A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The appropriately titled How to Lose a Mom in Ten Days isn’t as great as its predecessor, but it does something remarkably vital for the strength of a comedy show. For all of the laughs and absurdity present in comedy, the strongest beats are when the laughs touch upon an emotional catharsis, when behind the jokes you find something that goes far, far deeper. The Mindy Project is over-the-top and it has flourished in that spectrum of comedy, but even though the characters can be obnoxiously wild from time to time, that the team finds those quiet moments of character without hitting the audience over the head with it is an accomplishment. The Mindy Project still suffers from a bit of transition abruptness between episodes and a tendency to sometimes bring out plot points from seemingly nowhere. That happens in this episode, but the two primary emotional beats that the show captures largely overshadow those flaws.
The primary storyline throughout this episode is Danny’s reliance on Annette constantly being there, which is surely going to make any of his romantic partners a bit more than irritated. Annette interrupting their bath time is the final straw for Mindy, who sets Annette up with potentially retiring Dr. Ladroe, whose patients Schulman & Associates are eager to pick up.The date goes great, much to Mindy’s pleasure before Annette goes a little overboard and decides to go on a bit of a dating roundtable. The roundtable ends at Morgan (dumped by Tamara in a plot point that comes out of nowhere almost), a development which takes everyone by surprise and infuriates Danny. On one level, it’s understandable because it’s Morgan. But it also reveals a side of Danny that is afraid to let go to a consistent source of support.
In a somewhat rare instance of the primary and secondary story lines coalescing together in a satisfying way on this show, Morgan’s dating of Annette brings forth some of the most subtly moving material the show’s ever done. For Morgan, the red baseball caps, the hugging of Danny when he’s angry, the family dinner with “his son and his girlfriend”, everything is indicative of something he wants deep down inside. For so long his isolation and loneliness have been a constant source of jokes, but The Mindy Project finds something else entirely here. It’s subtle, but the episode manages to find in all the hilarity a grown man who’s all alone and simply wants someone to be there for support, to share his life with.
Danny and Annette’s moment in the street was by far one of the strongest scenes this show’s ever done. Rhea Perlman is great, but the show was approaching a time frame where Annette was borderline being overused. The conversation between the mother and son arrived at just the right time. Danny’s perplexed as to why all of a sudden she’s so into dating and the answer was a heartbreaking one. Annette reveals that she didn’t date when Danny and Ricky were children because she was afraid that they would get attached to another male figure who would simply walk out on them. It’s a small beat but one that speaks volumes towards a much, much larger issue of the difficulties single mothers face in the modern-day world. It’s difficult enough to raise two children by yourself, but it’s even more so when you shield yourself off from anyone to share that difficulty with for the sake of your children. Trust isn’t an easy thing to rebuild and Annette didn’t want her children to suffer through that one more time. She’s a saint according to Danny – a real one, mind you, not a B.S. one like Mother Theresa.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+Annette’s sin note
+“Better to be friends who don’t talk or hang out.”
+“Are you also secretly dating the mother?”
+Morgan bolts his desk to the door
+Of course Dot uses QVC
+“But remember, the bathroom door can’t block God’s eyes.”
+The retirement plan backfiring was hilarious
+Morgan noting that he didn’t want another male figure walking out of Danny’s life
+“I have never said this in the history of my life, but I think we should skip dinner.”
+“We don’t even know who this Ladroe guy is. He could be a killer. They never caught Zodiac.”
+If finding a husband was that easy, I would not be here working. I would be married and in Connecticut. Wine drunk all day and working on my smug mom blog called ‘Diapers and Daydreams.’”
Title: How to Lose a Mom in Ten Days
Written By: Tracey Wigfield
Directed By: David Rogers
Image Courtesy: Spoilers Guide