This Week on TV: Sept 19-25

Welcome welcome, to another Fall TV season as presented by the folks at The Daily Geekette! As with our weekly updates last Spring, we usually cover the shows we love, be they feminist or nerdy or a combination of the two! But as always, our posts have a feminist slant. Most of the shows we’ll be covering have been reviewed by Geekettes before, but our new additions include Supergirl (Mondays on CBS), and The Mindy Project (Tuesdays on Hulu). Below we have our first recaps of the Fall: the first two episodes of The Mindy Project and the premieres of Doctor Who and Castle!

The Mindy Project 4×01, “While I Was Sleeping” (Meg)

Mindy Kaling with special guest Joseph Gordon-Levitt

While the season opener of The Mindy Project didn’t live up to standards set by its previous season premieres and other series highlights like 2.11, it was still a wonderful re-introduction to the show’s core characters and niche brand of humor. The story alternates between two central plots. One centers on Danny meeting Mindy’s parents in India, and the other is a dream-episode of what Mindy’s life would be like if she never fell in love with Danny. The latter is, in Mindy’s words, “like It’s A Wonderful Life, [only] it was in color and not boring.” The episode concludes with Mindy waking up, realizing she doesn’t care about being married as long as she’s with Danny, and Danny finally, finally, FINALLY proposing to Mindy. We pan over to a lovely view of their apartment as the credits roll. I’m not very familiar with the feminist rhetoric surrounding The Mindy Project, but for me this episode continued the positive trajectory that Mindy’s been on for the entire series, from being a person defined by her shallow, vain, and sex-related quirks to a genuinely good person who just happens to have a surface that makes her appear shallow and obsessed with pop culture.

The Mindy Project 4×02, “C is for Coward” (Meg)

Danny consoles Mindy during a stressful labor.
Danny consoles Mindy during a stressful labor.

In this week’s episode of The Mindy Project, Mindy finally gives birth to her and Danny’s bundle of joy! This episode finds Mindy and Danny embroiled in an argument over how, exactly, Mindy’s planning on delivering her son. Danny wants her to go au naturale, while Mindy’s in favor of a scheduled C-section. Mindy’s choice location for the birth is in a luxury birthing suite where Danny will have access to a “Dad-Cave plus Tequila Selection” and she has sprung for drugs that will knock her out for a full five days. Predictably, Mindy goes into labor while stuck in a subway car that has temporarily broken down with only the Midwives From Upstairs and Morgan for company in what is the funniest birth scene on television in recent memory. Seven hours later, Leo Castellano (named in honor of Danny’s Italian heritage and Mindy’s DiCaprio love) makes his way into the world, Danny and Mindy re-declare their love for each other, and all of their co-workers join them to celebrate. Though, like the premiere, this episode isn’t Mindy Kaling’s strongest episode, it’s still a worthy addition to the show’s excellent collection of the most significant moments in Mindy Lahiri’s life. It also gets bonus points for reminding us that Mindy’s a well-educated doctor who’s perfectly capable of taking care of herself.

Doctor Who Series 9  “The Magician’s Apprentice” (Caitlin)

Missy, The Doctor, and Clara are ready for Series 9

Before Series 9 began, the hype machine for Doctor Who released plenty of trailers, promos and even two prologues. “Prologue” and  “The Doctor’s Meditation” mention a meeting that the Doctor is putting off. It doesn’t take long before we learn in “The Magician’s Apprentice” that the Time Lord is avoiding Davros. Who can blame him, since the last time we saw the creator of the daleks, he accused the Tenth Doctor of turning his companions into weapons?

We learn several important things during this first part of a two-parter. The Twelfth Doctor unknowingly tried to save Davros as a child from the battlefront. Then once he discovered the child’s name, he fled. He’s ashamed of his actions, something that rarely happens. Near the beginning of the episode, Missy announces her presence to UNIT by texting them lyrics from a song. She doesn’t bother explaining how she returned (and neither will Moffat, continuing the tradition of the Ainley Master during the 1980s). She also asserts to Clara that she is the Doctor’s best friend despite trying to kill him all the time, which the Doctor doesn’t contradict. It will be interesting to see if Missy is in more of Series 9 and if it affects the Doctor/companion dynamic.

Castle,  8×1 “XY” (Brianna, filling in for Kayla)

What's the deal, Kate? Why are you keeping secrets from your husband?
What’s the deal, Kate? Why are you keeping secrets from your husband?

This was the lowest premiere episode for Castle, raking in a mere 6.84 million viewers. We return to the separate-but-together work adventures of Caskett: it’s Beckett’s first day as CAPTAIN of the 12th precinct, while Castle has just renovated his P.I. office. Unfortunately, Kate goes MIA and it’s up to Esposito, Ryan, and Castle to figure out what’s going on. They get some help from a former member of Scotland Yard (Toks Olagundoye), as well as Alexis, who’s developed her own prowess as a private investigator. A team of mercenaries are part of the reason Beckett’s on the run, and it has something to do with her old nemesis, former Senator Bracken. It may also have something to do with her brief stint in the CIA. Is Kate still a hero, or is she about to go criminal? The premiere is a two-parter, so we won’t get any answers until next week’s “XX”.

Castle season 8 feels like a new creature–whether the audience accepts it remains to be seen. Worst case scenario, I say we move Alexis into the lead role. And maybe bring back Captain Gates.

Geekettes, what shows are you most excited for? Tell us below in the comments!


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