One of the biggest issues The Mindy Project has had over the past few seasons has been the limited opportunity it’s had to include supporting characters into real storylines. If not dating Mindy, she’s usually talking to the staff about her love life. It’s understandable for a show which aims to be a romantic comedy on TV. But part of the reason people like sitcoms has always been the world building. If a show like Cheers or Night Court had committed only to the will-they-won’t they of the premise, we would have misses a lot of great, funny moments. But in episode “Take My Ex-Wife” Mindy finally brought the supporting actors along for the ride by letting her love life take a backseat.
This time the main storyline focused on Anna, whose husband she learns is cheating. He’s played by the hilarious actor Brian Huskey aka Bob’s Burgers Regular Sized Rudy (my favorite TV character EVER), and plays him as a Richie-rich too busy with business (in the broadest sense) to come home at night. Anna suspects he might be cheating, letting her tension out by accidentally creating papier mache for Jeremy to use (Ed Weeks was an MVP this episode). But Tamra and Colette really let it out of the bag when they told Morgan on the phone and posted it online (I’m not sure which program they were using to “accidentally post it” but it was funny). Morgan in the meantime was out of commission because he contracted Zika virus (weird that that’s barely the C-story, but they really just want him to be sick this episode).
So prim and proper, Anna has to search for a new place to stay. She starts with Jeremy, making everyone realize he’s probably a nicer person than we realize (and more scenes of him at home would be terrific). She thinks he’s interested in cheating, but he just wants to be a friend, forcing her to leave in embarrassment at her attempted kiss. Then she goes to Morgan, the one “friend” she should probably avoid in her hour of need. And by the end of the show she’s staying at Mindy’s, a perfect solution to the lack of Peter highlighted in last episode AND absence of friends like Gwen since the first season.
In the meantime, we had to get MORE Mindy and Ben drama. I’m tired of the drama with them, and at this point, I’m tired of the character of Ben. Either make it a relationship or move on, because he’s become WAY more obnoxious since they got back together because he feels temporary now. And they’re wasting Bryan Greenberg (a very good actor) by turning him into this vanilla character. And the character of his wife in this episode is so over the top and mean, you have no reason to believe this is a viable love triangle. The only thing we really got out of this relationship detour is the literal detour Mindy takes with Jody when she drives the car they’re taking to a business trip to New Jersey after Jody falls asleep in the passenger’s side drunk.
I love Jody on The Mindy Project for the same reason I love Ted Baxter in Mary Tyler Moore and Paris on Gilmore Girls. He is over the top and ridiculous, but Garret Dillahunt’s such a great actor he brings just the right amount of realism to make him feel like a real person. He can be HORRIBLE at times (sometimes too much, including some of the Uber jokes), but there are also moments of redemption, most brought out by Mindy. Their fight since breaking up has hurt the show, but seeing them start to mend by the end of this episode is great. And their final moments on the couch, watching the baffling Batman V Superman (“why are they fighting?”) and knowing actors only by their movie roles showed how well they get along as friends.
So while I don’t care about Ben right now (move on Mindy!), I loved a lot of this episode. It was a great chance to see more of the side characters inner lives, fixed it so Jody can be a bigger part of the show, and brings Anna in as Mindy’s new girlfriend/confidant. The only question I have is… why haven’t we even seen Leo since returning from hiatus?
The Mindy Project premieres new episodes every Tuesday only on Hulu.