Mindy Lahiri and her posse of wacky and improper co-workers have returned for a second season of The Mindy Project. This time they’ll be joined by a surprising (not really) guest, James Franco. In the premiere, bluntly titled “All My Problems Solved Forever,” Mindy goes through a lot. The episode’s packed with a season’s worth of material, which if you remember, is where the series’ charm lies.

The Players:

  • Director: Michael Spiller
  • Writer: Mindy Kaling
  • Cast: Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ed Weeks, Ike Barinholtz, Zoe Jarman, Beth Grant

Episode Title: “All My Problems Solved Forever”

As Mindy and Casey adjust to life in Haiti, their bliss is cut short when Mindy gets sick, faints and is airlifted back to New York. Meanwhile, Schulman & Associates welcomes their new resident OB/GYN Paul Leotard (guest star James Franco). He’s a charming former model who’s also a sex therapist counseling Danny and Christina (guest star Chloe Sevigny).

The Good:

  • James Franco: Franco has a great sense of humor. He’s good in comedic settings, and why wouldn’t he be? Just look at his best friends (they’re the kings of comedy right now). Here his character says things like “penis” and “sperm,” and though it’s not particularly hilarious, Franco’s charm makes it funny. 
  • Snappy Tone: The thing about The Mindy Project is it’s quick. The jokes come one after the other. Sometimes you’ll get them, and other times they’ll fly over you. One second, Mindy’s cracking a joke about ants in her pants, the next she’s falling off a tree. The point of the show is to keep you laughing and it does.

Best Lines:

  • “Guys I lost three pounds of water weight from diarrhea.” –Mindy

The So-So:

  • Too Much Going On: Despite the episode’s snappy tone, there was too much going on. Mindy goes from being in Haiti, to a hospital in New York, back to work, then her apartment where she’s preparing to get married. On top of that there’s the introduction of James Franco, Danny’s relationship problems plus Jeremy’s weight issue. A little less would’ve gone a long way. 
  • Obvious Danny: We always knew Danny had a thing for Mindy, but we appreciated his secrecy about it. Take The New Girl: Jess and Nick were meant to be right from the start, but it was never that obvious. With Danny, it’s written all over his face, and that’s not a good thing this early in the series.


Even with a flashy guest star and decent jokes, the premiere was too hefty to enjoy. That said, the season looks promising and we certainly won’t hold this weak start against it.

Rating: 6.5/10

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on FOX.

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What did you think of tonight’s episode?