season finales

Don’t Let This Be It for The Mindy Project

THE MINDY PROJECT: Mindy (Mindy Kaling, L) learns a lesson after Danny (Chris Messina, R) becomes frustrated with her chronic tardiness in the

Today’s TV-anxiety vibes come from the fear that last night’s Mindy Project season finale will wind up being the show’s series finale. The ratings are not good enough to guarantee renewal, and we all know life is fundamentally just suffering; a fourth season is merely a maybe at this point. If this is it for Mindy, I will be crushed. Not just because I love the show, and not just because the character of Mindy Lahiri has the wardrobe I most aspire to of any character who has ever been on television ever. The Mindy Project is a rom-com. And this is not how a rom-com ends.

Rom-coms end with kissing, and credits set to “This Will Be (an Everlasting Love).” How can this show end before Rita Wilson guest-stars in some capacity? I like the idea of Danny’s grand gesture, but not as much as I like the idea of a wedding montage with, like, a baby album, à la Four Weddings and a Funeral. Perhaps it could include photos from Morgan’s eventual nuptials, too. He seems like a real coat-and-tails kind of guy.

“I don’t believe in fairy tales,” Danny told his mom last night. “Then you really picked the wrong girl to knock up,” she replied. Exactly, friends. I don’t think TMP is a fairy tale per se, but it’s a show that will feel incredibly incomplete without an “and they lived happily ever after.” Obviously Mindy and Danny’s version of that involves a lot of bickering and negotiating, but this episode lacked the finality required for a script-y, “the end” chyron.

I know a sense of completion is not what actually motivates networks to renew or not renew shows. And I know that TV prayers, like all prayers, are just sent out into the great nothing, destined to be ignored like so many dust molecules. But the moments of pathos and drama on last night’s episode just served to emphasize how much story there still is in Mindy and Danny’s romance, how well the show maneuvers from dopey comedy problems to substantive, grown-up problems, and how strong the performances are. Give me another airport chase, a fond-memories montage that snaps a character into his or her senses, a dog who sees human sexual activity and turns its head sideways. (Bonus points for a golden retriever, but a yellow lab also acceptable.) I need a series of ill-fitting wedding dresses, a drunken monologue from a divorced man lamenting his previous lack of tenderness, a woman who works in “publishing” but is extremely wealthy. Fight for me, Mindy Project! Fight for us! Just tell me this isn’t the end.

Don’t Let This Be It for The Mindy Project