Mindy Kaling: Danny/Mindy Aren't 'Destined to be Together' - But There Is Project Romance Ahead

MindyDanny300It’s been the great debate among Mindy Project fans since midway through Season 1: Should the Fox charmer (airing Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c) pull the trigger on a rom-com-worthy love story between platonic pals Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano?

While series mastermind Mindy Kaling herself is still up in the air when it comes to officially “going there” with her alter ego and Chris Messina‘s adorable curmudgeon of a doc (“I’m not even 100 percent sure that they should be a romantic couple”), she certainly has some thoughts on the topic.

“It’s not like Danny and Mindy are Jim and Pam, where they are destined to be together because they’re each other’s true loves and soulmates,” she muses to TVLine, referring to her old Office stomping grounds and its epic lovebirds.

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“Danny and Mindy are very, very spiky, dynamic, prickly people who are older than Jim and Pam and are more set in their ways,” she adds. “So if we move in that direction, it’ll be interesting, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. If Jim and Pam got together, it would be traumatizing to viewers to have them split up or for there to be infidelity, because they were such an idealized, very romantic romance… Danny and Mindy are not.”

Kaling is quick to note that “we’re not playing toward a romance” between the aforementioned pals so much as exploring what happens when friendships deepen.

“At the beginning [of the series] they started as adversaries,” the EP explains. “So, [now] it just seems like there’s more romantic tension when, actually, they’re just spending time together as friends — or, in their minds, ‘platonic’ friends.”

With that development comes pair’s flirty, albeit barbed banter. Says Kaling with a laugh, “What’s really nice about them being legitimate friends who have, in the series, shown that they are trustworthy and people who make sacrifices for each other is they can still say mean things to each other now… But you know that underneath it all, [Danny] has such strong affection for her.”

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That said, Kaling and her writing team are finally ready to dip their toes in the Mindy/Danny pond — though, she qualifies, not in a “very linear, boring direction.”

“We have some cool stuff coming up that really advances their story romantically,” Kaling reveals, “and then there are some big twists and turns. [Writer] Tracey Wigfield and I are writing a two-episode arc [set] in L.A., in the desert, that goes in that direction.”

Mindy scribe and co-star Ike Barinholtz confirms the sexy storyline ahead, teasing to TVLine, “There will be something significant happening for Mindy and Danny… At this point, we’ve loaded it up and aimed the gun. At some point you’ve got to fire, otherwise people might just be like, ‘Come on already!’ So, we will definitely see their relationship go to another level — for at least a bit.”

So, fellow Mindy fiends, are you ready to see the oft-lovelorn leading lady make a move with Danny?

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38 Comments
  1. kd86953 says:

    i LOVE the romantic tension between the two and can’t wait to see it explored more! i don’t need them get together right away; the build up is always the best part!

    • leila says:

      Love this recently episode!! I think the now mindy has to be the one who realized that she is attractive to Danny but now danny is interesting in someone else!!!but i dont want to happen right away the relationship needs to build_up slowly =)<3
      You've got sext!!!

  2. jenjen says:

    I could have SWORN it was mentioned at the beginning of the series that they briefly dated in the past?! Did I completely fabricate this or misunderstand something?

  3. the girl says:

    I really don’t want Danny and Mindy to get together. And if they do, I hope it doesn’t work. I feel like their breakup and the awkward stage after could make great comedy.

    • Me says:

      I agree. They have crazy chemistry but watching Mindy crashing and burning through relationships is funnier than a stand-alone one. Also, they should learn a thing or two about New Girl and how they screwed up Nick and Jess (as well as the whole series)

      • scooby says:

        It wasn’t screwing up Nick and Jess so much as it was screwing up Nick. There was plenty of baggage and things to deal with but then the financial situation he was in where a friend looks him in the eye, says basically ‘I know you have the money to pay me back after I’ve been there for you in hard times, will you do that now?’ and then Nick gets this ‘how dare you? I’m outraged that you’d have the nerve to ask for your loan back’ was just such a low point for the character. Jess shouldn’t have been sneaking around, but the fact that he had the flaw he had in that episode and took it to the point of making it a dealbreaker offense, but they didn’t break up, felt like the show didn’t allow them to do the thing that the characters had earned that. Nick is in many ways profoundly unlikable and he wasn’t before.

        I don’t want Mindy and Danny to date, break up, and then just end up platonic friends who had a history. It’d be so depressing. Mindy’s got a rom com under her nose and doesn’t see it. This is slow burn When Harry Met Sally/You’ve Got Mail. If they did break up, I’d need it to be for a reason that we all know could be surmounted (not seeming forced, perhaps heartbreaking while still being organic to a comedy show) but the characters don’t realize they can have another chance. Then we get the tension back with the added thing that the two of them know that going there again is possible.

  4. ttm1983 says:

    I’m totally support if they got together and everything but PLEASE just don’t screw up with their friendship.

  5. mary says:

    Say for yourself I would be traumatized.

  6. JB says:

    I think a lot of viewers would be traumatized by Mindy and Danny breaking up. My biggest worry with this show (which I love) is that there seems to be a disconnect between how the writers perceive the show/plot/cast and how viewers perceive the same.

    • Julie says:

      I completely agree. While they’re not a Jim and Pam relationship, that doesn’t mean their relationship would be any less epic. I say the dabble with it a bit now, have to not work out right away then pull a Ross and Rachel and hook them back up in the eventual finale. The tension is too good, and I think the viewers deserve to see it work out to some extent.

      • scooby says:

        I think you let the characters tell you what they need to do and if the fans get a vibe that two people need to be together, if you don’t want that you gotta have a way to earn something else through the story you’re telling. Win us over to the other pairing or to no pairing, but casting can give you chemistry between people that seems critical to the heart of the show–Mindy/Danny feels endgame right now and did from the start to me so changing that seems weird. Not impossible, but weird. Some shows have actors and/or showrunners fight the natural order of something they’ve got going for them. Still miffed about how some couples (or non couples) were handled on Gilmore Girls, Star Trek: Voyager, and In Plain Sight. Chris Messina would have chemistry with a toaster, but I like what we get with him and Mindy Kaling so please let that happen. Doesn’t have to be now. Now I get me some Glenn Howerton, etc. :) Just eventually.

      • Audrey Mack says:

        Im a huge fan of the show and i must say Danny and Mindy together would be absolute epicness and because there both so picky and stubborn and awesomely wierd i see there relationship lasting for the long haul..he learned aaliyahs dances moves for her ^-^ that was the sweetest and cutest secret santa gift. It was genuine and from the heart. Thats def more romance than some silly crush…i would love for the writers to further explore the danny and mindy romance..def drag it out though..every longing look and big hugs leaves me breathless. The tension is def my favorite part. And to the writers dont make us wait to long now. Give the viewers what we want =) danny and mindy 4 life

  7. Maxsmom says:

    There is something holding The Mindy Project from being a great show and I think it’s too many plates spinning for Ms. Kaling, I keep watching because I like Mindy the person but the show needs another voice producing and writing.

    • taismantovani says:

      I agree with this. The show confuses me sometimes because it seems they don’t know what they want. Please just do decide it and evolve. Mindy once tweet she likes the idea of Mindy and Danny but she is afraid too. idk what I feel about this tweet. :/ I’m frustrated, probably

  8. mk says:

    OMG YES. I trust Mindy and her writing staff to come up with something amazing!

  9. Babybop says:

    I vote ‘go there’ and see where it leads. I love their dynamic!

  10. aboutThat says:

    There’s definitely a disconnect between the writers perception of what the M/D relationship looks like and the viewers’. Mindy Kaling keeps saying that it is just a “deep friendship” and that’s how they’re playing it out but I think she might not be paying attention to how Chris Messina plays Danny. At the very least, he plays Danny like he has a huge crush on Mindy.
    I’m glad they’re finally “going there” since I am not sure they’ll get another season but if they intention is to keep them getting together and breaking them up like Ross and Rachel in Friends, then ‘no, thanks’.

    • JM says:

      So true. What Mindy said above is so confusing. Deep friendship, wha?? You’re absolutely right that Danny has a huge crush on her, the way he touched her face in last season’s finale, the way he ran to the hospital when she was admitted. None of this says just ‘friendship’.

      • aboutThat says:

        Agree. I also think Mindy K. greatly underestimates how much a M/D break up would traumatize some us. *sigh* Oh well. I am still looking forward to episodes 14 and 15 (if you follow Mindy on instagram, you know that she and Tracy just finished “The Desert” (2×15) a few days ago).

  11. Julie says:

    Sometimes I think writers take too much from their personal life. She’s compared herself and bj novak to woody allen and Diane Keaton. Other writers that have done this – only write according to how things happen in their real life. Part of me thinks that Danny is based off bj and that’s where her fear of “going there” for the two of them comes from – her fear of what would happen if her and bj did the same. As a writer you need to take the plunge and go with your gut – even if that means doing what you were never able to do in real life. Call it an old school reference but Kevin Williamson did that to Dawson and Joey. I liked both d&j and p&j as couples, for different reasons but Dawson and Joey always felt end game, yet when Kevin came back to write the final episode he gave Joey to pacey because in real life he didn’t get the girl either (and Dawson is based on him for those unfamiliar). So yeah. Separate real life from the fiction that comes from it. Go for the long shot and make it work because you can! It’s tv. You’re the one in complete control. Sorry if I rambled, but I think that’s how a lot of good (albeit, fictional) relationships are ruined. Overthinking.

    • Ashley says:

      It’s sad to think of all the lost potential on some of the best pairings. I agree, Joey and Dawson totally felt end game and they should’ve ended up together instead of Joey and Pacey in the finale. Hopefully Mindy and Danny will end up together eventually, if not soon.

  12. m. says:

    I’m kinda relieved. Definitely don’t want them to be romantically involved. They work great as friends!

  13. Ella says:

    I love their friendship and the hints of genuine affection but I really like the steady pace at which they are taking it. Please don’t pull a New Girl Nick and Jess, who I once loved as a couple but now can’t stand. I think Danny and Mindy will be fine as friends with some romantic tension for the next couple of seasons before they go there.

  14. EmV says:

    I don’t know what people are talking about with all this nonsense about New Girl being ruined. Lordy people take TV way too seriously. I just watched NG last night and laughed my butt off. I don’t think Mindy Project could get much better. I love the tension between Danny and Mindy. The season finale last year…I think I watched it about 10 times. I was a rewinding fool. Danny can you please put my glasses on me? I think they have some shmutz on them. I don’t wear glasses…

    With that kind of chemistry- OF COURSE the two have to get together at some point. I mean come on!! That said, no I definitely do not expect it to be boring or forever. Mindy’s dating disasters are hilarious. Do I hope they end up together? Yes. Do I want them to get married? Yes. Have babies? Yes. We want happy things for Mindy! Mindy and Danny have such awesome banter that even if they had a long term relationship, the banter and drama between them is enough to keep the story going. Please refer to Sam and Diane people…then Sam and Rebecca. And quit whining about New Girl! I love what they have done- you don’t have to wait 11 years to get characters together for crying out loud!

    Great writing, great characters, great acting. Keep up the good work.

    • S. says:

      People aren’t “whining” about New Girl b/c of Nick/Jess getting together. That part was great. It’s not as good, esp the character arcs of Nick and Winston which are so odd right now. TVLine and others noticed it. You’re not in charge of telling everybody what to like. ‘The box’ episode was godawful for a lot of us. Taking tv too seriously? Well you’re too easy to please. TV should be taken seriously. We allow these fictional people into our homes. Saying ‘it’s just tv, laugh your butt off for something unfunny and underwhelming’ is ridiculous. New Girl’s been so great in the past. I want one of my favorite shows back. I’ll stick around awhile hoping it is. If they don’t keep The Mindy Project around next year, I don’t know if I’ll bother keeping up with NG as it airs if it stays like this. ‘Mindy’ is the new 30 Rock. Matt and Ausiello have spoken and I concur.

  15. cececece says:

    MIndy and Danny should not be together I love them way more now with the dynamic they have right now.

  16. cousin it says:

    I don’t understand why true love is so boring for people on this forum. The best love stories are the ones were they start of as great friends because then the relationship has a real strong foundation that can survive any test. MINDY IS A ROMANTIC. THAT IS THE WHOLE BASES AROUND HER CHARACTER SO now THAT MINDY AND DANNY HAVE BECOME best FRIENDS it make sense if there relationship went further and them as a couple. I DONT NEED THEM TOGETHER RIGhT AWAY BUT EVENTUALLY I WOULD LIKE THEM TO GET TOGETHER PERMINATELY. I AM TIRED OF ALL THESE FIVE SECONDS RELATIONSHIP CAUSE I am over that. What would actually be refeshing is relationship that will stand the test of time cause you never see that on tv anymore. And I think you would actually have some funnier story lines. I think her mishaps with guys were funny in the beginning but it would ultimately suck ig her charater end up single. I think the last epsiode danny and mindy are together and pregnant and end uphaving to delieve the baby in some weird senerio that would be the ending to all endings.CNN

  17. Kelly S. says:

    The chemistry they have created b/w mindy and danny is too great for them not to have a future together. If they hook up/date and then call it off and decide to be platonic it would be too akward. I think that could ruin the show. Maybe date others a little here and there but in the end they should be together for the haul, he is obviously in love w/ her!

  18. den says:

    i think that they should get together for a wheel or just a kiss and then break up and become best friends again i just really want to see them kiss at least :) you know and if the kiss is trouble than they want meant to be but if the kiss is good then they were

  19. den says:

    if it doesn’t work out keep there friendship they device a chance to be together at least keep them fighting and staff but the only difference is that they would be together

  20. Mimi says:

    I love the tension between mindy and Danny. I’m glad Chris Messina came on board, I never knew of him before,, but think he’s such a great actor. I can imagine following anything he does – he could pull off all sorts of roles!
    But in the case of TMP I think it would be great to see mindy crushing on Danny, while he’s in a steady relationship, after giving up on mindy! TMP generated so much discussion and gives FOX coverage, that I think they should renew it for just that reason in itself!
    I’m from the UK and found it by chance on YouTube clips and have kept up with it ever since. Great comedy!

    Mimi

  21. shell says:

    I think Danny and Mindy should be together I am so sick of all these tv shows that get together, break up, get together. IT is getting so old why can’t we watch a couple get together and them be happy? There are so many shows out there with the same couple drama, I for one would like to see a change for once. I am looking forward to Danny and Mindy being together

  22. beth says:

    i really love the relationship between mindy and danny and i would like to see them go public with it. I would be pumped if they had to break up coz of the show not going in that direction

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