Tag Archives: Liz Lemon

The Mindy Project and the Rom-Com Narrative Part 5

18 Sep

A year has passed since the first Mindy Project and the Rom-Com Narrative column and what started as a standalone piece has produced multiple parts and spinoffs (incorporating New Girl and the “What Next?”). The Mindy Project plays with the rom-com formula with direct references to Nora Ephron classics like When Harry Met Sally while using traditional rom-com devices such as voiceover and subverting the genre through a strong awareness of the common tropes. In the first episode of season 3 big steps have been made as Danny and Mindy have progressed from friends, to lovers to exes and now to a couple who are not hiding their relationship from their co-workers. Smooth sailing from here then, right?

The Mindy Project 3.01Well that wouldn’t be interesting would it? There are plenty of obstacles and conflicts ahead for this new couple; the biggest one being how diametrically opposite they are about pretty much everything besides how they feel about each other. Last season Danny went through a stage of not wanting anyone to know about their relationship and then he tried to use the ‘you’re my best friend and I don’t want to lose you’ excuse as a reason to split up. Mindy saw through Danny’s scared BS and she didn’t just take him back when he simply tried to kiss her. This was one heartbreak that really hurt and so it required a little more than Danny simply responding in a possessive manner to the new dude in Mindy’s life.

They are a couple now, haters (bitches) and as I have mentioned throughout this rom-com series the “will they/won’t they” then turns into a “What next?” as they have to deal with what normally comes after the credits of a movie. The story doesn’t just end with smooching at the top of the Empire State Building.

The new season opens with Danny as the narrator mentioning the unlikelihood of this coupling when the show started and his assertion that they are very different is backed up with Mindy’s portion of the voiceover. Mindy likes to share and this is what lies at the heart of their first fight this season; it doesn’t matter that Mindy is very complimentary about Danny’s technique as it still makes him incredibly uncomfortable. Throw in a secret stripping past plus a piece of office gossip and we’ve got our first Mindy and Danny raging argument of season 3 as Danny tells Mindy that he can’t trust her. Trust is a relationship dealbreaker so are things looking precarious already?

[Source]

Far from it and while I am sure that somewhere down the line there will be a string of misunderstandings that might lead to something more contentious, this disagreement ends up with Danny spilling a lot more about himself including his Diamond Dan stripping past (which not only paid for medical school, but also allowed him to pay the mortgage on his mother’s house) and that he does have a middle name. His middle name is Alan after his dad and last season we found out more about his fractured relationship with his father with Mindy getting to witness Danny’s emotionally vulnerable side. The first time Danny kissed Mindy was on the plane ride home after this trip to see Danny’s father; boundaries got dropped all over the place.

Part of the appeal of this couple is the back and forth banter, which on occasion crosses the line with a derogatory remark about appearance such as Danny telling Mindy “get your big ass in there now” in the season 3 premiere. Comments like this cause much furrowing of the brow; Danny does refer to himself “as kind of a dick back then” in his opening narration and these moments do still slip in and on this occasion his annoyance at Mindy’s inability to keep secrets causes this unpleasant outburst. Danny is rough around the edges – not an excuse for his behavior, but an observation – and yet those edges have softened.

The list he has prepared is a big step, as is Mindy’s confession explaining why she has been so vocal about their relationship “I want it to be real and the more real it seems, the less likely it is that it could all get taken away from me.” Mindy wears her romantic temperament on her sleeve, but this level of honesty and vulnerability is rare from this character too. This statement solidifies their commitment to each other and it also signifies to the audience that we shouldn’t expect a break up in the next few episodes; they are at least in this for some sort of long haul. It is a welcome gesture as sometimes with a “will they/won’t they” couple it is easy to feel emotionally manipulated if there is a constant stream of “oh we’re almost a couple, now we’re not, now we are, oops broken up again” shenanigans. You know what else is a welcome gesture? This.

[Source – includes whole sequence]

As I said at the start of this piece conflict and obstacles should continue, but there has to be a reason for it. Danny and Mindy as an opposites attract coupling should provide plenty of material for this, however scenes like the one on the fire escape are important and still offer opportunity for absurdist/dark humor such as the kitchen knife Mindy accidentally drops followed by the sound of sirens. This first episode back is promising and this pairing is the strongest/most consistent on The Mindy Project; now they are a couple there are a new series of challenges and I am hopeful that this creative team will blast any Moonlighting curse nonsense out of the water so we can stop citing this a reason why a “will they/won’t they” shouldn’t progress to “What next?”

Happy TV New Year and Turning Another Year Older

3 Sep

September feels like the start of a new year and for TV it is as the fall season is about to begin. September is the month that I associate with new beginnings – it was always when the academic year started and even though my post-grad finished several years ago I’m still very much in that mindset. Do you know how much I want to go out and get new stationary even though I don’t need it?! Fashion is another industry that holds this month in high regard as the September issue of magazines marks the biggest publication of the year (yes they hit newsstands in August, but there’s no mention of that summer month in the title)  and New York Fashion Week kicks off on Thursday.

The photos dotted throughout are the characters who I often ask “What Would ______ Do?” This selection of inspiring female characters will provide life lessons, fix things, teach me how to wear white without spilling, organize Galentine’s Day, support me with my cheese habit and show me how to wear ’90s fashion all over again.

Leslie Knope

There’s a personal reason why September always feels like the perfect time to reassess and look to the new as it also happens to be when my birthday is (yeah I’m making this all about me). It’s time to finally accept that I am no longer a twentysomething and that I am too old to be a Millennial and too young to be Gen X; where are all the think pieces about the generation in the middle and how we ruined everything? I want my Time magazine cover.

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While I’m experiencing the standard apprehension about where I am and what I am doing I also wanted to take the moment to write this perhaps overly emotive post (hey it’s the internet what else am I meant to do?) to see that I am actually doing fine.

Tami Taylor and wine[Source]

TV Ate My Wardrobe has been in existence in this form for almost 5 months and when I started it I had some idea of what I wanted it to be – a place to talk about TV, costuming and fashion. There are so many incredible outlets that feature terrific writing about TV and it’s such a competitive market it can be tough to break through and carve a corner of one’s own. While I still have far to go before I can hail this venture a success, it’s been a personal triumph as my confidence has grown. Of course there are days when I think it’s all pointless but then a new idea will strike and it all seems worth it again. Or I’ll find out that one of my Scandal costuming picks is actually something that has been used in the forthcoming season (*spoiler* it’s the white Burberry trench).

MSCL ep7 The Smile

A lot of thanks has to be given to the many new friends I have made in the TV and writing community on Twitter and for the opportunities this has given me. Without This Was TV I wouldn’t be able to relive my sometimes embarrassing teen years while talking about My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks. This is soon to include the sometimes awkward university years as Julie Hammerle and I will be moving onto Felicity later this month. It turns out conversation pieces are a lot of fun and here I will be continuing the Summer Rewind project (even if it’s pretty much autumn) with Kerensa Cadenas and we will be joined by Julie to talk all things Scandal before the new season begins.  

Olivia PopeWarning this is where I get even more sentimental as I want to say thanks to everyone who has been reading; whether it is one article or if you visit on a regular basis it has made this experience more worthwhile. There is one person who encourages me on a daily basis even when I starting doubting the words I write and they get a huge thank you and this support means everything.

For the final word I will leave you with Nick Miller and I can’t wait to start writing about New Girl again when the new season returns. Here he is with a notion that I am going to try and listen to as I turn another year older.

 [Source]

Julie Hammerle

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