March 8, 2013

THE SKED @ PALEYFEST 2013: “The Mindy Project”


Creator/star Mindy Paling and the rest of the gang from THE MINDY PROJECT had cause to be of good cheer at tonight’s PaleyFest panel, having learned this week that their series, despite middling ratings, has been renewed for a second season.  Mostly their high spirits emerged through systematic teasing of Chris Messina, who plays Mindy’s will-they-or-won’t-they partner on the show Dr. Danny Castellano.  Apparently just about every member of the writing staff and cast has scrutinized Messina’s tastes (he likes lots of mushroom on his pizzas) and his constant disavowals of being funny, among other traits, and Mindy, Ike Barinholtz (one of the show’s very talkative writers as well as a co-star as goofball Morgan) and Ed Weeks (the debonair Dr. Jeremy Reed) all trotted out their best Messina impressions over the course of the evening. (Barinholtz took the prize for doing Messina in his Argo role, and he does a mean Mindy to boot.)

As for the will-they-or-won’t-they, little of any import was revealed to the crowd, although Kaling opined that even if her alter-ego ended up married and settled down on the show, her life would still be tumultuous enough to generate plenty of stories.  The March 19 episode, screened as part of the PaleyFest session, had no particular insights to offer.  Another upcoming episode will feature Jeremy and Morgan bonding and unbonding at a Santa Fe sweat lodge, and there will also be a beach fight (for unspecified reasons) between Danny and Mark Duplass’s recurring character, but apart from that, the only reveal was their hope that next season they’ll be able to realize their plan of featuring Danny McBride as a very non-traditional gay pal of Mindy’s.  The most noteworthy announcement of the evening may have been Kaling’s confirmation that she’ll appear in the series finale of The Office.

Mindy has had an unsteady first season that’s already featured a couple of shake-ups to the supporting cast and a process of finding the proper tone and focus that’s still very much ongoing (although lately on a definite upswing), but this was only alluded to in the most general terms, with Mindy remaking that a new book she’s writing will cover some of the highest highs and lowest lows of her life that have occurred in the past 18 months.  For tonight, all the gathered participants and fans were focused on the positive.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."