The Mindy Project: Hot Mess Time Machine – Bite Me (Review)

THE MINDY PROJECT -- "Hot Mess Time Machine" Episode 508 -- Pictured: Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Universal Television)

The Mindy Project returned with “Hot Mess Time Machine” a sort of Groundhog Day riff that had Mindy repeating her “crappy” Wednesday over and over. The reason? It is the chance Dr. Lahari needs to win Ben back after he unceremoniously dumped her on a New York sidewalk in the previous episode.

It takes hilarious months for Mindy to learn what she has to accomplish to keep another Wednesday from repeating. During that time she does all the things she ever wanted to do. She hits every MacDonald’s in New York, she goes to Brooklyn and practices basketball, until she can not only drop the ball through the net consistently but she can also dunk.

(Morgan actually guesses at one point that his boss is having a Groundhog Day moment when he reveals he watched her dunk the basketball.)

Morgan is the one person who helps Mindy realize that this is fate’s way of allowing her to repair the relationship with Ben. Initially the male nurse is still angry at Mindy and he refuses to have anything to do with her.

Later, after many attempts, Mindy figures out that she needs to attend “nerd university” and she crams everything about Star Trek, Star Wars  and Marvel that she can find. She has to focus on Marvel after turning up as Robin, a DC character. Mindy then moves on to learning everything she can about Ben.

The Mindy Project - Season 5
Mindy moving on to Storm and the X Men.

This episode of  The Mindy Project was nigh on perfect. It showed off Kaling’s comedic skills and spot on delivery.  The prayers to God, the funniest has her telling the big guy that he can “bite me” if this is all some cosmic joke, were all humorous.

Her Star Wars light sabre practice where she keeps breaking the pottery on  her desk and grilling Ben on his family secrets, which includes his mother’s banana-nut bread recipe, were also funny.

Mindy telling Moran that he can do whatever he wants because the day will reset anyway turns out to be a lie as Mindy fixes things with Ben.

THE MINDY PROJECT -- "Hot Mess Time Machine" Episode 508 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bryan Greenberg as Ben, Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Universal Television)
Bryan Greenberg as Ben, Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri – Banana-nut bread.

New cast member Rebecca Rittenhouse, as the coldly beautiful Anna Ziev managed to stand out yet again in the “ABCDE’S of Forceps Hygiene” sequence that was already funny. “Flow-verall” alert shouts Morgan over and over again until Mindy finally covers her overall with a fur coat.

The episode was both funny and fun. It also managed to salvage the relationship of Ben and Mindy. These two were a perfect fit and when Ben left Mindy outside of the party it was almost devastating.

Although the couple may not last too long. Mindy is Mindy after all; a tad sophomoric in her interests and, as Ben points out in this episode, self preoccupied to the extreme. But this is what makes Dr. Lahiri so much fun. One “groundhog day” reprise may not be enough to change her completely.

THE MINDY PROJECT -- "Hot Mess Time Machine" Episode 508 -- Pictured: Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Universal Television)
Mindy the basketball queen.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays on Hulu. Head on over and catch up on the hilarity.

Cast:

The Mindy Project: Revenge of the Nurse – Ben (Recap/Review)

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It was too good to be true. Poor Ben has sic transited his way out of Mindy’s life, or at least it looks that way.  His time as Mr. Right has come to an apparent end and The Mindy Project aka Mindy Lahiri has lost out on love again.

“Revenge of the Nurse” was, despite the somewhat downbeat ending, quite funny.  Mindy’s fascination with all things celebrity oriented was the stumbling block in this episode.  That and Ben feeling like being a nurse was not good enough for Dr. Lahiri, ended her almost perfect romance.

The episode starts with Mindy reflecting on her good fortune. Ben is a “normo” not like all the losers and weirdos she dated before.

The episode could have been called “Mindy’s Ex Boyfriends” as she and Ben bump  into a slew of them.  Mindy and Morgan see Jamie, a former boyfriend,  on the subway and he reveals that after she broke his heart, he went to Rome and became a bestselling author.

(Although he initially went there to kill himself. Instead he reinvented himself as a Dan Brown clone.)

He invites Mindy and her colleagues, as well as Ben, to his book signing party.  There are a number of celebs in the crowd. Gillian Flynn is there and Mindy tells the author she needs to read her version of “Gone Girl.”

Before the party she invites the office, including Dr. Ziev. At the book signing, Jamie reads from his novel and Mindy talks to Anna who makes it her mission to name drop and denigrate Ben.

Jamie thinks that Ben is a doctor, because of the ambiguous way Mindy introduced her newest boyfriend. Another celeb, The Today Show host Cameron Winters, needs a nurse for a segment on the show and after striking out with Tamra, Mindy volunteers Ben.

She talks Ben into doing it although  he does not want to be on TV. When he tells her that, she slaps him and asks if he is out of his mind. Ben reluctantly agrees but only if she comes along.

The segment goes very well and Cameron wants Ben to come back for another one. Mindy is overjoyed that Ben is a TV personality and that Cameron wants him to come back.  Mindy accepts for him and one again, Ben reluctantly  agrees.

While the two are on a date, an old boyfriend comes by and she introduces Ben as a TV personality. She later explains how important her former boyfriend Casey is.

The next day, Ben is a no show and Morgan stands in for Mindy’s missing boyfriend.

Morgan’s segment is hysterically funny because of his stage fright. While Ben got a meme from his appearance, Morgan has become “internet” famous.

Ben is not answering Mindy’s calls and she has been banned from The Today Show.  Ben stops by the clinic and learns about the party Morgan and Collette are throwing from Morgan.

Mindy gets drunk by drinking 23 capfuls of booze and Jamie shows up.  They share a romantic moment and kiss. Ben sees their romantic clinch and is not happy.  He leaves and Mindy follows.

She confronts him on the sidewalk and while they argue another ex boyfriend shows up.   After yet another awkward moment, Ben realizes that Mindy wanted him to be more than he is.

Angry and hurt, Ben tells Mindy that while she wondered if he was good enough for her he now realizes she is not good enough for him. Ben stalks off while Mindy stands watching.

This episode gave us another look into the mind of the reality TV obsessed Mindy.  She may be an ob/gyn but she worships television personalities.  Ben was never going to fit her dream and now he is gone.

Kudos to Rebecca Rittenhouse as Anna Ziev, she is a perfect fit in the Mindy-verse and her comic underplaying of the ice queen doctor is perfect.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays on Hulu.

Cast:

Guest starring Gillian Flynn as Gillian Flynn, Tommy Dewey as Josh Daniels, B.J. Novak as Jamie,Ben Begley as Cameron Winters and Anders Holm as Casey Peerson.

The Mindy Project: Concord – Danny Talks (Recap/Review)

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The Mindy Project this week was all about Danny’s wedding and Mindy’s reaction to it. “Concord” sees Dr. Lahari suffering through her baby daddy’s marriage ceremony.Mindy opted not to attend, as she felt it would make Sarah and Danny feel awkward.

Leo is taken by his grandmother to be the ring bearer at his father’s wedding.

Mindy decides to spend her time drinking wine. Jeremy calls to see how she is doing and also updates her on the ceremony. When pictures of Danny begin talking to her, Mindy abandons ship.

She jumps into her car to avoid talking Danny. Mindy does not bother to change so she drives around in her pjs.

To keep herself distracted from Danny’s picture talking to her, Mindy sings the entire soundtrack to “Les Miserables.” (instigated by her declaration that she is “lame and miserable.”  As she sings the last song, her car bumps the curb in front of her parent’s house in Concord, Massachusetts.

When Mindy goes into the house, her mother smacks her in the head with a griddle. (This results in the best line of the episode : “I get full-on Tom and Jerry’d. Just brilliant.)

Mindy explains that she is having a hard time.  The next morning, she expects breakfast in bed. She learns that her mother cannot look after her and her father is away. Mindy does not spend the day in bed, but plays board games like Pictionary with Rishi instead.

Another brilliant moment occurs as Sonu tells Mindy she cannot look after her. Mindy gasps, “But that’s your job!”

Rishi tries to make his sister feel better and declares that she could do a “Ted Talks” if her voice were not so annoying. The siblings raid the fridge and find only leftover Indian food.

Mindy calls her mother to complain only to discover that she lied about what she was doing that day. They check Sonu’s laptop and find an email from someone named Conrad.

Sonu is meeting with Conrad at a local restaurant and her children  go there to confront her. Mindy gets  a call from Morgan, who is attending the wedding, and he tells her that Danny could possibly back out and not marry Sarah if Mindy were to show up.

She wants to go back to New York immediately but Rishi talks her out of it. Mindy and Rishi confront Sonu at the restaurant. She and Conrad are eating and talking about a stage role.

Mindy’s mother, explains that she was not there to have sex with Conrad, but to flirt and talk about a part in the play.  Later Dr. Lahiri drives over to Conrad’s apartment to apologize.

Once she gets inside his flat, he takes a herbal viagra tablet thinking he is going to have sex with Mindy. After fleeing Conrad’s apartment, she decides to head back home and stop Danny’s wedding.

As she drives back, Danny nags her about taking too long and Ben calls her. Her newest boyfriend professes that he “kind of loves” her. Danny asks if Ben knows that she is kind of crazy. Ben tells Mindy he knew  that when she erased all his female contacts on his cell phone.

Mindy goes back home and is bashed on the head with a griddle again. Her mother explains that Danny has not been talking to her, via the pictures, and that she herself was providing the voice and the skewed logic of “picture Danny.”

The show ends with Sonu reading her memoirs to her kids. Danny rings Mindy who opts not to answer. She texts back to Ben that she loves him too.

This was a brilliant episode, all the more so because Sakina Jeffery did a bang up job as Mindy’s mum, Sonu. (It was a nice change from her grim character in Timeless, Agent Denise Christopher.) It was also nice to see Utkarsh Ambudkar as Rishi again.

It will be interesting to see how long Dr. Lahari can stay with Ben. Will Danny’s marriage to Sarah allow her the freedom to start a long term relationship?

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays on Hulu. Stop by for a giggle or two.

Cast:

Guest starring Bruce Katzman as Conrad, Sakina Jaffrey as Sonu Lahiri and Utkarsh Ambudkar as Rishi Lahari.

The Mindy Project: Leland Breakfast Is the Miracle Worker (Recap/Review)

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It seems that Nurse Ben may be sticking around for a while on The Mindy Project. Although things get a bit dodgy when Mindy is asked out by Leland Breakfast and she learns that Ben has a girlfriend.  A lab technician named Lisa blurts out that Ben talks about Mindy all the time.

She also reveals that Ben in her boyfriend.

Jeremy invites Mindy to see his old school chum Leland Breakfast in “The Miracle Worker” and she reluctantly agrees. Initially she thinks it is a musical and when she learns it is just a play, Mindy wants to back out.

Finally she goes the show and gets a front row seat with Jeremy. Mindy stays glued to her smart phone throughout the performance. Leland notices, breaks the fourth wall and demands her phone.

Seeing that she has been texting about celebrity gossip, he throws the phone backstage. Later, Jeremy brings Mindy with him to meet his famous school chum. Breakfast is also starring in a Marvel film, called “Dr Universe” which is clearly a reference to Doctor Strange and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Breakfast is intrigued by Mindy’s shallowness and asks her out on a date. She refuses but this does not deter “Dr. Universe.” He has put his British mobile number in her phone. He tells Mindy that she can text him if she changes her mind.

He also reveals that it will call her $15 to send the text. (A clear dig at the outrageous phone charges for international texts or calls.) He finishes by pointing out that he is worth it.

Jeremy, who was called Princess Wanker in school, throws Leland a party. He the invites all the office after reminding some of the staff that they are meant to ignore the invitation.

Mindy decides to  attend as payback to Ben for having a secret girlfriend. Jody has a “date” with a Jan Trang. Colette finds out and accosts the woman at her practice. After barging into a delivery room, Collette rips a strip off the the doctor.

Trang explains to Jody’s sister that it was not a date but an interview for a job at her practice.  Jody is turned down for the position because of Collette’s outburst and Trang hires a  Korean medical robot instead.

Dr. Trang actually gets one of the better lines of the episode. When Collette makes the accusation that the doctor is dating her brother Jody, her response is hilarious:

“Do I look like I want drug-resistant crabs?”

Later Collette confronts Jody about the job interview and leaving her alone at  Clinic. Breakfast, after hearing that Jody has been rejected, sings “her” a song. Jody’s day just got worse.

The newest member of the medical team, ice princess Dr. Ziev, takes Jody into the toilet to tell him off. She kisses him, aggressively, and tells him to pull himself together. This was a very funny scene.

Mindy invites Ben to the party and when he arrives they talk and Ben explains why he held on to Lisa. Leland walks in on them and punches Ben in the face before storming out of the party.

Ben and Mindy both got some great lines in this episode before officially becoming boyfriend and girlfriend.  Mindy’s best line in the episode was that gasped delivery about the poetry book that Ben gave her:

” I almost read it!”

Jack Davenport rocked it as the Brit star with an attitude and an even bigger ego. If viewers are wondering where they have seen Jack before, a younger thinner version of the actor played Keira Knightley’s fiancé in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

By the end of the episode Ben and Mindy are now officially a couple. However, given the track record of poor Dr. Lahiri it will not last long.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays on Hulu. Tune in and see what the ob/gyn gets up to next.

Cast:

Guest starring Jack Davenport as Leland Breakfast, VyVy Nguyen as Dr. Jen  Trang and Chelsea Gonzalez as Lisa.

The Mindy Project: Mindy Lahiri is a Misogynist (Recap/Review)

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The Mindy Project saw Dr. Lahiri get in hot water by rejecting every single female doctor interviewed for a new position. Being labeled  a misogynist brings Mindy out of her corner fighting but it all backfires in the end. She is still dating Ben who gives advice about the new doctor, but Mindy manages to mess the sure thing up and Dr. Anna Ziev is hired over her objections.

This episode had some sly social comments hiding in the script this week. Jeremy, who saw himself as the male Margaret Thatcher in the previous episode, is under a great deal of strain.

He is riding a mobility scooter around the offices and has decided to hire another female doctor for the team. During the interview process, Mindy dislikes every single applicant. She brings in an alternative male applicant whom no one likes.

Later, after talking with Ben she brings in Dr. Anna Ziev, a drop dead gorgeous ice queen who  was fired from her last job for slapping a male doctor.  Both Jeremy and Jody say yes immediately and only Mindy votes no.

Her underhanded scheme backfires when her male colleagues opt to ignore Anna’s “violent” streak and hire her.  Mindy goes to New Jersey to visit with Ben and she gets on the wrong train the next morning.  She is an hour and a half late and Ziev takes on Mindy’s patient.

Lahiri is furious and tells Anna she is fired. The next day both Jeremy and Jody force Mindy to apologize and take Anna back. The entire office is there for the apology, as Mindy never apologizes, and while she does express regret for rashly firing Anna, Mindy has a bit more to say.

Lahiri explains that the male dominated peer group of doctors pressure women to compete rather than help, or nurture each female’s success.  It is, says Mindy, all down to the men.  She declares herself a feminist and while she does not win Anna’s friendship she does earn her respect.

It now appears that The Mindy Project has two new regulars. Ben the male nurse, who has a daughter he never bothered to mention, and Anna Ziev the new ob/gyn.

Ben is clearly “Mr. Nice Guy.” A man that Leo is clearly attached to and the male nurse has a daughter who is pretty much okay with Mindy dating her dad.

Speaking of Leo, he was nowhere to be seen in last night’s episode. Poor little chappy must have been palmed off on Danny or a babysitter. If there is any complaint about this show it is its lack of attention to Leo.

Sure The Mindy Project is a comedy but poor Leo, who is too young to be “latch-key kid” must be in training for that placement.  The kid is rarely seen and not even talked about very often.

(Sidenote: We love the show Ms. Kaling but this lack of mother and son time is disappointing. Keep the kid in the picture or write the poor little blighter out, he feels like a loose tooth that either needs looking at or should be pulled.)

Apart from this one jarring note about Leo, The Mindy Project is funny. Each episode has something that stands out. The mental picture of Robert the one male ob/gyn interviewed helplessly passing gas throughout the interview was a good example of why the show works overall.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays on Hulu. Tune in and see if Mindy ever spends more than two seconds with Leo.

Cast: