I finally psyched myself up to catch up on The Mindy Project, starting with the episode from when the show came back from hiatus, but I had to stop before the finale because I couldn't take the aftermath of that storyline anymore.
The Mindy Project, from French Me, You Idiot to Girl Next Door: "THEN WHY DID YOU KISS ME, WHY DID YOU EVEN START THIS?" is the battle cry of viewers across the land. Is it because you needed to throw something at the shippers to get them off your backs for a while? Is it because you plan to hook them up again in romantic bliss a few seasons down the road, only to notify us of their divorce three years post-wedding? Was it just really killing you not to be able to do any jokes about being exes? There is just so much that bores and angers me about Danny/Mindy.
But after he dumped her, that didn't stop me from having to take a break so I could have extremely satisfying visions of Mindy going to work in the dreamy lady utopia of celebrity doctors and cutting off all contact with Danny, so as to make sure he had to live without her in his life without even getting the benefit of a relationship first. SUCK ON THAT BITTER LEMON, DANIEL.
But not before some choice words about how no wonder your wife divorced you/dad left, they could tell there was something fundamentally wrong with you; I hope you die miserable and alone; you don't deserve anything good. (Sorry, I'm still kinda worked up thinking about how his selfish ass gets to claim "I'd rather have you as a friend." WHAT IF YOU DIDN'T GET TO HAVE HER AS A GIRLFRIEND OR A FRIEND, JACKHOLE? Every episode that she willingly engaged in conversation with him and instead of putting him on Permanent Shun made me grouchier)
On the bright side, I have enjoyed Peter accidentally becoming Mindy's wingman, in all his gross-dude/manchild incompetence. They're such an odd couple and yet somehow I love it?? I think I just like the part where he acts like her guard dog as needed and also how they would never have any romantic chemistry ever. I hated the whole "Indian BBW" episode and am washing it out of my brain, but I did enjoy Rabbi Peter MacNicol.
I'm also LOVING Joanna Garcia, still think we really need to step up and follow up on Betsy's no-longer-secret love for Dr. Castellano. Last but definitely not least, HOLY COW ARE MY EYEBALLS (AND HEART) EVER FOND OF
P.S. this binge watch has made me realize that as much as I usually roll my eyes when people are like "representation, we needs it" about TV, I have to admit there is something about Mindy being above size 10 and unapologetic about all the food she loves to eat -- while still being chicly dressed and adorable in personality -- that makes me feel a lot better about myself. What is this sorcery! And yet, it works. There is also no more excellent role model than someone being THIS confident about herself strolling into work: "Yes, I AM wearing a nightgown. And for the record, I still look adorable. I look like Wendy from Peter Pan." We all wanna be Mindy Lahiri when we grow up, right?
Speaking of the episode that quote is from, her "ugh, I am such a slob -- OH MY GOD I'VE BEEN ROBBED" reaction is an extremely accurate representation of how I would probably react to being robbed. I am very fond of TV showing it like it is for normal people. Who among us lives without at least three articles of discarded clothing in plain sight at all times? Oh, you do? Get out.
Then I watched the finale.
The finale genuinely took me by surprise -- I had no idea what to expect, but not even the potential of a reunion was on my mind, much less an actual reunion. Even though I LITERALLY saw a gifset of the last scene ahead of time and was like, "Huh, I don't remember that," I managed to completely forget about that and had no idea it was going to end on a happy note. I was a bundle of nerves when they kept missing each other, thinking NO YOU CANNOT BREAK HER HEART IN HER FAVORITE PLACE TWICE! Unacceptable!
But somewhere in the middle I randomly started to root for their love to triumph against all my previous claims, and awww, aw man that last scene was just so sweet. (right down to the realistically inelegant winded-rhino noises she was making that caught his attention. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE, OKAY.)
For many reasons, like the rom-com perfection and the willingness to lie down on the filthy ground and the arguments over how many children and which gender they will have -- Danny, winning my favor back with his classic Grumpy Old Man insistence on one boy child, maximum -- and of course, the pretty pretty kissing. In random observations, I was also pretty fond of his hand on her ass pulling her closer. Aside from the fact that this seems wildly inappropriate for a public setting, it manages to be simultaneously hot and sweet. Don't ask me how that works. I just know it does.
The problem is that I have no understanding of what's happening right now. I finally somewhat understand why they started and aborted this midseason, but it only makes sense in the pacing of season 2, not beyond. Once again they have created a highly satisfying series finale, except it's not the series finale, and we're surely just going to have a whole mess of problems when we come back, right? Because they have already broken them up once, and yet they are just so not true enough to become a permanent OTP on a show this un-serious/lacking in other ships to mine for drama this early on. Right? I mean am I crazy, or do they just not feel like they've earned it? And yet, how can they break them up again, unless it is a VERY long time from now, without turning them into an utter joke? I don't know. I'm so glad I'm not in charge of this show. The pacing is so weird and random.
I feel like the only show potentially comparable to this arc is Big Bang Theory, so I'm going to float that as my working theory until I have more data.
Basically, I'll apparently get all on board this ship if the kissing is pretty enough, but WHY COULDN'T YOU HAVE JUST HELD OFF ANOTHER YEAR. Maybe put in a year of Mindy semi-pining while he was with Joanna Garcia's character, Office style? I guess that's probably a little to close to home for Mindy, but that would made more sense on this show than it did on The Office.
Also, the Survivor finale aired tonight, concluding this fantastic A+ season in a less-than-exhilarating way, but still a satisfying one.
Not surprised to see Spencer get voted out, and not even sad because a) he made the best possible pitch about how it would be a final 2, and I didn't even believe him at that point, and b) WOW Kass had an exciting win. I watched it three times, it was so wonderful to see her come from a distant last place and then put the puzzle together like she was working from a tutorial. Also, that high perch looked impossible for me. I noticed they all squatted with flat feet, and I just cannot do that; I tip backwards on my ass if I try. I feel like if you were squatting on the balls of your feet with that unstable perch, though, you would also lose your balance and fall a lot more quickly. (how were there no shots of anyone accidentally falling off? I'm not even sure I could have gotten myself on the platform in the first place)
The family visit was super boring, which was a disappointment; it should have come earlier.
As for the final immunity -- that was a whole lot of complicated and a WHOLE lot of exciting. Crushing to see Kass lose by half a second, though -- especially in retrospect and seeing it potentially cost her the million. If she'd just been that much quicker on finding the last damn piece! Because again, she put the cog puzzle together like she had a little voice telling her exactly what went where. I was pretty disappointed; I wanted to see Kass talk at Final Tribal.
Speaking of Final Tribal, WHAT A BITTER JURY. At least, they seemed better. Tash was the only one who seemed neither bitter nor in open appreciation of Tony who voted for Woo, and I just do not understand how in the world Sarah's mind got changed. Trish I kind of see letting her friendship feelings change, even though she seemed by far the most bitter of all, but Jeffra and Jeremiah seemed pretty peeved about the whole "my word means nothing" stance he had going, so I don't get how they came around.
Someone convince me that Spencer's stupid speech didn't sway them! Because look, I respect that Spencer is a very specific type of Survivor fan who believes that the only worthy ways to play the game are to dominate challenges or strategize like crazy. Tony did deserve to win. But he was not the only or obvious person who deserved to win. I continue to be irritated that no one respects the skill it takes to stay nice, not backstab anyone, and not get targeted for elimination as deadweight or a "too nice" threat like Trish. Dodging the bullets is a valid Survivor skill. It's literally one of the triangle legs: outlast.
Anyway, then Tony won and whatever, fine, I like that he's got a nice nest egg for his newly started family, even if Woo had equally noble visions for using the prize money. I loved that Woo is apparently incapable of negative feelings. Even with Jeff badgering him to admit he made a mistake, I loved that he was just like, "Nah, you know what? I don't feel like I did." Possibly the greatest human in Survivor history. Also extremely handsome to the end -- should probably keep that amount of neatly groomed facial hair forever.
I didn't like the jury poll that they would have voted for Woo over Kass, though. I usually get really irritated when feminists claim that "when women act like men they get called a bitch instead of a leader," because actually, men tend to get called things like giant tool/jackass/asshole when they're the same type of abrasive and grating that "bitchy" women are.
But that kinda seemed like the case here. Kass was every bit as strategic as Tony, the only difference -- which may have been a valid one -- was that she did it with a smirk instead of a smile and was unapologetic about "causing chaos," whereas Tony was always trying to be ingratiating and make people understand why he had no choice or had to make a less than ideal choice. In a final 3, I'd have voted for her, though.
At least Spencer got to be right about her zero chance of winning the game?
I didn't like the "all live all the time!" aspect of the finale -- it was a little too IN YOUR FACE, especially when Jeff was with those poor kids and got really weirdly intense with his "you can SMELL THE CAMPFIRE. You can TASTE THE RICE" descriptions, to which we were all like, "Calm down, psycho." But I did enjoy most of the finale. Especially the part where Brice didn't get to say a single word, haha. (less fun was the fact that Alexis and Jeffra and Jeremiah didn't either, but I'm willing to make that trade)
I did not like the part where it sounded like Sarah had a legitimate beef with something Tony did post-game (I don't follow Twitter at all, so I don't know), and Jeff just kept hushing her up, because we can't have anything sullying our Golden Boy Hero image now, can we?
Not super excited about Blood vs. Water again. It was OK last time, but COME ON. You JUST saw how great it was to have 100% new contestants again. Are you that afraid you can't bottle the magic again?
Two and a Half Men -- the last half dozen or so episodes of the year: As previously mentioned, I've been totally hooked on Alan's web of lies since January, making sure I saw every single episode. The lie just kept getting bigger and more ludicrous and complicated and yet IT NEVER FELL APART. I had to keep watching! I especially loved him finding his soulmate in Cheapskate Gretchen.
Her insistence that he spill the beans was a bit anti-climatic, but at least I got a delightful laugh out of his friend being like "LOL that's okay, I like you better than my now-ex fiancee too! Good sport, old chum!" Walden spilling the beans about the cheating was a bigger let down, and the mess of Gretchen's ex showing up was probably not unexpected, but still kinda felt like I do when they burn their shelters to the ground at the end of each Survivor season. "And lo, it was magnificent while it lasted. But now it's over, time's up and we gotta start fresh next year, so get rid of everything that was here." On the other hand, Drunk Lindsey staggering in wearing a wedding dress and faceplanting into the cake was cracktastic and glorious.
Side note: I was so disappointed in the Mila Kunis episode. No interesting character or storyline potential at all, just an obvious contest in the writer's room to see how many meta jokes they could work in. Spoiler alert, they were all extremely obvious and painfully unfunny. Don't waste your time no matter how much you love this couple. They don't even kiss.