No, Mindy Lahiri is no longer drunkenly riding bicycles into swimming pools, but please don’t think that means she’ll have her stuff together when The Mindy Project returns — on Hulu — on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Executive producer Matt Warburton tells TVLine that the comedy is viewing its expanded, 26-episode fourth season as an opportunity to mess with its main character, who seems like she’s gotten pretty much everything she wanted.
“People could look at the show and be like, ‘Well, Mindy has a lot of her problems solved now. She’s with Danny. She has a baby. Her business is going well,'” he notes. But don’t worry: Beyoncé Pad Thai doesn’t have every situation figured out. “We, at various points in the season, will have the character on her heels as much as we ever have.”
Among the doc’s latest stressors: her parents, fresh faces at the OB-GYN practice, new motherhood and Danny’s continued resistance to being Mr. Mindy Lahiri. Read on for more scoop on the new season.
MEET THE PARENTS: MINDY’S DAD | “We’ve taken Mindy’s personality and extracted two different threads,” Warburton says, which results in the diametrically opposite Mr. and Mrs. Lahiri. Let’s handle her father, played by Ajay Mehta (Royal Pains) first: “You can see how she might like Danny, in that [Mr. Lahiri] is a serious guy who’s a scientist, is really smart, very hard-working” (sounds very Castellano-like so far) “and he loves Boston,” Warburton says. (Nevermind.).”So Danny has to kiss up to the guy that represents his least favorite place on Earth.”
MEET THE PARENTS: MINDY’S MOM | Meanwhile, Sonu Lahiri (played by Sakina Jaffrey, Sleepy Hollow) is “the sort of character that makes her own spotlight on herself at any moment,” Warburton says. “What we find out is she’s gone back to India for a while to try to finally make her Bollywood dreams come true and has dragged her husband along.”
CAN THEY SAY THAT? | Though the show is aware it has slipped its network censors, Warburton says, it won’t suddenly become Girls. That said… “There’s definitely, in the first few episodes, a few jokes that people will really gasp at,” Warburton says. “I often think back like, ‘Would Fox have let this go?'”
HEY, BABY! | Look for the littlest Castellano to appear “earlier than people think,” Warburton says. “We felt like the audience deserved to see it pretty quick.”
WILL DIAMOND DAN DO HIS THING? | After Danny’s Secret Santa routine and his all-male revue moves, making Chris Messina shake his moneymaker has become something of a tradition for the comedy. But perhaps not this year? “We do have a moment this season where he goes to the dancing wel one too many times, and it doesn’t work, which I think is very funny,” Warburton says, laughing. “Tamra in the office is like, ‘Hey man, you can’t use dance to solve all your problems, buddy. You have to dig deeper and find another way to impress Mindy.”
DRIVE, HE SAID | One episode this season will find Danny and Morgan “going on a crazy adventure, and it’s fantastic,” Warburton says. “Morgan has never been more annoying. Danny has never been more annoyed… It’s like a little road-trip comedy movie that’s very much in the world of our show, but just isolates two funny characters.”
BE OUR GUEST | Returning guest stars include Cristin Milioti as Jeremy’s girlfriend Whitney and Mark and Jay Duplass as the midwifing Deslaurier brothers. They’ll be joined by Season 4 additions including Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope) as Mindy’s maternity-leave replacement Jody and Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings) as one of Mindy and Danny’s neighbors “who wakes the baby up with the loud sex she has,” Warburton previews.
BINGE? BANNED! | Unlike other series offered via streaming video services, Mindy will roll out with one new episode each week — “just like old times,” Warburton says.