The Mindy Project and Abby the Romance Writer

by | November 19, 2014 |

Yay to The Mindy Project for introducing the character of Abby Berman. She appeared for the first time in the episode entitled Caramel Princess Time. Abby is smart, likeable, and a historical romance writer who describes the genre as “pornography you’re allowed to read on the subway.” Since it’s The Mindy Project, and everything is poked fun at, I take the description as apt. This is the same episode, after all, where Mindy refers to Italians as “spaghetti heads.” I hope Abby becomes a regular.

Abby comes into the story as the best friend of Tamra, a tall, slim, African-American nurse who works in Mindy’s practice. Tamra decides that Mindy’s colleague, Dr. Peter Prentice, needs a date, so Tamra sets him up with Abby whom she describes to him as “her twin.” When he meets her, however, he discovers that Abby is white and a bit overweight. Peter quickly ends the date.

Back at the office Tamra is annoyed with Peter for having treated her friend so badly, and she demands that Peter apologize to Abby. It turns out that Abby is having a book signing the next day, and Peter goes to the bookstore where he discovers not only that Abby is really popular but also that he likes her books. When he approaches her, he asks for another date. She replies not without some humor,

“You ditched me because you didn’t like the way I looked. You’re a jerk.”

Yes, indeed, a very big jerk, and I love the way Abby stands up for herself. Again, because this is The Mindy Project, Peter decides he needs to write his own romance. He comes to one of Abby’s writing groups with a manuscript entitled A Titanic Mistake. A Sunken Romance and reads it. Abby declares it awful but adds, “I kind of like it.” Peter asks her out again, and this time she says Yes. But, a date is one thing and her professional life another: she won’t allow him to return to her writing group.

We don’t get any commentary on romance novels, but of course we don’t need any. We do get a glimpse of Abby’s novel as a kind of pastiche of Gone With the Wind. However, the whole treatment is light and quirky and completely sympathetic, not to mention the fact that Peter completely embraces Abby’s story, the genre, and the romance writer stereotype, since he is seen stroking a cat in his lap as he finishes telling his story.

It would be great to see whatever goof-ball romance might develop between Peter and Abby.

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This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen

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