The Mindy Project S3E2 Roundtable: “She Thinks You’re the Cleaning Lady”

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By Josh Axelrod, Anamika Roy and David Oliver 

The season premiere certainly set the bar high for “Mindy’s” third season. How did they follow Diamond Dan? By introducing his mother, naturally. Rhea Perlman (aka the mom from “Matilda,” aka Ms. Danny DeVito) stepped in to play Annette Castellano, a racist, religious, loud-mouthed Staten Island mom. Anyone who talks as much (if not more) than Mindy is a worthy adversary for Ms. Lahiri.

FOX

Mindy vs. Mom 

JOSH: As stunt casting goes, this was pretty awesome. Perlman captured the awfulness of Danny’s mom…and my god was she awful. I can now totally understand how Danny happened after seeing what Annette is like. No wonder he has so many problems with emotional intimacy. How could anyone with a mother who says things like, “A boy’s bedroom should never have an erection in it” grow up to have a normal view of sex and sexuality? But I will say, Mindy did a great job of first trying to get Annette to like her, and then speaking her mind to defend her man. Also, the look on her face when Danny said that his mom thought she was the cleaning lady? Priceless.

DAVID: Loved this mash-up. Side note, I did NOT know Rhea Perlman was the mom from “Matilda” and I freaked out when I put two and two together. Mindy is the perfect match for Danny’s mom in intensity – I totally understand the casting and am so glad the show took this route. It’s a classic conflict between a mother and son’s girlfriend, but this felt fresh because it stayed true to all characters involved. And Mrs. C is sticking around, so it looks like some more mayhem will ensue. The Michael Fassbender line was hilarious and a good call-back to the pilot – which practically feels like a different show now.

ANAMIKA: Honestly, I always hate the “meet the mom” story lines. They’re really predictable and the race jokes get old. But Mindy was an exception. My favorite was obviously the teaser. It will go down as one of the best-timed jokes on the show. As David said, the whole storyline was true to the characters. Mindy can never be the doting daughter-in-law type and I’m glad she was able to show her true colors by the end. I’m really looking forward to when Danny meets Mindy’s parents!

Peter and His Manly Advice 

JOSH: The chances of Peter’s advice to Morgan ever working out were incredibly small. Apparently Tamara is something of a gold digger, forcing poor Morgan to pay for expensive dinners and jewelry. In which case, she’s the world’s worst gold digger, going from Rayron to Morgan. But with that in mind, Peter told Morgan to man up and take control of the situation, which somehow led to Morgan having to give away all his dogs because Tamara was allergic (though it turned out that one was legit). This storyline never really went anywhere, though Peter did get a dog out of the deal and the one-liners were as strong as ever (“She’s going to kill those dogs and make them into a jacket.”). Hopefully we’ll see more of Peter’s brewing conflict with Jeremy next week.

DAVID: Honestly, this B-plot totally bored me. I’m just not invested in Peter as a character yet. I don’t know what it will take, but it hasn’t clicked for me. I want Morgan to come to all my family gatherings and say outrageous things though.

ANAMIKA: I was hoping Peter was right about Tamara lying about her allergies. This show needs a relationship cynic now that everyone is coupling up. But I agree with David, the premiere had a stronger B-plot.

FOX

Beverly, Pencil Queen 

JOSH: I want more Beverly. If we’re officially without Betsy going forward, I say give Beverly a storyline now and then. Or introduce another female character, because this show could seriously use ones that are a little less one-note than Tamara and Beverly. I bet Jenna Fischer isn’t doing much right now.

DAVID: JENNA FISCHER. Or bring back Anna Gunn full-time, she was fantastic. I think the major problem – if you could call it that – is that Mindy is such a dynamic and in-your-face character that it’s hard for many characters to get a word in edgewise/take any attention away from the show’s obvious star. Not saying that there can’t be another powerful female character on the show, just that they would need to make more room storyline-wise.

ANAMIKA: Beverly is like scraps of several characters from “The Office.” That dog skinning exchange with Peter was definitely reminiscent of Dwight. The pencil line was very Angela. Josh, I can’t believe you didn’t suggest Allison Brie!

JOSH: The second “Community” ends, Mindy should give Alison Brie a blank check and tell her to write down her salary demand. She would take this show to another level, and that’s saying something.

Best One-Liner

JOSH: “Every time we take a shower together, he makes a donation to the Vatican.” – Sounds like Danny

DAVID: “One Thanksgiving a little boy thought I was a ‘Dora the Explorer’ balloon.” – Um, what? LOL. Also, bonus: anyone else surprised FOX executives let that “brown orchid” poem tid-bit slide past the censors? Then again, this show is pushing the envelope this season.

ANAMIKA: “She thinks you’re the cleaning lady.” I know it’s the title of our post but everything about that line: the set-up, Chris Messina’s delivery, Mindy’s expression. Pure gold.

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