THE MINDY PROJECT: “Wiener Night” Makes Everything Alright

THE MINDY PROJECT: Cliff (guest star Glenn Howerton, L), Mindy (Mindy Kaling, second from L), Morgan (Ike Barinholtz, second from R) and Danny (Chris Messina, R) attend Christina's (Danny's ex-wife) art show.

THE MINDY PROJECT: Cliff (guest star Glenn Howerton, L), Mindy (Mindy Kaling, second from L), Morgan (Ike Barinholtz, second from R) and Danny (Chris Messina, R) attend Christina’s (Danny’s ex-wife) art show.

Sometimes a penis joke is all you need.

For season two of The Mindy Project, things have finally started to pick up and become funny again. In the first four episodes of the season, the Mindy x Casey storyline needed to fizzle and die so she could continue her show’s premise of a professional, pop-culture obsessed OB/GYN in a series of Meet-Cutes with guest stars who look like Ben Feldman. Having Mindy and Casey engaged at the end of season one was meant to create even more tension between the endgame Mindy/Danny relationship. Thank God that’s over.

“Wiener Night,” written by Jack Burditt, on the surface is about Danny’s sweaty anxiousness over his ex-wife’s new art show featuring photographs of him in his birthday suit. But for Mindy, this was her chance to prove how cultured she could be in front of her new boy toy, Jason (played by guest star Ben Feldman).

It’s refreshing to see Mindy happy and excited about a guy who isn’t a complete douchebag, but of course that can’t last for long. Jason accidentally word vomits his doubts of a serious relationship with Mindy, and she is appropriately offended. And then quite realistically tries to prove him wrong by aggressively asking him out for a second date to Danny’s nude photo party. (Danny, throughout the episode, is desperately trying to shut the event down and wants no one to come. Which means everyone in the office will come.)

What “Wiener Night” pulls off beautifully is the balance of absurdity that is the Pearson Peters Something Something Not Shulman’s Associates office with straight-man performances found in the characters of Jason and Cliff, a lawyer in the same building as the OB/GYN practice who keeps getting hired by the doctors but never gets paid for his services. Mark Duplass returns as midwife Brendan, adding a bit of his sophisticated ridiculousness to the equation. The final result is a bunch of white guys at Mindy’s romantic disposal, and it’s hysterical to watch all of her former & future lovers (which, as a result of the previous episode, even includes Morgan) staring at Danny’s penis, and commenting on the artisticness of his hot body.

Danny: You really think my body’s hot?

Mindy: Ugh! You know that it is.

The episode ends with Mindy having one of her “I like myself the way I am” speeches, which endears and officially wins Jason over (and maybe even Cliff, too). He waits at the steps of her apartment building and starts serenading her Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” with a ukulele, and then seals all those rom-com cliches with a kiss. It’s adorable and silly, and it’s a sweet beginning to a very short relationship.

(Please, we all know this will not last no matter how hot we I think Ben Feldman is.)

Well, what did you guys think? Is show back on track, or am I loving this episode more than necessary?


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