The Mindy Project, Mindy Kaling’s new show, got off to a promising start. Needless to say, I was excited when I sat down to watch the second episode. But, unfortunately I was let down a little. “Hiring and Firing” was a good episode, but nothing close to the stellar first episode.
“Hiring and Firing” deals with a dilemma at Mindy’s practice. They have to fire an incompetent nurse, Beverly, but none of them want to do it. At the same time, someone has to hire a new nurse, and Mindy desperately wants to do it to prove that she can handle a leadership role and more responsibility. Meanwhile, Danny is beginning to feel the pressure from Mindy, and worries that as her role in the practice becomes more prominent, his role will diminish.
It quickly becomes apparent that Mindy alone would never hire a good candidate, unless the qualifications were simply being able to quote romantic comedies. Dr. Schulman, who in essence runs the practice, enlists Mindy’s foil, Danny, to help hire the nurse. The best part of this episode is the juxtaposition of the hiring and interview styles of Mindy and Danny, and how much different their views on what makes a good candidate are. Many of the best lines from this episode come from that scene, such as Danny’s exclamation that birthdays are not special and make no sense, because, well, everyone has them.
One of my favorite parts about the pilot were the characters, and this episode had some good ones, and some that are just mediocre. The highlights include a certain nursing candidate who calls himself “Ransom”, the old, delusional, and incompetent nurse Beverly, and Danny. Mindy and Jeremy, meanwhile, aren’t very interesting or unique in this episode. The only part that I really felt like Mindy was a truly unique character in this episode was the aforementioned interview process with Danny.
Ultimately, this show is still good, but it seems to be hitting its sophomore slump with this episode. There are some laughs, and the production value is as good as ever, but it doesn’t quite have the audacity and uniqueness as the pilot. The characters weren’t quite as distinct or interesting, and it feels like there was almost no character development over the course of the episode. One positive of the episode the narration by Mindy, which I hadn’t really noticed before. The narration adds another dimension to Mindy’s character and allows for more insight into her motivations. I just with the show creators would utilize it more, and more effectively.
There is no question that I will watch the third episode of The Mindy Project; it was by no means a bad episode this week. Unfortunately, it just could not live up to the great first episode.
The Mindy Project airs every Tuesday at 9:30/8:30c, on Fox.