A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The third episode entitled in the fashion of Danny Castellano Is My…, Nutritionist is a solid episode that suffers from two primary things: the confusion over Mindy’s pregnancy-caused morning sickness and the search for Peter’s replacement. The episode was nevertheless jam-packed, driven by the thematic conflict between Mindy and Danny as they try to comb through their respective vices. For Mindy, that vice is evidently food and for Danny it’s smoking. The most natural thing about this slightly contrived conflict is that the personalities of Mindy and Danny have by this point become so thoroughly entrenched that their behavior towards each other makes perfect sense in regards to the pregnancy. Danny, the high-strung health nut who thinks orange juice is dessert, naturally takes the completely unnecessary hardline with Mindy’s diet. Mindy tries her best to comply with it for the sake of the pregnancy, becoming aghast at Danny’s own hypocrisy when she discovers him chain-smoking. Within the sort of random transitions between all of the scenes, what really clicks is how tough pregnancies can be, even for people who are professionally trained as gynecologists.
That brings me to my quibble about Mindy’s misdiagnosis. From time to time, the practice itself has been a plot point that has suffered the most in The Mindy Project and in this episode the search for Peter’s replacement only doubles down on the occasional disbelief at the medical expertise available at Schulman & Associates. First, Mindy bumps into her former medical school professor who retired but got bored of her retirement rather quickly. She comes into the practice to potentially work there, but considering all of the associates, she decides against joining. It’s an odd character arc that really doesn’t go anywhere, suggestively only existing for the sake of Vanessa Williams guest starring on the show. One of the potential interviewees, whom Mindy found at first glance to be a bit boring gets the job offer from her instead after he correctly diagnoses her with stress-induced morning sickness. Danny puzzlingly realizes that he was exacerbating Mindy’s condition, not her diet. It’s a neat little moment, but shouldn’t someone in an office full of gynecologists be able to note that? If Schulman & Associates is now relying on interviewees to properly diagnose their own doctors, they have a whole host of other issues to deal with. As it is, Peter’s replacement, whom I fondly remember as foul-mouthed Congressman Furlong on HBO’s Veep, is given little personality and bite here and it’s a development that holds thin promise for the future.
That being said, there are plenty of hilarious little quips throughout the episode that are pretty great in and of themselves. Mindy’s bedazzled barf bucket is pretty much perfect, as is her suggestion of the name Phemonique, which is apparently better than her previous suggestion (which I want to know, by the way). Beverly apparently keeps a gun in the room and reserves the conference room for being racist (Mindy’s expression at that moment was priceless). Peter makes a return cameo to advise Mindy on her pregnancy and I do love how the show kept his relationship with Lauren to still be a work-in-progress. Not everything needs a tidy resolution quickly enough. Speaking of resolutions, the one great thing that did result from Dr. Furlong arriving in the office was the advice that he gave Danny to loosen up a bit on Mindy. Children are a massive responsibility and he correctly points out that the two of them are going to relapse at moments of high stress after the child is born. It’s not because they’re weak, but it’s simply because there’s going to be massive amounts of stress and frustration. At those moments, both Danny and Mindy are going to have to give each other enough space and that’s the simple reality of it.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“Oops, sorry Bible.”
+“Testing out the new look.”
+“Eggs, waffles, etc.”
+“I have been eating for two my entire life and now I finally have an excuse.”
+“Generation Hunger Games”
+“Our trendy, cosmopolitan office.”
+All of the Shonda Rhimes references
+“Hot, ethnic power moms?”
+Geriatric obese pregnancy
+“That’s enough, I’m a dream!”
+“It’s my favorite kind of cake! Gigantic.”
+“The lies Danny… Doris, Danny!”
+“Gandhi said ‘The British are coming.’”
+Of course Danny thinks that nicotine patches are for the weak
+“I feel like I have another shot at it.”
+/-That grocery scene just looked hilarious from the photo. Too bad it wasn’t in the episode.
Title: Danny Castellano Is My Nutritionist
Written By: Mindy Kaling & Matt Warburton
Directed By: Lynn Shelton
Image Courtesy: Airun Garky