Well, that didn’t last long.
Just moments after “The Mindy Project” set up last seasons’s love triangle, it tore it down. In the Season 5 premiere, Mindy (Mindy Kaling) realized that neither her ex Danny (Chris Messina) nor work colleague Jody (Garret Dillahunt) were really viable romantic options — but never one to let Mindy stay stagnant for long, the show will immediately introduce a new challenging and infuriating love interest in Tuesday’s episode, now available on Hulu.
“Ben is a nurse at Mindy’s pediatrician’s office for Leo, her baby,” guest star Bryan Greenberg, who plays Ben, told IndieWire at a set visit in September. “She just doesn’t know how to take care of her baby, which is pretty funny since she’s a doctor, so she has to keep coming back to the pediatrician’s office for every little thing.”
Ben works for a pediatrician played by “Saturday Night Live” alum Nasim Pedrad, who “thinks of me as like a slave. I command very little respect from the doctors.” See evidence of this condescending attitude in a sneak peek of the episode below:
Crossing the picket line could create difficulties for Ben with Morgan (Ike Barinholtz), who is loyal to his nursing brethren. “[Morgan] is very familiar with scabs because his body’s covered in them, but he finds that a scab is the lowest form of life,” Barinholtz added. “It’s someone who’s going to take his job and not do as good a job. The funny thing is if the shoe was on the other foot and it was like a different industry striking and someone asked him to scab, he probably would. But because it’s a nurses’ strike, he makes it personal.”
Jordin Althaus/Universal Television
Ben will have his hands full with Mindy though. “They’re very opposite, these two,” Greenberg said. “Mindy just doesn’t understand him, and he doesn’t understand her. I think she’s kind of a snob and pretty out of touch, and elitist. I’m just like a regular guy. They don’t have a lot in common at all, but the one thing I like about Ben is that he calls her out on all her craziness. He really grounds her, in a sense, because I feel like she could just fly away with all her neuroses.”
Vivian Zink/Universal Television
Ben will be sticking around a while, at least long enough for Mindy to visit his hometown. “We expand my world as the episodes go on, and you get to meet my family and my friends,” he added. “We go to Jersey, and to see Mindy in Jersey is a really funny episode, actually.”
As an actor, Greenberg found “The Mindy Project” a different beast from the comedies that he’s done before, which were really more like light dramas with comedic elements.
“I was very nervous coming in because this is their world. I don’t want to screw it up, you know?” he said. “It’s a selective listening that I’ve had to learn to do, because you can’t just react to everything you’re hearing because everything you’re hearing is so crazy that if you were to have an honest reaction to it, the show would be a three-hour show. In the ‘Mindy’ world, they don’t really listen to each other. They just talk at each other. Everybody’s got their own selfish agendas. It’s just kind of funny. It creates good comedy.”
New episodes of “The Mindy Project” are available Tuesdays on Hulu.