decision to feature a relatively close-up photograph of Mindy Kaling in their Women in TV issue, this week’s “Mindy Project” offers a refreshingly real look at body image, with a rom-com plot driven by Cliff’s totally inconsiderate decision to invite Dr. L on a weekend trip.While the Internet has been buzzing with debate over Elle Magazine’s
99.9 percent of the female population can relate (whether or not they want to admit it online) when Dr. L deadpans: “I have to wear a bathing suit. In January.”
Naturally, it takes about two seconds for Mindy to convince Danny to be her personal trainer. Enough talk. Let’s chase this hurricane, because it is seriously worth it. (And in honor of Mindy's Elle cover, we've switched our emojis to "glamorous & cool" black-and-white.)
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!
Just when Mindy is savoring the beginning of her relationship with Cliff — first kiss, first discussion about boundaries — he has to invite her to a place with a hot tub. She freaks out at work and shoves her hand in a coffee cake, which is problematic, because she ate over the break. A lot.
Danny suggests she get a swimsuit with a skirt. Mindy rages and slaps him because she doesn’t want to look like “a woman that gave up on life.” And this is all a big deal because Cliff has never seen Mindy naked, because she’s good at having sex and hiding her body all at once.
Danny risks his life by suggesting that Dr. L “exercise more and eat less.” What?!
Smart Mindy decides that Morgan can’t be her trainer because he lets her get by with 58 minutes getting dressed and two minutes of exercise. And he spits in her face. She convinces Danny to take on the job, but he wants her to exercise. In a gym without TVs! Uh-oh...
Sometimes, when Mindy appears crazy, she’s actually being adamantly awesome. She calls him out for preaching that guys don’t care about bodies while he dates “ass models.” Touché, Doc.
Danny finally figures out how to motivate Mindy: by asking her to pretend that she is rescuing various celebrities — Michael Fassbender, Anne Hathaway — from physical danger. She’s working hard, and Danny is good at this. Once again, they’re a good pair.
After a good workout, Mindy heads to the steam room. Naked. And of course, Danny is there in a towel, because he’s not a crazy person. They flip out and wind up naked. Yay!
Bravo to the writers for playing the aftermath with such understated discomfort. Mindy and Danny are so cute. He’s self-conscious about his toenails, and she’s self-conscious about, well, everything. And then later, Danny barges into her office and finds her naked, checking herself out...
Danny actually says this out loud: “Having seen everything, I think there’s a couple things you can work on.” Cue the shrill scream.
Mindy puts her clothes on and bares it all. Mean girls have trashed her body. She knows she could lose fifteen pounds. She knows she’s not “perfect” like Danny, who has “zero percent body fat and eats only three meals a day.” And Danny’s advice is endearing. He tells her not to suck in her stomach because it makes her look nervous and constipated. It’s a sweet way of saying that the only thing wrong with her body is, well, nothing...
Except for the fact that Mindy resembles “a nine year-old” in one part of her body. Well, it wouldn’t be a Fox show without a little TMI.
Do you want to see Mindy and Danny get naked again? Or do you want Mindy to keep getting naked with Cliff?
"The Mindy Project" airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.
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