The Mindy Project 4.03: “Leo Castellano Is My Son” Review

Passing of Time

A Television Review by Akash Singh

NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!

The excitement of Leo Castellano’s birth settled into a bit of a quiet. That isn’t to say the show is any less hilarious, but for Mindy, everything appeared ready to just simmer down so she could breathe long and easy. Naturally, that doesn’t happen. The long, laborious process of giving birth (pun intended) turns into a long, laborious process of trying to understand what to do after the fact. The terror, anxiety, and fear has sort of faded off, replaced instead with a germane lack of ability to seemingly cope with the lack thereof. A boredom has settled into Mindy’s life and if there’s one thing for sure that Mindy isn’t, it’s boring. But as long as there was television, Netflix, Hulu, and other subscriptions, Mindy would be kind of okay. Danny, the paranoid who would be the person to read as many parenting books as humanly possible, does the impossible to Mindy: he takes away her precious screens. According to Danny, Leo shouldn’t see screens before he turns eighteen for his health, which is of course ludicrous. And since New York is a cesspool of diseases (his own words), baby Leo isn’t going out of the apartment and into the streets.

This round the clock being stuck within four walls would drive anyone crazy, frankly, and it’s not as if the book selection Danny left behind for Mindy is a treasure on its own. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the all-time literary greats, but clearly something Mindy wouldn’t read. And the second main book out of the bunch is the Bible, because Danny. After about a couple of hours where doing nothing just becomes completely untenable, Mindy makes a decision. To be fair, if Joseph Gordon-Levitt was doing a book signing, I’d want to be there as quickly as possible, too. Bored to death and becoming more significantly frustrated by the moment, Mindy leaves to the book signing, only to come back and accidentally lock Leo in her apartment. The visual gags of Mindy trying to get into her own apartment via her neighbor are hilarious, primarily because Mindy’s expression at seeing the height at which she is standing is complete perfection. Danny naturally doesn’t react well to this, but he hardly has a leg to stand on considering he installed a nanny cam in a picture of himself to keep an eye on Mindy.

From time to time, Danny’s overzealousness is understandable and on fewer occasions, it can be quite endearing. This is not one of them. Mindy is understandably furious for two pretty solid reasons. On one front, for Danny to expect Leo not to be taken out of the apartment until he’s had his shots is understandable. For Danny to expect Mindy to be at home all day with their child without her preferred way of passing time is not. On another and more significant front, the nanny cam is a sheer violation of the trust that exists between them as a couple. Mindy storms off to a bar and the two think carefully over their fight, trying to come terms. That they do end up coming to terms isn’t really that surprising, but I do sincerely hope that the show doesn’t constantly run to Danny’s overzealousness in order to drive the plot forward. That isn’t to say it can’t consistently be used, but there’s a line between hilarity and exhaustion and tonight’s exercise was largely in the latter. This relationship is built in some part off of their clashing personalities, but certain plot points like the nanny cam just come off as being sociopathic rather than comedic.

Having a comparatively thin amount of material for Mindy and Danny, at least in comparison to episodes past, a good chunk of the episode goes towards Jeremy. Every show has a weakness and the B-plots happen to be the bane of Mindy’s existence. Jeremy’s romantic troubles frankly have never held much sway for me, outside of the quagmire with Lauren, and his new relationship with Whitney isn’t exactly appropriate replacement. It’s not that Whitney isn’t interesting, but so far the interest has largely arisen out of Cristen Milotti’s performance rather than the writing. Jeremy himself used to have that obnoxious swagger charm but lately even that’s gone down the rabbit hole, so I’m not exactly what the purpose of his character is anymore.  I had wished the best for Jeremy as a character, but now I’m now not sure that’s even  the case anymore. Frankly, his constant low-tone droning has become a severe irritant, a far cry from his original suave that hasn’t managed for the most part to make his character more complex. If having Jeremy and Whitney around means more interactions between the two of them and Tamara, that’s fine, but the writers need to put as much effort into characterization as they do in they hilarity of it all.

Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:

+“You have an attention span of fifteen seconds.”

“Huh, what?”

+“I’m gonna get that as a tramp stamp.”

+“I’m essentially a child bride.”

+“Could you dial it down a couple shades of grey?”

+“Except to to go the movies with him, which is fine, because I’m ethnic.”

+“We invented AIDS. Take that, San Fran.”

+“Go out and make some money for us, okay? I have expensive habits.”

“I’ll call you in five minutes.”

+“I heard this one’s pretty good, very violent. How can a book with this many Jews in it not have a single joke?”

+“Wait, that’s the minimum wage? Better not tell Morgan.”

Great

8.5/10

Episode Title: Leo Castellano Is My Son

Written by: Charlie Grandy

Directed by: Alex Reid

Image Courtesy: Glamour

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