Every year around this time, fans of TV shows that are “on the bubble” hold on for dear life and cross their fingers that network and cable executives renew their favorite shows. This wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ has become more of a dire straits situation over the past few years, since the television landscape has changed so drastically. It used to be that shows weren’t in danger of getting cancelled unexpectedly, even if the finale was a cliffhanger. But now, showrunners of bubble shows have to decide whether to make the season finale a combo platter of a series finale as well. Parks and Recreation executive producer Mike Schur has talked about how every year they thought they were going to get canceled, and that they wrote episodes in season three, four and twice in season five, that could have doubled as series finales. That’s the kind of TV world we live in now.
In saying that, it’s always sad to see a show get canceled before its time, or when you know that the material is better than the ratings report. Like how me and many others are still pissed off ABC bosses cancelled Happy Endings. In an effort to not repeat history, here’s my plea to save one of my personal favorite shows on the air, The Mindy Project.
As most of us already know, the brilliant Mindy Kaling landed her own show in 2012, one that she stars, writes and executive produces. It was a real Girl Power moment when the show got picked up, and as the show built up an impressive arsenal of hilarious episodes, the fan base grew fervent and here we are three seasons later. However, The Mindy Project, while acclaimed by critics and beloved by fans, doesn’t do so hot in the Neilsen ratings, which is obviously important to people like Fox. Although the viewer numbers don’t show the strong fan support, there is a prominent group of folks clamoring for a fourth season. And this post is to show my support. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think Fox execs would actually cancel it, so you know this is serious. Here are just some reasons why we need The Mindy Project to live on, this upcoming season and seasons after.
Morgan and Tamra Reunion
Mindy (Kaling) has compared Morgan and Tamra to Ryan and Kelly from The Office – they’re in constant limbo in their relationship and it’s always a fine line as to whether they’re dating or not. But just like Ryan and Kelly, I feel like Morgan and Tamra’s walk into the sunset is inevitable. They’re both crazy in their own ways, but together, the crazy kind of balances out?
More Danny Dancing
The first time Dr. Daniel Castellano broke out into a dance to Aaliyah’s Try Again as a Secret Santa present for Mindy, I’m pretty sure I blacked out. My mouth was agape and I remember fanning myself with my hand to cool down the hormonal feels. It didn’t work. And then those sons of bitches upped their game with the season three premiere, in which Mindy finds out Danny used to be a stripper named Diamond Dan. Yeah, it was actually possible to top the Try Again scene. I’m still crying from his striptease (as seen above). If they can manage to up their game by using Pony, I can only imagine what they think of next.
Guest Star Potential
Starting with the pilot, TMP has seen its fair share of impressive guest stars, from Mindy’s Office pals Ed Helms and (soupsnake) BJ Novak to James Franco to Kris Jenner to Shonda Rhimes and Stephen Colbert, it’s like celebs are lining up to appear on the show. It reminds me of when Will & Grace had the most unexpected guest stars (hello Michael Douglas) but everyone wanted to be on the show because it was that good. Even in the finale, we got just a taste of one of my faves, The Mother herself, Cristin Milioti, who will probably end up dating Dr. Reed if it gets picked up for season four. And we need that. We need Cristin to have a run on a successful show!
We Need A Rom-Com
Mindy Kaling has said plenty of times before that she loves rom-coms. Her favorite movies include You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally, which are two of the most iconic films in the genre. Her love for this ilk comes through in her own program, and there’s really no other show out there currently that is doing what she and the writers do, done in perfect execution, with such well-blended humor and heart.
It Only Gets Better
This is a promo shot of the season one cast:
Three of those actors aren’t even on the show anymore. Cut to season three promo shot:
Look, I’m not saying by any means that TMP was a bad show in the beginning or that the cast members no longer with the series made it bad. I’m just saying that it takes some time to find your groove. To reference The Office again, season one had a few great episodes (including Diversity Day which Mindy wrote), but it wasn’t until season two and three when it really hit its sweet spot. Same thing for Parks and Rec. Sometimes it takes a little bit of tweaking to find the best version of a show, and I think season three was it for TMP. They found their footing, the characters’ voices, and fans and critics responded positively to that. It would be a shame to throw that all away.
Representation is Important
Thanks a lot in part to people like Shonda Rhimes and Mindy, there’s (finally) been an upward trend in diversity on network television. But we’ve still got a long way to go. I mean, just name one other show with a female Indian-American lead. And it’s not just that we need a non-white person to share their culture in mass media, it’s that media shouldn’t just be dominated by white folk. Constance Wu from Fresh Off The Boat (another bubble show that deserves a second season) said it best when casting actors of a different race changes the idea that a white person is always in the lead because it’s the norm. It’s time for a new normal.
Mindy and Danny Endgame
Look, I just need to know that Mindy and Danny are going to live happily ever after. Or just, ‘ever after’. When ‘will-they-won’t-they couples’ get together on TV shows, it can either be the start of something new or a jump the shark moment. Not only were the Mindy writers brave enough to put these two together long before a possible series end, but they kept pushing the line and went one step further with Mindy’s unexpected pregnancy. They were able to keep Mindy’s story interesting even though she landed her dream man, but just like life, she keeps getting thrown curveballs, and the fans deserve to see what’s next. Plus, a baby. Mindy and Danny as parents. Just picture that.