Who do you call when a sassy single woman is under emotional duress? You call perennially cute Peter Pan stand-in Timothy Olyphant. Fifteen years ago, the actor made us crack up as a 20-something dude who used toilet paper as a coffee filter on "Sex and the City." And today, Olyphant still has enough edge to play an overgrown skater boy, Graham. He's obviously all wrong for Dr. Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), but she still tries to summon enough inner cool to make it happen with him. He's just as cute as he was 15 years ago, maybe even cuter.
So, does Hurricane Mindy master the half-pipe of love? Oh, come on, dude. You know the answer to that question.
Level 5: Watch out! Tornado? Sharknado? Mind-ado!
Level 4: Danger! Yes, that's hail out there
Level 3: Thunder sounds worse than it is (knock on wood)
Level 2: Cloudy with 50-50 chance of drama
Level 1: Smooth sailing. Happy, healthy, and totally well-adjusted!
A hot skater boy crashes into Mindy. Does she slow-blink and swoon as whimsical orchestral music plays and their eyes lock and they both kind of know they have met The One? No. She wants to turn the dude into the cops for ditching school. Um, he's over 40, Mindy.
Is it a good idea to go on a date with a stunted dude to prove to your friends that you can be part of a couple? Of course not, especially if he doesn't have health insurance. It's also a bad idea because we know exactly where it's going and how it's going to get there. Just the same...
We're not gonna lie. It was rom-com-alicious when Graham leapt down into the subway to retrieve Mindy's cell phone. Maybe he's crazy in the good way and Mindy will do something to prove that she can be crazy, too? Please?
No such luck. Instead, we get a double date. It's dangerous to see Mindy and Man-Boy Graham double with Prematurely Old Man Danny and his dull date. After all, there is no way that Mindy is gonna become the girlfriend who spends all day every day tending to her skater boy's wounds. And there is no way Danny is actually into Dull Girl, because only a Dull Boy could be into Dull Girl. When there is absolutely no dramatic tension because we know Danny and Mindy are both in the same false start, the show starts to fall flat. After all, if there's no chance of Mindy or Danny getting serious with someone else, then what's to stop them from getting together? This is the wrong kind of hurricane. We liked it better when Mindy was engaged to Casey. There. We said it.
Things are so calm that we wouldn't be surprised if Dr. L is in the eye of the storm. Think about it. Skater dude is gone, a foregone conclusion, relevant nonetheless because Mindy is, once again, flying solo. And at the same time, Mindy and Danny's repartee is zestier than ever. Finally, the most important factor in the emotional maelstrom: It's November. As in sweeps. We can't help but batten down the hatches and prepare for exciting emotional upheaval. We're not saying that Mindy and Danny need to have sex or run off to Mexico (yo, Nick and Jess of "New Girl"!), but we need a little something-something for sure. Gale force winds in the shape of an awkward, spontaneous kiss or an inexcusable jealous meltdown would surely do the trick. We call it a Level 2 because if that does happen, it could be really good — think of "Friends" — and it could be really disappointing — think of every other show in history when The Girl and The Guy got together.
What do you think? Do you want Mindy and Danny to get (at least a little) physical?
"The Mindy Project" airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.
- Mindy Kaling