Mindy and Danny have a problem; Danny’s mom, Annette, just won’t give them their space. You see, Annette is always walking in on them in the bath or intercepting their erotic texts.
Danny explains Annette’s invasive behaviour by saying that she’s “territorial.” Why? Well, since Danny’s father left, Danny has been “the only man in her life.” As far as Danny is concerned, Annette relies on him completely.
Danny’s solution to the problem of Annette invading his and Mindy’s privacy is that Mindy just not do “private” things anymore. For example, he asks her to stop sending nudie pictures to his phone, in case Annette should see them. Mindy responds, that no, she will not stop sending naked pictures of herself because “that’s my first amendment right!” God, I love Mindy sometimes!
Instead of altering her own behaviour, Mindy decides maybe it’s time for Annette to get a life of her own. Mindy even goes so far as to fix Annette up with a doctor of a certain age from the hospital.
Mindy’s plan half works. Annette does like dating, but now that she’s tried it with doctor her own age, she wants to try it with all the dudes. This shouldn’t be an issue, but it angers Danny because, well, it’s not really his mom who relies on him to be the man in her life so much as it’s Danny who relies on his mom not to have a life of her own.
In a bid to scare her off online dating forever in order to appease Danny, Mindy gets Morgan to approach Annette on a dating website to which they both subscribe. The plan backfires when Annette quite likes Morgan. I must admit, I did like this plot line. Morgan playing catch with an unsuspecting Danny and pretending to be “his new dad” did delight me a little.
Eventually, Danny confronts Annette about her dating ways. He tells her that playing the field isn’t the real Annette, it’s just not like her and she should stop. In response, Annette explains that she always wanted it to be. Why did she never date after Danny’s father walked out? It wasn’t because she didn’t want to, it was because she couldn’t stand the thought of another man hurting her little boys.
In a rare moment of character growth, Danny is so moved by his mothers sacrifices for him during childhood that he says, “Ma, you’re a saint.” After weeks of the show painting Annette as an ungrateful, chronically late shoplifting shrew, finally, someone gives her the respect she deserves. I am happy we’ve finally had some acknowledgement of the fact that Annette raised two sons on her own, and for that she deserves the occasional thank you.
Of course, even after explaining to Danny her need to explore her sexuality, Annette ultimately commits to dating more “age appropriate men” instead of younger fellas like Morgan. She even goes on another date with that doctor she called a “fuddy duddy.”
I was hoping The Mindy Project would be transgressive enough to argue Annette should be able to date a younger dude like Morgan, but hey, I’m just happy they’ve stopped writing her as a recreational shoplifter. I am grateful for small victories when it comes to the representation of mothers in popular culture.