Saturday, May 18, 2013

"Take Me With You," THE MINDY PROJECT!

Article first published as "Take Me With You," THE MINDY PROJECT! on TheTVKing.

"Take Me With You" brings FOX's The Mindy Project to a close for the year in an interesting way, after a pretty enjoyable run. The mission of Mindy (Mindy Kaling) is to find love, and perhaps not knowing if the show would return, the writers decided to make sure that she accomplished this goal by the end of the first season.

It's kind of weird that Mindy is ready to commit so fully to Casey (Anders Holm, Workaholics), agreeing to move to Haiti with him for a year. We've seen her date lots of different guys this season, and she's only been with Casey for a month or so. Yes, they seem to click pretty well, and she's not getting any younger, but that doesn't mean she should give up her life and move countries away on what amounts to a whim, no matter how much that may be in line with the romantic comedies she adores so much.

I do predict that they won't last. With season two already ordered, Mindy can't be far away from the practice, which has established some wonderful major characters, even as the more minor players have rotated in and out over the various installments. The Mindy Project simply can't retool itself to move the setting to Haiti and ditch the cast at this point. It would be a brave, bold decision, but not one I can imagine network TV ever making, and it would greatly upset the fans. Plus, Holm already stars in another popular show on Comedy Central.

So Mindy should be home again and single before we know it. Which means she'll be fair game for Danny (Chris Messina) to pursue, now that he has dumped his ex-wife, Christina (Chloe Sevigny, Portlandia, Big Love, American Horror Story). It seems like Danny wants to confess his feelings, which have very obviously been bubbling just under the surface since the character is introduced, to Mindy in "Take Me With You," but then Mindy tells him about moving, and knocks the wind from his sails.

I don't know if season two will be the right time for Danny and Mindy. Danny would be ready for a committed relationship, but as much as Mindy thinks she is, her waffling over Haiti and her string of not-right men proves otherwise. While other shows have been going for putting their romantic leads together earlier, including The Mindy Project's lead in on FOX, New Girl, it also has to feel right for it to work. It doesn't feel right for these two yet.

Besides Mindy and Danny, no one else really has much story in "Take Me With You." The show spends so much time focusing on the title character, there isn't a lot of room for the rest of the cast. Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) has story this season, and to a lesser extent, so do Jeremy (Ed Weeks) and Betsy (Zoe Jarman), but only when time permits.

This isn't a complaint, but it is interesting. There are so many shows currently focused on the ensemble-approach, that it seems a bit odd when a series comes along that makes everyone else so fully second-string to the main character. I love not only Mindy's co-workers, but their competitors upstairs, too. Plus, Mindy's exes frequently return, meaning we get several familiar faces in "Take Me With You" that aren't full-time cast members.

I do predict that, as the years go on, should The Mindy Project be fortunate enough to continue, it will likely grow into a true ensemble show. But for now, it's fun just to watch the antics of Mindy and the amusing bits the others around her contribute. I'm glad it will be back.

The Mindy Project will return next fall on FOX.

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