The Mindy Project Wakes Up Into Yet Another Strange New Life
Time again already for another high-concept episode? Yes. We've collected the most important moments from 'Mindy Lahiri Is A White Man'!
With just three high-concept, format-breaking episodes (so far) in fewer than five seasons, The Mindy Project is hardly in Community territory. But after the Sliding Doors episode of Season 4 and the Groundhog Day episode that brought us back from the midseason hiatus, this week's reverse Switch episode is not just the best but undeniably the most important.
When Mindy wakes up in the body of a white man -- played by Ryan Hansen, one of the last white male comedic actors in Mindy Kaling's age cohort who hasn't already played one of Mindy Lahiri's love interests -- she learns all kinds of privileges Dr. Michael Lancaster enjoys that Dr. Mindy Lahiri couldn't even fathom. (For instance: like Mindy, Mike is also an OB/GYN and a single parent, but his superiors have no concern about his ability to balance his personal and professional obligations even though his children's other parent is an addict who's known to have been hospitalized for her problems.) When Mike isn't able to effect the change that occasioned this body switch in the first place -- getting the hiring committee at St. Brendan's to consider applicants for Head of Obstetrics who aren't white men -- Mindy returns to her own body with a new charge to join forces with Dr. Irene Lee, the other woman of colour in her department, and fight together for the recognition they deserve.
That Mindy's first opportunity to bond with Irene is over fettuccine alfredo seems promising for the long-term viability of this friendship.
Leaving aside the larger political point "Mindy Lahiri Is A White Man" is making -- that Mindy gets more shit for her life choices than a man would whose decisions were even worse -- there are some funny moments that come out of the transformation of one of TV's girliest characters into a blond bro. Here are my favourites.
New Opening Credits
Look at this cheery young professional living it up in the city!
You go, Dr. Michael Lancaster!
"Man! That is a lot of light brown."
"Guess I'm not a gay man."
Mindy is in the middle of admiring the strength of her urine stream when she remembers there are other things a penis can do.
"Well, it's definitely not as good for guys. It's much easier, though. And the finish certainly has a wow factor!"
Improving The Metropolitan Transit Experience
The only thing easier for a white man than getting cabs to stop?
Taking up space on the subway.
That sure looks relaxing! (I do kind of wish we got a coda to this moment of Mike getting manspreading-shamed on Gothamist, but you can't have everything.)
Mike picks up Lorie in a bar and wakes up three condoms later, telling her in "his" distracted state that he thinks Lorie made him gay. Lorie is appalled that this has happened "again," and gets ready to storm off...
...but if Mike is dismayed by the romantic setback, his boner is just fine.