The Mindy Project: A Television Rant

Sometime whilst I was in the Peace Corps, a couple of shows came out that I quickly fell in love with: Broad City and The Mindy Project.

Most people don’t think of this, but at least in Peace Corps Peru, TV and movies were a big deal, they were our connection to home and our zone-out (rather than freak out) tool. We showed love and made new volunteer friends by passing along all of our favorite media.

So during the passing off of our favorite shows at conferences, I championed my two favorite shows, not only giving people the episodes but insisting that we watch the first one together, to get them hooked.

Broad City remains one of my favorites today. Abbi and Ilana are my girls. But the Mindy Project…I don’t know.

After a pretty long hiatus from the show, I recently picked it up again and I’m not super impressed. I’ve watched almost two seasons in the last couple of weeks and found that witty humor and silliness have been replaced by confusingly low brow humor, moderately racist/sexist comments, and big themes that should be addressed but are more often ignored.

For a lot of people I’ve spoken to, the decline started when Danny and Mindy got together, but that was ok for me. Whatever they’re in love, it’s cute, we can do comedy and love.

For me it all started with the anal sex episode. The episode centers around a moment in the bedroom when Danny “accidentally slips” leaving Mindy angry and startled. Where this gets really dicey is when Danny explains that he was just “trying something.” Seriously? 2017, and we’re still playing this game where sex is not an act between consenting adults involving conversation and consent, but a scuffle where people decide to do whatever they want without warning.

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As it turns out this episode was just one in many incidents showing the absolute bullsh** that is Danny and Mindy.

Danny incessantly complains about Mindy’s eating habits, cleaning habits, and personality traits which eventually started to get at me. That’s so unhealthy in a relationship. Do I expect that my boyfriend loves everything about me? Absolutely not. But I also don’t want him to constantly pick at every aspect of my life.

The big issue is that Danny can’t compromise despite the fact that he believes he’s always compromising.

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He expects Mindy to stay home with their son when he’s born and when she expresses discontent he shames her for not being a good mother. When she eventually returns to work (and starts her own business on the side), something he should be proud of her for, he shames her further and accuses her of threatening his vision for the future where they have many children. A future he did not consult her on.

Again, it’s 2017.

It seems every time Mindy finds happiness in her work life, Danny drags her down. There is no lack of love for her son here as she continuously shows how much she loves spending time with him, but because she working (something Danny is doing too), she’s a monster.

How are we still thinking like this and pushing these ideas into popular media today? How? In a world where this actually happens to so many women, can we put it on the small screen so unapologetically?

Sure, Danny and Mindy eventually break up which at least shows Mindy opting for her own happiness. Thank god for that. But the real issue is never addressed. She never says “hey I don’t have to stay home because I’m the mom, you staying home isn’t heroic babysitting, I’m going to work, stop mommy shaming me.” So we’re left to believe that they just wanted different things, rather than seeing that when Danny wants is sexist and damaging.

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I’ve written before that I’m scared to have kids one day because I am so career driven, that I fear I wouldn’t have the time to be a truly good mother. And it’s no wonder that this is a sentiment heard from many women and very few men.

What we need is for media to reflect a life where women and men can stay home or go to work or do a little of both. We need to normalize that life because while art reflects life, life also reflects art. With the number of young people watching these shows we’ve got to give them something better.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show, feminism, working parents, etc. Even if you disagree with me, hell, especially if you disagree with me. Let me know your thoughts.

Best of luck.

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Feelings Friday: Feeling Phone-y

This week I’ve had a hard time; with blogging, with working, with going on a run without hurting myself. It’s been a week for sure.

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Lately I’ve been focusing on putting everything together for grad school and moving to New York, which mostly means thinking things are ok until I take one step forward and everything is 100% not ok. Between weird rental policies, holds on my student account, and casually taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans financial aid, I’ve been absolutely killing myself with stress.

Until Tuesday when I left my phone at home.

When I first got to work, dug through my purse and realized I’d left it on my bed next to a slumbering Boyfriend, my first thought was “how strange, I should text Boyfriend, wait…”

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Not having my phone meant focusing on what was in front of me. It meant not checking for alerts or messages in between small children reading to me. It also meant not constantly refreshing my email to see if the realtor has gotten back to me. It meant a little peace and quiet from the self-induced stress machine that is the Internet.

Around lunch I panicked a bit, worried because I needed to work a couple of things out fairly urgently via email. However, on my lunch I found a staff computer and took care of everything in about five minutes. Without Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitstagram, Chatbook, Facelr, I was able to complete an important task without distraction.

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The starkest realization I had was that I didn’t really miss the internet constantly whispering in my ear. I didn’t get home and jump on my phone to make sure I hadn’t missed the trivial daily drama. I did check to see if I missed anything truly important and guess what, I didn’t.

So this week I’ve started leaving my phone in my purse, checking it once before lunch and then putting it away again. I haven’t missed anything dire yet and my stress level has plummeted. Turns out my phone is not my lifeline, but in some ways, my stressor.

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If you’re feeling anxious or stressed this week you should know: I feel you. I feel you so hard, bro. Take a breath, put down your phone and read a book or go for a walk. Do a thing that humans were built to do.

And best of luck.

***Sidenote: if anyone knows of any cheap(ish) apartments in NYC I’m listening…***

Reviewsday: Girl Meets World

Are you recently finished with Breaking Bad* and looking for a similar show to keep you going? Done with Mad Men and ready to move on to another moody drama? Well, do something on your own man, this post has nothing to do with you.

Girl Meets World. It’s a thing.

I’ll admit when I first heard about Girl Meets World I was equal parts “yisssss” and “no, no, please don’t ruin my childhood.”

Boy Meets World was one of my all time favorite shows growing up. It was silly, it was cheesy, it had the lessons and the jokes and the character with impossible hair. I loved that show.

So naturally I was prepared to hate the reincarnation.

Girl Meets World is the story of Riley, the daughter of Cory and Topanga,** and her best friend, Maya, a troubled young girl from a difficult family situation. Basically, Cory and Shawn in female form. The show chronicles their misadventures in New York City, where Cory, as their homeroom teacher, gives them unending life advice. It’s annoyingly heart warming.

What strikes me about this show is the development of strong, female characters, something rarely found genuinely on television. It makes Girl Meets World the kind of show that, while definitely too young for my tastes, is perfect for a younger generation of girls learning who they are. Continue reading

Failings Friday: More Fail Than Feel

Normally on Fridays I like to shower readers with all manner of wisdom and emotion, sharing my deepest thoughts and opening old wounds to better heal through words.

Ain’t nobody got time for that today. It’s been that kind of week. So hopefully tomorrow will be Feeling Saturday or something properly alliterative,* but for now please enjoy this video:

*Sentimental Saturday? Sympathy Saturday? It should be noted that I immediately thought “Yes, Ceilings Saturday!” What would that post even be? Gifs of ceiling fans, that’s what.**

**Do y’all even read the footnotes?

That MidWeek Slump

This week has been rough, I hopped on the struggle bus Tuesday morning and haven’t gotten off since.

I could tell you all about the infuriating planning of a work event, the night I drank most of a bottle of wine and thought I was dead the entire next day, the doctors appointment that confirmed an irritating hunch, and a rude acquaintance who needs to mind her business.

And let’s be real, eventually I will tell you about all those things. But for today, let’s just enjoy some mid-week/almost end of week happiness.

Cute/Weird Animals:

Continue reading

Don’t Let That Crush…Crush You

I have this friend, we’ll call her Francis, who has a crush on a boy who is her good friend.

Tale as old as time,

True as it can be,

Barely even friends,

Then somebody has a ridiculous crush on a person who likely has similar feelings for them but is so afraid of “messing up the friendship” that they refuse to say anything but constantly think about getting their face on that face.

Ok those might not be the lyrics.

Anyway…Francis* has a crush and it’s gotten me thinking about all of the silly crushes I’ve had that I never acted on or acted poorly on. I’d like to share them with you (and Francis, hi Francis!) so that we can laugh about it together and anyone out there in the crush boat can sympathize.

2002-2005: The Pal Continue reading