Danny and Mindy on Fox's The Mindy Project.
"You know you’re right for someone when they force you to be the best version of yourself." Be a little more perfect and melty, why don't you Danny Castellano!
"The Mindy Project" (Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox) finally did what Mindy-Danny shippers have been waiting for in their winter finale, "Desert," and when Danny (Chris Messina) kissed Mindy (Mindy Kaling), there was a moment of surprise, a rush of excitement, and a super passionate butt grab. It was awesome, and the perfect balance of sweet and sexy.
The show was trending on social media, with Dandys (that's what they call themselves and I love it) freaking out about the hook-up — and then freaking out again that we have to wait more than two months to see more.
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But there's another reason to freak out. We don't want to be the bearer of bad news, especially since this is one TV couple we could watch for six more seasons without getting bored, but we thought the same about "New Girl's" Nick and Jess not too long ago, and look how that's turning out.
We still have a soft spot for "New Girl," mostly for what it once was and could be again, but there are three very important lessons that "The Mindy Project" can learn from "New Girl's" mistakes.
1. It's not suddenly all about the couple!
The "New Girl" problem: Since they started dating, every single storyline for Nick or Jess ends with the two of them — they have zero autonomy now that they're together. Nick wanted to prove he was still a guy's guy with a wilderness Thanksgiving … then had to be rescued by Jess and her store-bought food. Nick has a guy's night, and Jess has a girl's night (in retaliation, it should be noted) … and it ended with Jess bringing another guy home to make Nick jealous. Even though that other guy was played by the always-fabulous Taye Diggs, it's a very 3rd grade ploy to see if the boy you like really likes you, and it's just kind of pathetic.
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The "Mindy" lesson: Mindy and Danny have both been around the block before — we've seen several serious Mindy suitors (Glenn Howerton, Anders Holm, Mark Duplass, Tommy Dewey), and we've met Danny's ex-wife Christina (Chloë Sevigny) — so we're hoping they've both learned a lesson or two about how to keep their cool in a new relationship, especially an office romance. Mindy's known for jumping the gun — wanting to move in and say "I love you" and get married, in whatever order — but this relationship needs to be handled differently if it's going to work long-term.
2. People still love the supporting characters just as much.
The "New Girl" problem: Nick and Jess are happy. Nick and Jess are bickering. Nick and Jess are feuding over basketball team allegiances. Meanwhile, what are Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Winston (LaMorne Morris), Cece (Hannah Simone), and, yes, even Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.) doing? They're having bake-offs. Seriously.
The "Mindy" lesson: If Kaling and co. know what's best, they'll continue to give stand-out comedic moments to Morgan (Ike Barinholtz), Dr. P (Adam Pally), Beverly (Beth Grant), Tamra (Xosha Roquemore), and sometimes fat/sometimes skinny/sometimes totally MIA Jeremy (Ed Weeks). It's called an ensemble cast for a reason — please keep it that way!
3. We get it — you're into each other!
The "New Girl" problem: Yes, we've all had those mushy-gushy, butterfly moments early on in relationships, and it's refreshing to see a couple that actually acts on their chemistry onscreen, but Nick and Jess spend way too much time in bed and/or kissing. Like when are they ever getting work done or watching TV or shopping online or doing laundry? These aren't necessarily activities that make a riveting sitcom episode, we know, but viewers can only suspend disbelief so much before these characters become boring and one-note. No one having that much sex and being that kissy all the time can be that fun to be around. Or watch.
The "Mindy" lesson: Mindy and Danny have a connection and they've been friends and colleagues for a while, so we're hoping they can still have believable friend moments and honest coworker bickering on top of all the new lovey-dovey dating stuff. If it even comes to that. For all we know, the show could come back and Mindy will be saying it was a big mistake, or it was all a dream. Oh no … please say it wasn't all a tonic water-induced dream! We'd never recover.
Do you think Mindy and Danny can avoid the Jess and Nick curse?
"The Mindy Project" returns Tuesday, April 1 on Fox.
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