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“The Mindy Project” Recap: The real stovetop of Staten Island



Warning: This post contains spoilers for Season 3, Episode 2 of “The Mindy Project,” entitled “Annette Castellano is My Nemesis.”

This week’s “The Mindy Project” introduces Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling, “The Office”) to Annette Castellano (Rhea Perlman, “Matilda”), boyfriend Danny Castellano’s (Chris Messina, “Devil”) mother. Danny has mentioned his “ma” frequently throughout the show’s first two seasons, praising both her work ethic and Italian cooking. But, Annette Castellano never likes Danny’s girlfriends. So, Mindy decides to use her “Four Step Mom-Catching Plan” to win her over. And, naturally, this plan fails spectacularly, forcing Mindy, Danny and Annette to fight over the new stove that Danny bought Annette for her birthday.

Mindy confronts Annette, who apologizes to Danny. The three enjoy what appeared to be a delicious, Staten-Island, new stove-cooked Italian dinner. Danny takes Mindy to his childhood bedroom and puts on an ELO record, and I swooned. Although it wasn’t last week’s mega-stripfest, “The Mindy Project” is showing no signs of slowing down the Danny Castellano love train. And bless Rhea Perlman in this role, for she is everything Danny had built her up to be in the past two seasons to represent the legendary Mama Castellano.

Meanwhile, Tamra (Xosha Roquemore, “Southland”) insists Morgan Tookers (Ike Barinholtz, “MADtv”) make a few changes to improve their relationship. Namely, she asks that Morgan put his 40 dogs up for adoption because Tamra is allergic. This was a tough storyline for me to deal with emotionally, as a dog lover and as a person concerned with Morgan’s well being, because I too shared Peter Prentice’s (Adam Pally, “Happy Endings”) suspicions that Tamra was lying. Spoiler alert: she wasn’t lying. Peter threw a dog on her and she had an allergic reaction. But Morgan gets to keep the dogs, and all is right with the world. I just really like dogs, okay?

In future episodes, I hope the show offers more in the Morgan storyline, because I love Ike Barinholtz and I think the writers are only scratching the surface as to how weird and hilarious Morgan can truly be. Otherwise, keep on yelling at Mindy about sports, Danny and Annette Castellano! Play me out, “Strange Magic!”

Favorite Quotes and Other Observations:

*I would really love to be in a dream-sharing club with Mindy, since I love to talk about my dreams but no one cares about them. I would listen to your dream about the hot guy, Mindy!

*Danny telling Mindy “Don’t gasp” is like telling me to not be attracted to Chris Messina. Impossible and actually instigatory.

*Danny tries to give his brother Richie (Max Minghella, “The Social Network”) money to buy their ma something and also to get a haircut. Danny: “You look like Mowgli from The Jungle Book.” Richie: “What’s The Jungle Book?”

*Annette Castellano “only” watches “Castle.” I laud Mindy’s efforts and bravery for listing every trashy reality show she watches.

*Bonus points: my mom’s name is Annette! Yay, Italian moms named Annette!

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