Let’s all have a moment of silence for Dr. Peter Prentice of “The Mindy Project.”
Okay, he’s not actually dead (come on, this isn’t “Scandal”), but he may as well be — because he’s moved to Texas, likely never to return. Sure, Fox says that Adam Pally will make guest appearances as his schedule permits, but then hey — they said the same exact things about Anna Camp and Zoe Jarman, and we haven’t seen them once.
Apparently, a midseason departure for Pally has always been in the cards — he’s got a lot of other projects, after all. He recently signed a two-year deal with ABC as a producer (his production company is cleverly named “Clone Wolf”), and he’s also set to star in “Dirty Grandpa” alongside Robert De Niro and Zac Efron… yeah, those guest appearances are looking less and less likely.
Although he was only on the show for about one out of two and a half seasons (he joined the show in the middle of Season 2), it’s already hard to imagine how the staff of Shulman and Associates is going to function without him. Who’s going to be Mindy and Danny’s weird (yet non Kramer-like, Danny was careful to note that distinction) next-door neighbor? Who’s going to get into love triangles with Dr. Reed/Lauren? Who’s going to compete with Shonda Rhimes in an epic beer pong tournament? Who’s going to frat things up in general? And most importantly of all, who’s going to be best bros with Dr. Lahiri? (They were the show’s #1 BrOTP, man. Their last minute realization that they were best friends? Adorably bittersweet.)
There’s no denying the fact that Peter breathed new life into the show when he joined the cast back in the early days of 2014, and it does make you wonder: Is he going to take that breath of fresh air with him as he exits? A lot of people credit Ike Barinholtz with the show’s renaissance, but Pally’s comedic chops and freshly lovable take on the former frat boy/man-child archetype certainly played a role in the show’s resurgence as well, even if he’s not on the show’s writing staff the way Barinholtz and Kaling are.
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(For the record, Kaling’s reigning queen of the one-liner on the show — as well she should be — but Pally’s a definite close second. Favorites include “Have you learned nothing from ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’?” “Am I a dick? Does everyone think I’m a dick?” and, of course, the classic “I B to D. I beg to diff.”)
In fact, he quickly became so integral to the fabric of the show that it’s hard not to wonder if he’s going to leave a hole behind. It’s hard to imagine his loss not being sorely felt; he certainly filled some sort of void the show had (it’s worth noting here that Peter would have some choice words about all this talk of holes and filling voids). A Peter-less world seems like a dark one (almost as bad as the Darkest Timeline on “Community”).
Does this mean that the show will scramble to hire a Peter Prentice döppelganger? The practitioners of Shulman and Associates joked about the need to replace Peter, but it’s hard to stay whether the creative team behind “The Mindy Project” feels the same way. There’s been nary a casting whisper at this point (though I prematurely nominate John Cho, who is, according to Kaling via Glamour, set to guest star next week as the “head of a drug-dealing organization“).
Of course, Mindy, Danny and co are going to have more than enough to deal with after the little bombshell Peter dropped on Mindy (Spoilers: timing his exit with the pregnancy announcement was kind of perfect — the circle of life, man). All worries aside, Kaling and her team of writers are more than well enough equipped to keep the show running without a hitch, Peter or no Peter — even though we’ll all miss him, in our heart of hearts.