'The Mindy Project' Goes 'Groundhog Day'

Vivian Zink/Universal Television

Mindy Lahiri has always been a flawed character. That's what we love about her. Perfect people don't always make for good comedy, but there is plenty of dramatic value in self-improvement — especially after a breakup. In the Season 5 midseason premiere, Ben and Mindy are back together on The Mindy Project after Mindy relived the same day over and over, Groundhog Day style, in order to work on herself and win him back.

One of the ways Mindy improved herself was to "nerd up" by getting into Star Wars, Star Trek TNG, and comics. "Who Marvel," asked Mindy, when Ben was unimpressed by her Robin cosplay — which doesn't make a lot of sense considering that there was an episode earlier in Season 5 about a made-up member of the Marvel Universe named Doctor Universe, played by fictional Leland Breakfast. Plus, Mindy Lahiri was reading the novelization of Iron Man way back in Season 1, which I know was a long time ago, but it made an impression on me as a fan. Continuity, schmontinuity I guess. The sequence came close to perpetrating the "fake geek girl" stereotype, but avoided it as Mindy actually got invested in everything she was researching.

Vivian Zink/Universal Television

One of the most important lessons of the narrative experiment was that Mindy had to let Ben go visit his ex in order to make things right. She thought she was destined to prevent the trip, but he ended up coming back on his own. I liked that a lot!

Turns out, endless frozen yogurt dates did the trick. Even if Ben doesn't remember all the effort and growth that Mindy put into winning him back, it did bring her closer to him. Wherever their relationship goes on The Mindy Project, she is stronger for it.