtz did promise that Tamara and Beverly will be explored more as Season 2 progresses and though I remain slightly skeptical, I'm inclined to give Mindy Project the benefit of the doubt. The dramatic evolutions of Morgan and Jeremy have already proven that the series is quite adept at adapting to an actor's strengths and turning what could become caricatures into full-blown — and very lovable — characters. "There is a natural kind of evolution to a series," Barinholtz says. "As the characters change, as the writers discover more things about the characters, as the actors discover more things about the characters, you want to keep moving in that direction as opposed to keeping it the same as you initially envisioned it and not deviating from that. Because then at a certain point, it's not organic."
The Mindy Project returns Tuesday at 9:30/8:30c. Will you be tuning in?