It’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.
“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.”
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?