Following the release of her controversial Elle magazine cover, Mindy’s mid-season return episode, “Danny Castellano Is My Personal Trainer,” hit harder, better, faster, stronger as it tackled every girl’s (LEAST) favorite theme: body image! What wonderful timing! Here in Los Angeles, we’re going into the dead of winter, which means that it’s just cold enough (55 degrees) to make excuses for not going on that run – but not really – hence the Winter Layer which includes both seasonal chub and seasonal guilt.
I loved this episode. The writing was excellent. The physical comedy – which I didn’t know could be improved upon after watching Danny totally nail the choreography to Aaliyah’s “Try Again” – was hilarious and relatable. I can’t do a push up either! Or a sit up! Also, I get through my workouts using a similar psychological strategy to the one that Danny employed: “You’re at the Golden Globes…” Yes. Exactly. The only way to get through exercise is to channel mental energy away from all that awkward physical movement and focus on the Ideal Future Self: she’s lookin’ WAY hotter and totally killing it at life (because these things obvi operate in a 100% cause/effect fashion), gaining great life successes like dollars, sexy clothings, and golden statues.
But enough about exercise. Let’s talk about body images. Mindy and Cliff are going through a series of “firsts” and, therefore, must take a weekend trip. To a ski lodge. With a hot tub. Meaning Mindy will be in a bathing suit in January. Cue: emergency freak out, that even prevents her from eating coffee cake the next morning at work – “What? I don’t want coffee cake. I’m still full from that chia seed I had last night.” – before admitting she’s having serious overeating problems – “Guys, over the holidays, I ate like five hams and a goose. I am a wolf in a children’s story.” – and discussing her need to work out.
Because she didn’t have any success finding personal trainers on Tinder in the past, Morgan offers at a rate of five dollars. Short story short, Morgan is not a good personal trainer, so Mindy begs Danny to train her, so Danny takes her to his Super-Fit-Macho-Gym – “This place didn’t even let women in until Manhattan went Tina Fey crazy in 2002.” Danny promptly goes super Kanye on her and is all like “that’s right, put in work, move yo ass, go beserk, eat yo salad no dessert, get that non-skirted bikini, you deserve.” JK he doesn’t say that, but he does motivate her to exercise by alternating between screaming obscene Coach-like insults (side note: don’t know if you guys watched New Girl too, but srsly every1 was a Coach this week on FOX Comedy Tuesday, no?) at Mindy and forcing her to imagine scenarios in which she would be forced to use crazy adrenaline-induced strength to perform miraculous athletic feats. Mindy glares back at Danny with venom in her eyes throughout, and you can totally see their love blossoming.
Ultimately, Danny sees Mindy naked twice: first, when she wanders naked into Super-Freak-Gym’s “Ladies” Sauna only to discover it’s co-ed, and you have to wear towels, second, when he bursts into her office to rescue a screaming Mindy from the owl (named “Owly”) that Morgan so effectively/conveniently/great comedy writing-ly removed from the kitchen due to a B plot SNAFU involving Max-I-Mean-Peter’s managerial skills. For the record, this show is so much better now that Adam Pally is on it, and if you disagree, you’re wrong.
Mindy freaks out both times that Danny sees her naked, causing clumsy/excellent physical comedy and corporal injury. On his way out, Danny tells Mindy there are some things she could work on, now that he’s seen her naked twice. A self-conscious and defensive Mindy crutches into his office for feedback slash defensive yelling slash emotional climax moment. But all Danny says is not to suck her stomach in too much. It makes her look constipated. “And get a boob job?” she asks. “No.” “And get rid of the cellulite on your legs?” “No.” And then the best line ever: “You’re a woman and that’s good. Look like a woman.”
Yes! So many victory dances to be done. Let’s count them:
1) Victory dance for Danny Castellano for actually not being body-ist and his + Mindy’s ultimate happiness and luv.
2) Victory dance for Mindy Kaling for looking like a woman and writing about it and writing about how not everyone wants to bone people with Twiggy bodies.
3) Victory dance for this already produced episode in the wake of the Elle magazine drama surrounding the lack of Mindy Kaling’s body on her cover. Just because Zooey is doing it (showing her body, that is) doesn’t mean Mindy should. Also, she looks glamorous and gorgeous, and she feels that way, too.
4) Victory dance for January and 2014 and good TV in 2014 so far.
5) Victory dance for pubic hair – “Just grow it out. No one wants a 9 year old.” Thanks for your opinion on that one, D.