Inside the 'Deeply Divided' Mindy Project Writers' Room: Ike Barinholtz on Mindy/Danny Romance

The Mindy Project DannyIf The Mindy Project writer and co-star Ike Barinholtz had gotten his way, flirty friends Mindy and Danny would have jumped right into a “torrid love affair” at the end of Season 1. (Sorry, Pastor Casey.) As it turns out, though, he is not the only one in the MP writers’ room.

“The whole year we were all deeply divided on whether or not [we should 'go there'] with Mindy and Danny,” Barinholtz shared with TVLine at the recent ATX Festival. “I wanted to see it. But some other writers said ‘No, no, no! Don’t do that. Wait.”

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And now? “Well, we waited,” he said with a laugh. “But there was still a nice moment at the end [of the finale] that shows there’s something there between those two. Looking back, I’m glad that the [other writers] won because hopefully we’ll be able to do the show for awhile and then, if eventually if the show ends with Mindy and Danny living in a two-bedroom in The Village somewhere, it would be fantastic.”

The Mindy Project Danny

So, Team Dindy/Dandy/Manny (?) fans out there, you’ll have to sit tight because, confirmed your former teammate: “We’re now giving Mindy some time to get there with him.”

As far as our leading lady’s other romantic prospects go, Barinholtz reveals that Anders Holm will return as the god-loving beau Mindy followed to Haiti in the Season 1 finale — but for now he’ll only be “back for a few” installments. “That’s such a great relationship,” he explained, “but all good things must come to an end.”

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On Morgan’s end of the spectrum, Barinholtz is eager to show off his alter ego’s very own gal pal. “It might be fun to find a woman who would date this person,” he laughed. “She might be a psychopath, but she’s out there! And at some point there might also be a circumstance where Morgan has to live with either Mindy or Danny for an extended period of time…. There’s a lot of romantic comedy to pull from there!”

Are you, like Ike Barinholtz, hoping for a Mindy/Danny love story? Would you rather see Morgan’s weird romantic life play out? Hit the comments!

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52 Comments
  1. mia says:

    I love how they are handling it so far and I’m deeply invested in the Mindy/Danny romance. I love the slowish burn, but just don’t take too long. Season 3 at the very latest, cause the show can survive with them together as a couple.

    • dude says:

      I like the idea of one of them realizing their feelings mid-way through season two and them jumping into bed together in the finale.

  2. Maria says:

    I don’t want them together at all.

    • Dr. Chameleon says:

      I’m with you. I didn’t like that they were hinting at it ever. I’m not even totally buying their attempts to make him sympathetic.

    • Claudia says:

      Their antagonism is what makes the show great! I agree. However, the feelings can be played without bringing them together.
      PS: Get rid of the pastor guy. He’s a joke, and kinda insults christian people.

      • ceecee says:

        I so agree about the “pastor”. He’s more of a motivational speaker than a pastor. The way he’s portrayed, it seems like he took the job because likes people sitting in thrall as he speaks; his faith seems like an after thought.

      • Imani says:

        I agree with you. He’s an insult to Christians.
        I love this show and everything but this whole American culture of mis-construing Christianity is just ridiculous.

    • EILEEN HOLTZ says:

      I agree. The idea of them parrying season after season brings a lot to the show. Leave things “as is.”

  3. I’m really excited to see how they do Mindy/Danny. Loved them in season one. So happy it got renewed, my favourite new comedy other than Go On (RIP).

  4. Ta_Mant says:

    Danny/Mindy should be together.not too fast, I agree with that but if take too long time people will get tired of the they will/won’t thing. I’m just saying. I really love their relationship. I hope it evolves naturally.

  5. Lovely says:

    I vote against Danny/Mindy. I really like the friendship they have and can’t we just for once leave it that way? Do the guy and girl always have to get together? I also really loved Josh. Thought he was her best boyfriend up until they ruined him with the cheating.

    • scooby says:

      Josh was kind of a jerk. A funny, attractive jerk, but a jerk. The kind of guy nobody wants their daughter hooking up with. He didn’t want to be with Mindy enough that he would stop dating other people? If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who wants exclusivity when you don’t, you do the right thing and break up. It’s not fair to the other person. He’s a ‘doesn’t believe in committing to one person’ guy when she’s a hopeless romantic. She was only with him because she thought nobody should want her. It’s low self-esteem. Why would she want to settle for Josh? Mindy’s not a fling person deep down. She wants love. He’d never love her. He’s a guy who’d tell her what she wanted to hear so she wouldn’t leave. He’s not actually into the things she’s into either. If women stopped dating guys that were like Josh, nice guys everywhere would breathe a sigh of relief.

      • Trace says:

        For me, the problem with Josh is that he was kind of perfect and then, in one show, he’s a two timing drug addict. It was like it was time for the actor to go, so they just made him be this terrible person with no lead up to it.

      • Amy says:

        This is possibly the best comment ever! Maybe because it describes my dating life too….

    • murley says:

      of all the shows on tv the one based on classic romantic c

    • murley says:

      of all the shows on tv the one based on classic romantic comedy tropes and premises seems like precisely the one that should have the two leads get together in the end.

  6. Babybop says:

    I say get them together at some random point in season 2. Like, the 5th episode, where no one would expect it. Ha ha.

    But get them together, because I can’t deal with another will/they won’t they!

  7. Beanie says:

    I looooove Casey/Anders Holm. I think he and Mindy are so good for each other. I know that Dandy is end game but please keep him as long as possible!

    • scooby says:

      Maybe they could have them break up, try to remain friends even though she’s secretly bothered by that, and Casey can try to get her to be friends with a future girlfriend. The old feelings wouldn’t resurface exactly, but there’s a resentment and jealousy that could lead to comedy. Morgan and Betsy could try to have her back a little too much.

  8. Nicole says:

    It’s a tough one. The chemistry there is awesome, so you want to let it happen on its own time but not take too long. I’m glad they are waiting, but don’t envy the decision they have to make on choosing the ‘right’ time.

  9. Still Terry says:

    Putting Danny and Mindy together is so predictable and one of the things I’ve loved about this show is that it’s not that. Ugh.

    • Emily says:

      mindy is an admitted romcom addict and is literally writing herself a slow-burn bff rom-com. if you don’t see that and mindy/danny as inevitable then perhaps you should think about the show you’re watching.

      not everyone has to subvert tropes. sometimes it’s enough to do them better.

  10. Anon says:

    What kills me are the people complaining about the Mindy/Danny romance with the want or even expectation for the writers to go in a different direction (it’s fair to not like them, but don’t expect writers to change for the few who don’t). It’s part of the whole premise of the series. In fact, part of the joke of this show is that Mindy is obsessed with romantic comedies, so of course it would make sense that she can’t see the “real” leading man in her own romantic comedy. So people can moan and complain about the Mindy and Danny relationship but the writers have made them quite clear from episode 1 and I doubt they’ll change it for a few people who aren’t into romance in a literal tv show meant to be a drawn out romantic comedy. When someone watches a romantic comedy (while they can be told in new, fresh or even innovative ways) there are “certain” elements most audience members are going to expect. And that’s fair. Not everything has to be Game of Thrones which breaks the stereotypical rules of storytelling. And to that I say thank goodness.

    • mia says:

      Well said! And I totally agree. The irony of the show is that neither of them can see what’s in front of them. Its a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice of sorts…..and every romcom ever made. And we expect that as an audience

      • scooby says:

        Such a shame there’s not a way to high five through a comment thread. ;) I don’t get the ‘oh it’s so predictable’ thing. Yeah, people who have chemistry getting together, what a snoozefest? Seriously? I hadn’t read Pride & Prejudice in awhile and just picked it up again. This stuff works for a reason, and I have no problem giggling over romance provided it’s handled with wit and charm. You can’t beat a well-written romantic comedy because people who are able to have love and truth have it all (finding the truth of a situation is really the foundation of comedy in a lot of ways and it always comes back to that when you talk to comedians). Tripe and cheese just for the sake of manhandling our emotions is just lazy, manipulative writing. The moments don’t feel earned. When things happen on this show, they seem to know how to earn them and they got better at that as the season moved along. Of all the bubble shows, I wanted this one to return the most. It could really be something special.

    • All I have to say is, “Preach!” Mindy and Danny have always been endgame. Deal with it.

  11. april-ann says:

    I just started watching this show – caught only the last two eps of the season and really, really enjoyed it. I thought it was brilliant. It’s on a network I almost never tune into for anything, so maybe that’s why I never watched before, just not on my “radar”. Hoping to get caught up on reruns this summer so that I can comment on the subject of this article in the future. Something I’m noticing though. The way I am accustomed to becoming a steadfast viewer of shows is by watching the reruns of the season in the summer and I see that networks are choosing not to show them during the summer now. They show maybe some, but out of sequence and very few. They instead show “specials”, “reality shows”, “pageants”, “contests”, sports (ugh!) “new seasons” of shows no one watched anyway and didn’t make the grade for prime season etc. I’m guessing this is because there are more reruns shown than new episodes all season long and we are supposed to “catch up” then? But that’s hard to do when there are new episodes of other shows then. Or maybe it’s because anyone can get anything any time on the internet? Whatever it is, I like tv and am disappointed.

    • scooby says:

      It’s a shame they’re down to 2 eps on Fox.com, but they had the entire season up a couple weeks ago. Rewatched the whole thing. I liked it a lot the first time, but you really appreciate it when you look back at how they’ve handled the characters so far. I bet you’d enjoy seeing it on dvd, esp. if they do commentaries. I like playing ‘spot the time when Mindy totally almost blew a take.’ It’s sweet that she enjoys the people she works with that much.

      • april-ann says:

        Thanks, scooby. You now have me hooked to the point that I will do anything to see it. Are dvds available? But networks could do their part too. She’s amazing. One of the most creative and talented in the ‘biz. No matter the accolades, she’s egregiously underrated.

    • CR says:

      If you don’t mind spending a few dollars to watch this show, I believe the entire season is available on HuluPlus.

  12. ER says:

    Honestly, shows become SO boring when the couple gets together. It’s fun for, like a season, and then it just gets either tired and boring (see: The Office, after season 4) or repetitive with the will-they/won’t-they (every other show). So, I’d actually prefer that they wait.

  13. cjeffery7 says:

    “Dandy” is for SURE the ship name that must be used. come on people!

  14. No no no no no no no! I love them as friends who respect each other, who get each other but who don’t have a romantic future. Think of Mary Richards and Lou Grant. They went on one date with each other and when they went in for a kiss they both broke into giggles. THAT’S what I want for Mindy and Danny. Not another tired Sam & Diane, David & Maddy, Niles & Daphne disaster.

    • scooby says:

      Gross. Danny is not her boss. No Mary/Lou or Liz/Jack. Danny and Mindy are supposed to be peers. Your supposed “disasters” are classic pairings. Doesn’t sound like romantic comedies are your thing. Both the character and the real person of Mindy eat them up with a spoon. Who said you can’t have them be friends who respect each other AND ultimately pursue them as a couple? It worked for When Harry Met Sally. The best relationships are rooted in a deep friendship and respect.

  15. Wesley says:

    I get that the Mindy Project is pushing Danny and Mindy, but I just feel that them getting together is just way too obvious. I’d prefer a shake up honestly, bring back Seth Rogen’s character and get him in for a recurring role, or maybe get the Mindy and Brendan (Mark Duplass) fling back. I just think there’s so much room for experiments and making the obvious choice couple get together just feels so repetitive.

    • CR says:

      I really hope they bring back Seth Rogen as well. I’m not sure if they will ever be able to get him for a long enough period though since he’s got a pretty busy film career, but I hope they make it happen.

  16. DOT says:

    Love_mindy_With_the_midwife

  17. m. says:

    Please.. just no!! Don’t ever put them together. They’re great as friends. Not every male/female lead in a show must be put together!!!

    • Dizzle says:

      True, but it’s not like this is something that’s just come about… They’ve been aiming at it since the pilot! If they had just suddenly decided “Oh Danny’s a man, Mindy should get with him” I’d feel differently, but that has always been the plan – more of a “when” not “if”.

  18. MariaH says:

    I’m really rooting for Danny and Mindy. And it’s not because they’re the two leads (I watch a lot of the show and I never rooted for jack/liz ) I just think they have a great CHEMISTRY, (simple as that) and I don’t care if it’s too obvious/predictable. Besides I don’t care about Mindy and the others guys, I don’t like Casey and Brendan is a scumbag (I liked him for a while)

  19. aboutThat says:

    I began watching this show when Mindy had just met Casey so I didn’t initially know the whole story, but even in the last few episodes of the season it was pretty clear to me that, at the very least, Danny had a thing for Mindy. It was obviously confirmed in the last scene of the finale.
    I’ve watched the whole season in the last few weeks. I still think that it was established since episode 1 that the dynamic between M/D is supposed to be similar to Bridget/Mark in Bridget Jones Diary: he’s into her but not completely aware of it until the end and she’s completely oblivious to it because it doesn’t even cross her mind that someone like him would like her in that way. I don’t get the comparisons to platonic friendships like 30 Rock’s Liz/Jack. As far as I know, neither actor ever played it out or acted in the same say that Chris Messina’s Danny does. I know the writers want to be coy about the relationship, but if they were really never “going there”, they would have asked Chris to not make Danny act like he has an unconscious crush on Mindy a long time ago. That’s my take on it. :)

  20. Abby says:

    I want them together eventually. But in the meantime, there’s too much fun to be mined from Mindy’s disastrous dates and kooky boyfriends. Other than Casey, she usually has no luck with men and they’ve used that to great comic effect.

  21. Meemee says:

    Mindy/Danny all the way but I’d love some obstacles first. Just think how fans went crazy during season 3 of The Office, hoping every week that something would happen with Jim and Pam and how great the payoff was with that season’s finale. I think that same formula could work here.

  22. meli says:

    I think mindy n danny would be disaster funny…just let danny keep falling for.her….casey is in love with her n I think its really cute the chemistry with casey n mindy although since day one I saw the danny potential

  23. Itou Natsuko says:

    She caught that gentleman for a time, stiffly, consequently led that man to the chair beside her. Absolutely, and I could treasure you for that too, he quipped, shifting the topic from business to treat.

  24. Wanda says:

    I just watched my first episode of The Mindy ProjectI. it makes me so very sad that t.v. Shows are so crude and in your face concerning sexual matters, that shpuld be private. I wish writers cared more about how their shows/subjects are harming young children, causing them to believe that anything, with anybody, at any time is good, acceptable, normal, and healthy. It is so far from the truth. I wish there were writers who had enough knowledge and mental ability to write stories that did not totally and completely revolve around sex, nudity, vulgar language, and disrespect. Are there any intelligent writers left who have even an ouce of morals, who could write stories that make you think, rather than just watch constant nonsense? Or, are they just giving people what they want? I’m just asking.

  25. anmol says:

    yupp i totally want mindy n dr c to b a thing pls

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