Arts

‘The Mindy Project’ continues to subvert the rom-com genre

“The Mindy Project,” currently airing its final season, is available to stream on Hulu with new episodes every Tuesday.

Image By: Photo courtesy of Hulu

This Tuesday, “The Mindy Project” aired its second episode of its final season on Hulu and fans are already voicing their complaints about the new season. Hulu has this function where if you scroll to the bottom of the page while watching an episode, you can see Facebook comments from other viewers. Whenever I watch something on their streaming service, I always find myself scrolling down to see what others are thinking — spoiler alert: It’s never anything that nice. The comments below the two most recent episodes of “The Mindy Project” have been especially terrible and I think the fans are ignoring how the show continues to take a classic romantic-comedy genre and turn it on its head in a really funny and genuine way.

If you’re not caught up on the most recent episode, stop reading and go watch it! (Then come back and proceed reading, please). Last season, we watched as Mindy married Ben the nurse, who may actually be the blandest TV boyfriend ever made. He is, on paper, really sweet, nerdy and cute, but compared to every other man Mindy has dated on the show, he may be on the bottom of my list. But in last season’s finale, after her wedding, Mindy looked out the window of the subway with a look full of hesitation.

This season, they’ve already dived deep into Mindy’s hold-ups when it comes to her marriage. The premiere dealt with Mindy and Ben arguing because Mindy was having difficulty making time in her schedule for Ben. Fans in the comment section called her selfish, yet I couldn’t help but feel slightly defensive. Mindy is one of TV’s most independent female protagonists. She’s an incredibly successful OB-GYN and has been a single mom for quite some time. She’s used to being on her own and, more importantly, she was comfortable being on her own. Women are often expected to be able to accommodate everything and everyone in their lives and the truth of the matter is, it’s just not always possible. I think it’s so important to see women like Mindy being represented; Women who can’t always fit into these ideas of what a perfect wife or a perfect mom looks like. And yes, Mindy did feel guilty that she was hurting Ben, but she still didn’t apologize for being who she was — independent. That aspect of her personality is what makes Mindy one of the more relatable TV characters on our screens today.

This week’s episode was met with just as much, if not more, critique. Ben and Mindy have been attending marriage counseling and, when their counselor suggests compromise when real obstacles come their way, Ben decides to take it to the test. He pretends he has a job interview in a different state to see how Mindy would handle it (yes, the basis of every healthy relationship). When Mindy says that she’d be fine doing the long distance relationship, he tells her that’s not how a marriage should work. In the most poignant part of the episode, he points out to her that she liked the idea of getting married more than she actually wants to be married. She doesn’t try to deny it — she tells him he’s correct and when he says they should get divorced, she agrees immediately. Since the beginning, this show has been a revamp of a classic rom-com genre, and with this final season, it’s already flipping the category on its head. The series shows what happens after the credits roll: That relationships take hard work and that sometimes things just don’t work out. These past few episodes with Mindy show how young girls are often raised with this magical idea of love, but how unhealthy it actually is for our real-life relationships. “The Mindy Project” is giving young girls a more realistic view of how relationships work and a really wonderful role model to watch, who works through these things without compromising who she really is.

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