A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
This week of The Mindy Project introduces Rhea Pellman as Annette Castellano and she’s a blast. The arc of one romantic partner not being too ecstatic about his or her respective significant other meeting the parents has been sort of done to death. But The Mindy Project as always manages to rise above the typical tropes of the genre and the A-plot with Danny and Mindy really works with plenty of wonderful one-liners. And the end result of Danny and Mindy being all the stronger despite his girlfriend and mother biting each other was pretty great.
Annette mistaking Mindy for a Dominican cleaning lady was absolutely hilarious, but the show avoids casting Annette as a racist who despises Mindy just because of her skin tone. Instead the narrative takes a smart turn where Annette is wary of Mindy as a girlfriend because of all the girlfriends in Danny’s past that were too frail and incapable of being his equal. Annette cleaned hotel rooms to raise her children and she doesn’t care for women that can’t stand on their own as independent beings. It’s a powerful piece of writing and I applaud the writers for taking it there.
The brunch scene was pure gold. Mindy’s four-point plan goes swimmingly, noting how she like Annette preferred Regis to Regis’s replacement. Mindy lists off a plethora of reality TV shows before Annette reveals her favorite TV show: Castle. Mindy quickly looks up the show on Wikipedia before coming back to the table and going off about the intricacies of the show as if she’s a bonafide fan. It’s a great little sequence, made all the better by the look of triumph Mindy gives Danny and the expression of gratitude and pride that he gives back. Their relationship is golden and the writers really know what they’re doing when it comes to these two characters.
What doesn’t work here is the B-plot the show has struggled with from the very beginning. I give the writers props for trying to make the supporting characters do something and more than often it actually working, but the Dog Fair idea kind of fell flat. It’s a neat layer to add between Morgan and Tamra’s relationship, but it’s a case of telling and not showing. Have the scenes revert to the both of them and the audience can actually see it happening versus the dialogue doing the telling. It would have worked the character beats without the show beating us over the head with it. Also, Peter’s befuddlement at Tamra’s allergic reaction for that prolonged minute puts him at odds with his own profession. It was, simply put, weird. But the continued strength of the relationship between Mindy and Danny propels the show forward. To next week.
Great Moments Not Covered Above:
+“I was once mistaken for a Dora the Explorer balloon.”
+“This cake is terrible!” “It’s a dog biscuit.” “I know.”
+“She’s expensive to all seafood unless it’s
+“Did you know that after every time we take a shower together Danny donates money to the Vatican?”
+“Here Comes Trouble”/“Trouble”
+“Basketball Wives? Army Wives? Sister Wives?”
Title: Annette Castellano Is My Nemesis
Written By: Tracey Wigfield
Director: Marco Fargnoli
Image Courtesy: All About TV News