Sorry this is a day late, folks!
Danny Castellano. Danny freaking Castellano, man. Let’s talk about Danny, shall we?
There’s a lot to love about Danny. He’s handsome, has a lovely smile, is adorably old-school, and tries so, so hard to do the right thing at all times. Danny is a good guy. He basically raised his little brother — he cares about family more than anything, and it was hard to watch him go through the trauma of his marriage falling apart. But after tonight, none of this matters as much as it used to. From now on, when we talk about Danny Castellano, we’re going to talk about the fact that he’s is, above all else, a fantastic dancer.
This episode began with Mindy trying and failing to buy the perfect Christmas tree for the office. After hauling her tree across New York via subway, she realizes that the guys have already bought the perfect Christmas tree.
Not happening. Mindy tosses the nice Christmas tree out the window, only to replace it with her scraggly, Charlie Brown-esque tree. The opening kind of sets the stage for the entire episode. Mindy is going to do Christmas her way, or it’s not happening at all.
She’s got a plan to ensnare Cliff, the handsome lawyer played by Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), who she’s been flirting with for the last few weeks. Cliff happens to be already taken, which poses a minor obstacle, but nothing will stand in the way of Mindy getting her man. She decides to throw a building-wide Christmas party, where she will cleverly seduce him with a mixture of ignoring him, singing “Santa Baby” in the most sexy way possible, and seeing if he wants to “grab some air.” (Danny thinks it’s a horrible plan. He hates “Santa Baby” — “it sexualizes Santa Claus!” Some things should remain sacred.) Things are of course made a little more difficult by the fact that due to Peter’s admission that he has a drinking problem, the office decides to throw a dry party. But Mindy knows just how to fix that — she’s going to get a wine bra.
If everything goes right, Cliff should be putty in her hands, and he’ll forget all about Heather Boring Mc-Boringface. It’s a Christmas party sex trap.
Things, of course, go disastrously.
Danny decides to cheer her up by giving her her Secret Santa present, and this is where it gets good, folks.
He choreographs an exquisite hip hop dance routine to “Try Again” by Aaliyah, the song Mindy was obsessed with when she first started working at the practice, which really must be seen to be believed.
My favorite part was when he did this:
or maybe this?
All I know is that I lost it when he did this:
Mindy loved it too, and there was this amazing moment after she told him how much that meant to her, where they stared into each other’s eyes and almost kissed …
… and the moment is of course destroyed by Peter, who barges into the room, searching for Mindy’s bra wine.
Still for that one moment, we could have had it all, guys.
Mindy asks Danny if he’d like to grab a breath of fresh air, and since it’s Danny, of course he says no. Cliff joins Mindy instead, and Danny has to watch as Cliff and Mindy make out on the balcony.
I like Cliff, but I don’t feel super passionate about him. I think he’d be fine for Mindy, if it weren’t for the fact that Danny exists and Danny is perfect and Mindy and Danny are meant to be together. Besides, I keep expecting him to break out the D.E.N.N.I.S. dating system on her.
Things I liked about this episode:
1. When Deslaurier was breaking up with Maria Menunos, he said good bye by wishing her a “very aware Kwanzaa.” I cannot stop laughing at this line. I have literally been in tears over it for more than 24 hours.
2. I deeply enjoyed Danny’s obsession over building a gingerbread copy of Monticello, and I loved Mindy’s complete lack of awareness about what Monticello was. (“The Massachusetts public school system has really failed you.”)
3. Did I mention how much I liked the dance? Because I really liked the dance.
Things I didn’t like about this episode:
Fat Jeremy, guys. He’s not fat anymore. Ed Weeks is back down to his original size, and he looks delicious, actually.
I had hoped that the horrible characterization would end as soon as the fat suit did — but it hasn’t. The writers made sure to play up Jeremy’s “food addiction,” making that the primary thing he cares about. The B-plot of this episode revolved around Jeremy’s struggle to stay away from food. When he gets over that, or when the writers get tired of Fat Jeremy tropes, god knows what they’ll have him do. He’ll probably disappear as a character all together.
It’s such a waste.
See you next week, guys!
Jaya Sundaresh lives in Hartford, Connecticut. She grew up in various parts of the Northeast before deciding to study political science at McGill University. Follow her on Twitter at @anedumacation and read her thoughts on her personal blog.