Mindy Project Premiere Recap: Diamond Dan Dances Again

The Mindy Project Season 3 Premiere Recap

I know there’s more to The Mindy Project‘s Season 3 premiere than the final minute-and-a-half, but honestly, I’m having trouble focusing on anything else right now.

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Because in those final 90 seconds, star Chris Messina sees Danny’s Secret-Santa dance from Season 2 and raises it a striptease that would make Channing Tatum say, “Dayum.” Messina wholeheartedly commits to what could’ve been a silly footnote on the episode, and the result is both super hot and very funny. And really, what more could we ask of the Fox comedy’s return?

Let’s review what happened in “We’re a Couple Now, Haters!,” then you’ll let us know what you thought about the episode. Sound good?

THE HONEYMOON PERIOD | We pick up with a montage of Mindy and Danny as a couple, with his voiceover discussing how improbable their pairing would’ve seemed years ago and her voiceover describing him as the man of her dreams: “a devout Catholic divorcee, with some pretty serious dad issues which, for a single thirtysomething woman, is not too shabby.” He makes her eat cantelope. She makes him wear sherbet-colored Polo shirts. But they’re both oddballs who love sleeping together, so it works (as does Danny’s tush shake to “More Than a Feeling,” which takes us through the new opening credits. Nice touch, MP.)

ZIP THOSE LIPS | When Peter comes to Danny for between-the-sheets advice (“I heard you’re good with the mouth”), Dr. C lights into Mindy for her inability to keep anything private. And though she promises she will, the discovery of a hot pink thong with the word “Diamond” bedazzled on it leads Mindy to discuss Danny’s possible sexual past with her co-workers. Morgan helpfully points out that the thong is a man’s, not a woman’s, which helps Mindy discover that her current flame used to Magic Mike it up for lusty ladies willing to make it rain.

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Meanwhile, Danny finds out that Jeremy is secretly romancing Peter’s girlfriend Lauren, and he shares that gossip with Mindy. Guess what she does with it? When it gets back to Danny, via Tamra (of course), Mindy and Danny have it out about him not saying enough and her saying too much. Because of her big mouth, “I don’t trust you with my secrets,” he confesses, causing a rift between the two.

“WHOA NELLY”| While Peter and Jeremy throw down over Lauren, Danny goes to Mindy’s to apologize. She returns the sentiment, explaining that she talks about their relationship so much because that makes it real. “It’s real,” he softly assures her (aww), then goes on to reveal more secrets about his youth — including that his family was so poor when he was a kid, he carried a purse to school instead of a backpack. Mindy kisses him, and all is well.

Then, all that’s left is for Danny to crank up Lenny Kravitz’s cover of “American Woman” and shake what his mama gave him. The dance is a thing of beauty, punctuated by Mindy hilariously grabbing her glasses so she can get a clearer view. Danny struts. He rips his shirt off. He body-rolls and palms his package and it is glorious. My feelings about the whole thing are best summed up by Mindy’s final line of the episode, uttered just after the camera pulls back on Danny giving her a lap dance: “Whoa, Nelly.”

What did you think of the episode? Grade the premiere via the poll below, then back up your choice in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. enri says:

    I love The Mindy Project. Chris Messina…wowza! Thanks for the recap.

  2. Betty says:

    Awesome job! The episode set up the beginning of the season well, and stayed true to the characters. Danny is the perfect boyfriend.

  3. Jamie says:

    Peter points out it’s a stripper thong. Morgan points out it’s for a man.

  4. Boiler says:

    Great start tonite. If both Mindy and New Girl continue they should have great seasons.

  5. scooby says:

    “You can’t keep secrets, Diamond.” So glad Danny decided to be a little more, ehem, open.

  6. Claire says:

    I’m at a loss for words. Just… wow.

  7. missteeks says:

    No mention of Danny playing “Let It Go” on the piano?

  8. S says:

    Love love love Mindy Project. Chris Messina is the man, I’m pretty sure every girl wishes she could date Danny Castellano. That ending…whoa Nelly indeed!

  9. Jess says:

    So freaking good! Full season for Mindy!

  10. Joey Padron says:

    Season premiere was good & funny. Can’t wait to see more new episodes.

  11. jo jo jo says:


  12. Alicia Kay says:

    Chris Messina steps up to the plate and inexplicably knocks it outta the Girating park!!! :-D. Once again (Danny Castellano) wows us with his Magic Mike like moves! My Girl Crush Mindy Kaling is an absolute GENIUS because she knows what works and she knows what we love and she and her other fantabulous writing crew did a superb job on “We’re a Couple Now Haters” and I cannoy wait to see what the rest of season 3 holds!! Thanks and Love to Mindy!

  13. Brooke says:

    Absolutely perfect! Really loving the hell outta this show!!

  14. Lisa says:

    Best comedy on network tv… I wish it got the attention new girl does, its so much better

  15. Sarah J says:

    Who are these people grading the season premieres as awesome? Do they know what awesome means? The shows were just OK.

    • S. says:

      So you’re one of the haters going with a C or less. Could probably count you guys on 1 hand judging from the percentages. No way did you even watch it (thereby making you a troll). It’s physically impossible for you to do that and maintain ownership of your ovary-card after watching that last scene.

      • SarahJ says:

        Well, I’m not a hater, but you certainly are. Do you make everything so personal? Not agreeing with you doesn’t make me a troll either.
        You seem to see in black-and-white instead of shades of gray. I used to LOVE both of these shows. I still am a big Mindy fan, NG continues to disappoint, since I hold it to the standard of its first season.

    • KC says:

      Totally Agree!

  16. Does this also mean no more of that stupid TMP theme song??? Please, Diamond Dan, make it so.

  17. Natasha says:

    Danny’s dancing alone made this episode an A. That scene sure rivaled the Aaliyah dance from last season! Plus, his “attempt to share gossip” and him playing Let it go on piano! His list of secrets was quite a wonderful moment too.

    The other parts of the episode felt a little off. It was interesting to see Morgan’s cousin, wonder how long he’ll be around.

  18. Lulu2 says:

    Wow, I’m in the minority tonight. I generally like this show but thought it was a weak start. Still too many characters and not enough plot to go around. And hello? The staff meeting. Where did all that staff come from?
    Loved the dance at the end though, yum.

    • Alexandra says:

      Weirdly, when they have plot-heaving episodes, people gripe about them not using all the supporting characters. This one did use everyone. It seems like they alternate. It was a very funny episode, and yeah, the cold open and ending alone were enough for an A. Love this show! Hope it gets more episodes.

  19. Mindy and Jess Fan says:

    I’m 64 and never thought I would enjoy Mindy and New Girl – but they are both great. Lots of laugh-out-loud moments, Both started out the season really well – hope it continues.

  20. big cheddar says:

    What I really want to know is what in the heck is the Staten Island Handshake?!? Dayum, Danny!

  21. analog says:

    Wasn’t this ep supposed to be titled “We’re a Couple Now, Bitches!” instead of “….Haters!”?

  22. I.R.E. says:

    I’m glad Peter fixed himself to become more serious rather than being irritating all the time. Right now Jeremy is becoming an idiot and Peter punched him for flirting with Lauren.

    I’m not too clear about that criminal Lou character at the end at all.

    We just need to look forward in seeing Annette, a cranky old woman played by Rhea Perlman, get added as permanent by next week to boost up higher ratings, good criticism and a full season.

    I’m also looking forward to see Allison Tolman to guest more than two episodes in this season. She will help this show keep Zoe Jarman to appear more longer as reduced guest and both Zoe and Allison should be part of the main cast after all.

  23. Sara says:

    I found Mindy to be incredibly annoying in this episode. I don’t blame Danny for being so upset about her telling the office EVERYTHING about them…let alone their sex life. I’m sorry but she needs to grow up just a little bit.

  24. Evan says:

    Good first season, great second season…I’ve got high hopes for this third season, and the premiere makes me hopeful. Kaling and Messina have really grown into these roles, and I’m loving everything so far. Messina, in particular, impressed me in this episode. I know a lot of people loved him last season, but I guess it took me until tonight to be really impressed. Beyond the great stuff with those two (like the secret reveal scene), there were a lot of laugh-out-loud one-liners tonight. I might have to go back and rewatch in case I missed anything, but overall, a great start.

  25. Kay says:

    For me Mindy was way better than New Girl last night! I love Danny and Mindy together, hope they stay that way….

  26. Kyle says:

    Just give Chris Messina the Emmy. Seriously.

  27. Meh says:

    Great recap. The Mindy Project just keeps getting better and better. Between the writing, acting and overall cast chemistry this show has gotten into a groove and deserves an over the top praising of its awesomeness. Chris Messina is just….well, there are no words for men like him. It’s weak in the knees type stuff. His chemistry with Mindy Kaling is off the charts and the writers use it to their advantage in all the right ways. I will pray for good ratings because this show deserves to be around for a while. Mindy Kaling is one of the funniest comedians out there today. Looking forward to the rest of the season!

  28. adri says:

    I loved it! So much better than New girl, IMO. I was not only not dissapointed, but I truly liked it, and the dance at the end was HOT HOT HOT.

  29. I was worried they would never be able to top last season’s finale.

    I was wrong. SOOOO wrong.

  30. Sarah T. says:

    What a fantastic start to season 3! I was just a little worried that getting Mindy and Danny together would hurt the show like it has with others (I’m looking at your “New Girl”) but it worked and it worked well. Just sorry that Fox gave it a lead-in like Utopia (seriously?!) because that hurt the ratings. Here’s to a strong season 3 and a better lead in!
    P.S. As an aside, I thought New Girl was improved for it’s season 4 premiere too.

  31. kd86953 says:

    I finally just watched and all I’ve got to say… whoa nelly. I laughed throughout the entire episode; every bit was golden. I love this show sosososososo much. And good lord DANNY.