Mindy Kaling on Mindy Project's Pivotal Pair: ''I Love You' Is Not Their Issue'

The Mindy Project Season 3 Preview

If you’re a Mindy Project fan eagerly awaiting the very special episode in which Danny and Mindy say those three little words to each other… where have you been, ya perv?

“If you noticed from last season, Danny kind of said ‘I love you’ in the finale,” Kaling tells TVLine during a recent visit to the Fox comedy’s set. “And then Mindy threw an ‘I love you’ to Danny in Episode 2 [of Season 3] in a cold open that was about something completely different.”

Kaling says the casual tossing-around of such serious sentiment is meant to prove that, despite Mindy’s affection for rom-coms, the doctors’ romance won’t follow the traditional formula.

“Everyone was like, ‘What going to be the fun when they’re together?,’ and it never occurred to me or my staff that would be a challenge,” Kaling says. “What we want to try to subvert is, shows always do ‘when they say I love you,’ ‘when they have them moving in.'”

She adds: “We don’t want to use the same tentpoles as every other show [does] about our relationship.”The Mindy Project Season 3 Preview Mindy Kaling

To wit: Tonight’s Mindy (9:30/8:30c) features an A plot about catching Danny’s mother shoplifting — not exactly traditional romantic-comedy fare.

“It’s sort of a cocky thing that we’re like, ‘Yeah, ‘I love you’ is not their issue,” Kaling says. “Other things are harder. [Similarly,] their moving in together, as far as I can tell, is not going to be a big episode.”

But that doesn’t mean that Beyonce Pad Thai and Diamond Dan will skate through their shared life with no problems.

“They’ll have other stuff that we haven’t seen before,” she promises. “But I’d like to avoid those clichés, if possible.” — With reporting by Scott Huver



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  1. I love this. I’m loving Danny and Mindy’s relationship exactly because it avoids these annoying cliches. I don’t think they’ll play around the “will they/won’t they” anymore, which is a nice thing, because they’re both adults and they’re in a healthy relationship and THEY KNOW THEY LOVE EACH OTHER, which is important, so it’s not a game and yes an amazing view on what a normal relationship feels like. I love the plots with Danny’s mom and I love that they’re doing somewhat relatable (for a sitcom) situations for these two without us fans fearing an iminent breakup or something like that. Thank God for Mindy Kaling! Let’s now hope FOX gives us another season (since I don’t think they’ll reconsider the full order thing)

    • kd83954 says:

      I’m so with you!! This is what went wrong with Nick and Jess from the New Girl –they followed those cliches when the couple had so much more potential then that. And now fans of the couple aren’t rooting for them anymore. I remember when I first heard Mindy say, “I love you” to him, I had a, “wait, what?” and rewound to make sure I heard correctly! They’re a realistic couple going through realistic things. It’s refreshing.

      • I don’t watch New Girl, but I’ve seen so many will they/won’t they couples go into these tropes that it makes me upset, because yes, indeed, we stop rooting for the couple and we’re all like omg, you guys are actually the worst together!!!!!! And yes, her saying I love you was so cute and out of nowhere. I love that they aren’t making a big deal of EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of their relationship, because IRL that’s not how it works. They already know each other so well, I hate when they use the long term friends turn into partners and they act all dumb, because, yes, the relationship is new, but the feeling isn’t. And I actually loved that they broke up last year, because it added angst and now they’re free to bicker a lot with each and love each other :DDD

    • Kate says:

      I just randomly watched for the first time in awhile (I had some scheduling issues) and I love how normally they are playing their relationship and I like that they introduced Danny’s mother has sort of the thing to make their relationship more real. They kind of are writing them more like a couple that has been together for a long time, like if they are following any rom com tropes, its more in line with the Hecks on the Middle, on Mike & Molly, or even the relationships on Modern Family.

      • This is actually what I love about this show, because like, they know each other for a LONG time, so they already know the bad and the good side of each other and still, they are together. It’s like a married couple, really, but with some issues that are present in dating, which is super entertaining.

  2. I.R.E. says:

    Annette still needs to get added as permanent, Jean and Dot should stay as recurring guests, Abby needs to extend her arc in recur-guest-appearing, Betsy needs to return to this show as a reduced guest and this show needs to return for backorder, before times runs out!

    • Veronica says:

      Agree with everything but Betsy. The new ladies they’ve added this season are funnier than she ever was. Wouldn’t mind seeing more of DebDeb (Jean’s wife). She was so funny! And Dot — I want my own mom to have a best friend like Dot so I can hang with her IRL. And yes, more episodes! How can I survive past January if there’s no Mindy??? Am I supposed to watch About a Boy or whatever trash Fox puts in its place??? Take a stand, Fox. Hopefully the ratings will improve now that the Utopia experiment is over. They did go up last week with a better lead-in.

  3. Nancy says:

    I love The Mindy Project and Mindy x Danny <3

  4. TMPFan says:

    I was just binge watching seasons 1 & 2, and though I love the comedy of season 3, I do miss the romance and the flavour of the previous seasons. A little more smooching and making out would not be amiss – M&D do not seem to do anything but kiss on the cheeks now that they are a couple. They had more sexy scenes between Casey and Mindy (the shower scene from season 1) than they have shown between Mindy and Danny so far as a couple – that would go a long way.

    • S. says:

      I’m sorry I can’t take that post seriously. The man gave Mindy a Magic Mike-esque lap dance. How much sexier do you need S3 to be?

      • TMPFan says:

        Yeah, and that lap dance seems to have been the beginning and end of it. They talked about sex a lot in the 1st few episodes but we did not see the charged moments that we saw in season 2 or towards the end of season 1. It’s always about the comedy and bickering, which is great, but I miss the romance and the making out.

  5. RMenna says:

    I get what they’re saying, but it seems a bit odd coming from a show that has DONE the cliche rom com stuff since day one. They did the hand holding, the kissing, the “will-they-won’t-they”, the super grandiose romantic gesture of the Empire State Building…I mean, come on. To say NOW that you want to avoid the “cliche thing” is the metaphorical equivalent of getting an ice cream sundae with sprinkles, hot fudge, and butterscotch, but holding off on the whipped cream because you’re trying to avoid calories. I get that they’re not going to do the break up/make up route, but that doesn’t mean it has to be so dry. Mindy and Danny went from super affectionate to an old, bickering married couple in a few episodes, which I find kind of sad. I liked their budding romance and all of its sweetness. In truth, I kind of miss it. I still LOVE the show and the comedic elements, but I miss seeing Danny give her those sweet glances and all of that. Bring it back. Who cares if it’s a cliche? It works, darn it.

    • Angela says:

      You really summed up my feelings on this. This show has been guilty of major cliches :) I agree that monogamy doesn’t have to be so dull. They haven’t been together that long to be so predictable already. Mindy and Danny were once irresistibly sexy and appealing together. They have disappeared into the humdrum abyss too soon. I really don’t think that’s better than the cliche stuff other shows are doing. It’s almost trying too hard to subvert cliches and forgetting to be interesting :) Most of what is funny this season has nothing to do with Mindy and Danny.

    • TMPFan says:

      Agree 100%.

  6. Delilah says:

    I hope we will see more loving gestures between them before this season is over. I have a weird feeling that they might get canceled and would love to see it get wrapped up in a nice way (just in case). It doesn’t have to be cliche. Mindy can put her signature spin on it. I think there’s something special in their dysfunctional romance that we aren’t seeing enough of this year!