6 Prescriptions to Fix 'The Mindy Project'
Don't get us wrong: We're loyal viewers of "The Mindy Project," and think Mindy Kaling is pretty much the funniest woman anywhere on TV (now that Tina Fey is off the air, anyway). But midway through its sophomore season, "Project" is still very much a work in progress. Ratings haven't been great, to be sure. But more disappointingly, it's been hit-or-miss creatively as well.
Luckily, we have a few ideas on how to nurse this patient to good health. Here are our half-dozen prescriptions to get "The Mindy Project" back on track.
1. Cut Back on the Guest Stars
"Mindy" has brought in so many guest stars this season, we can barely keep track of them: James Franco, "It's Always Sunny's" Glenn Howerton, "Mad Men's" Ben Feldman, Timothy Olyphant ... In fact, they just announced "Breaking Bad's" Anna Gunn this week (and probably two more in the time it took us to write this). Guest stars can be a fun diversion, but when they're on every single week, they become a crutch that prevents "Mindy" from focusing on its core group of characters. In fact, that leads us to our next point…
2. Develop the Supporting Cast
All these guest stars mean that the non-Mindy-and-Danny characters get shoved into the background. Morgan's fine; his space-cadet antics stand out in a crowd. But we need more time with the other two nurses: old coot Beverly and sassy Tamra. (Oooh, maybe put them together on a road trip!) And we could probably cut out British doc Jeremy and mousy receptionist Betsy entirely without missing them too much. Use 'em or lose 'em, "Mindy."
The saddest case here: new cast member Adam Pally, who we adore from "Happy Endings" but whose MMA-loving bro surgeon Peter feels a little redundant with Morgan around. Let's find him something unique to do, huh, guys? He's a treasure.
3. Get Back to the Show's Rom-Com Roots
When it premiered, "Mindy" stood out from the sitcom crowd with its clever take on Hollywood romantic comedies — and the pitfalls of trying to live your life like you're a Meg Ryan character. That angle resulted in some of last season's funniest moments (Mindy and B.J. Novak at the Empire State Building comes to mind), but it seems to have been put on the back burner this year. Since it offers the show its most reliable comedic fodder (and puts Mindy in ridiculous situations), we want to see Mindy's rom-com obsession make a comeback, and soon.