Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Mindy Project 4x22 Review: "Princeton Charming" (Garret Dillahunt is Hot) [Contributor: Anne]

"Princeton Charming"
Original Airdate: June 7, 2016

Guys, Garret Dillahunt looked hot this episode.

Like, I understand that he kind of went through a makeover a couple of episodes ago, but for some reason he really did it for me this episode in his wifebeater. Rolling around in the bed while his girlfriend played with the air conditioning, just waving those guns around like nobody's business. It's weird because he looks so very old, but he is only 51 (where Chris Messina is 41, which isn't like a crazy difference). And even still, even with the beard and everything, I would have to confess that I think that Garret Dillahunt is more attractive. I was kind of leaning that way, but then this episode with the aforementioned wifebeater and I think then it's pretty much guaranteed that I find that man handsome. Geez oh man, The Mindy Project loves itself a good, handsome white dude, huh?

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm not talking about the episode — just talking about that beefcake Garret Dillahunt. "Anne," you say (or groan now because we've met like this before). "Can you at least try to review the episode?"

I mean, I could.

I will.

It was fine. I imagine that people who binge-watch this show must like it an awful lot: the jokes wash over me in a not laugh-out-loud but certainly not unfunny way, Mindy's outfits are awesome, and Garret Dillahunt is fine, fine, fine.


A.V. Club writer and The Mindy Project reviewer Gwen Inhat summarizes it best when she says that, "instead of a solid progression, the viewer feels not unlike a pinball, being knocked around from week to week." As a viewer, it's sort of frustrating. (I imagine for Danny and Mindy shippers, it's very frustrating.) As a reviewer, though, this sort of wild oscillation between character development and jokes is more than just being a pinball — it's someone flipping the machine on its side and demanding it still be played. I mean, a game's a game, but you're not gonna win that one. What's the point?

"What's the point?" has been the theme of a lot of my reviews, whether I say it in a hopeful or a pessimistic way. "What's the point?" on one hand could mean that The Mindy Project, with its remaining four episodes, has a lot of cool directions it could go. "What's the point?" could also mean that The Mindy Project could try to go all directions at once, skimming the surface of what it has, in the past, been able to do.

For example: what's the point of Mindy having a realization about spending time with loved ones, only to recant an episode later? Is the point that people are hard to change — that the "project" is long? Is that too hopeful a view of it? What's the point of the Jody and Mindy stuff? Is it that patterns repeat, even with renewed perspectives? Is that too hopeful a view of it? (Did anyone shudder when they realized that Jody's apology sounded an awful lot like Danny's end-of-episode apologies?) What's the point of Tamra, of Jeremy, of Chelsea or of Cristin Milioti, of any suitor that walks through the door, of Leo, of Danny? If Mindy's characterization can do whatever it wants from week to week, what does it matter, really, what her profession is doing, or what everyone else is doing? What's the poin—

Oh! Wait, guys. I think I;ve got it. I think I understand now! I just talked to the ultimate deity and was offered a choice. She* gave me the opportunity to understand the meaning of this crazy game called life, but I thought that understanding the point of The Mindy Project would be a little harder to do on my own. Grand mystic! Omniscient overseer! What, oh what, is the meaning of this charming once-FOX comedy that, in my opinion, has gone wildly off the tracks since its peak?

... Hmm. To see Garret Dillahunt in a wifebeater? But isn't that a lot of money and time for one objectiv—

Oh, right, yes, of course. He's really hot in the wifebeater. It all makes sense now. Thank you, ultimate deity. Thank you, The Mindy Project!

Stray Observations:
  • * I'm a religious studies minor and I read this fascinating book about perceiving God in all forms as a woman and using she-pronouns. Really cool and should be talked about more. Doesn't really matter for the sake of what I'm trying to say here, which is...
  • I'm not kidding about Garret Dillahunt, but the Princeton Charming was also pretty smokin'.
  • I had the most fun writing this review that I've had in years writing reviews about this shaky show. I may have to be more theatrical in the future...
  • As you probably know, Chris Messina will not be returning as a series regular in season five. As it stands, only Mindy Kaling has been in every episode, which seems about right. However, as I peruse IMDB, I discover that it's official: Ike Barinholtz has been in more episodes than Chris Messina. RIP, Mindy and Danny.
  • Interestingly enough, IMDB seems to like season four fine; 5/10 of The Mindy Project's top-rated episodes are from the season, and I actually pretty much agree with the assessment. Only one season three episode up there ("We're a Couple Now, Haters" which I also agree with) and no season one episodes up there. I kind of get it — the first season had some really bad B-plots. But man, no "Santa Fe" or "My Cool Christian Boyfriend" love?! 
  • (For the record, my top 10 episodes, in no special order: "Sk8er Man," "You've Got Sext," "Confessions of a Catho-holic," "Be Cool," "Christmas Party Sex Trap," "Pretty Man," "French Me You Idiot," "The Desert," "While I Was Sleeping," "Indian BBW." I am interested to know y'alls, and I'm actually pleasantly surprised how many The Mindy Project episodes I remember fondly.)
  • I am wild about the lemon dress. I have a lemon skirt that I bought two-and-a-half years ago, in the peak of my Mindy love, and I have yet to stop loving it.
  • I read some criticism of the episode that said the tone was off because of the writer, to which I say: dude, there is no consistent tone to this show! Tsk, tsk.
  • Also: I don't know if Mindy's irritation with Jody's girlfriend was meant to be played as jealousy, but as someone who does not have feelings for Jody outside of his hotness, I have to say that the sneezing thing would have also driven me up a wall. (Was that the point? I don't know!)


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