February 5, 2013
I was not originally sold on The Mindy Project. I found the pilot problematic for a lot of reasons — mostly, it was that the Mindy character came off as obnoxiously boy crazy and insane in the way that women are so often accused of being insane, but it also had to do with a lack of solid supporting characters. That married best friend of hers, with the kids, the sweater sets, and the subdued, appropriate manner? Come on. I was disappointed.
But then. In the second episode, “Hiring and Firing,” the team at Shulman and Associates, unable to agree on a more conventional option and impressed by his ability to quickly fix Mindy’s broken nose, hired nurse Morgan Tookers. And EVERYTHING CHANGED.
Morgan Tookers, as played with precision by Ike Barinholtz, is a brilliant, magnificent character and everything I’ve ever wanted from a television sidekick. He has a troubled past (jail for vehicle theft), but he’s dedicated to good now (his stomach tattoo says “No More Stealing Cars”) and he’s incredibly sweet, but totally misguided, and super weird, and SO LOVEABLE. When Mindy sent him out to procure an outfit she could wear to a Halloween party, he came back with a urinal costume that he genuinely thought she might like. Does it get any better than that?
It does, actually. When the gang went clubbing, he decided to pretend he worked in the bathroom, where he spent the night welcoming people and handing out towels for tips. At the end of the night, he saved the handsome Dr. Jeremy Reed from an ill-advised hookup by telling him that “diarrhea shuts it down.” It does, guys. Diarrhea shuts it down, and Morgan is a genius.
Consider this simple little bit of dialogue, which occurs in conversation with Mindy’s lame friend Gwen:
Morgan: Lucky for you, my number one trait is “listens good.” What’s your name?
Don’t tell me you’re not LOLing. And here’s a little taste of Morgan being Morgan in the video above.
Ike Barinholtz, whose previous credits include MadTV (remember MadTV?) and Eastbound and Down, is also a writer on The Mindy Project. Fun fact: he originally auditioned for the role of Dr. Danny Castellano, but when that went poorly he was offered the job of writer and story editor; Morgan was written for him later. I think it was all God’s plan.
Morgan Tookers brings an absurdity that The Mindy Project desperately needed, and Ike Barinholtz makes the absurd believable. He’s the weirdest dude, the best dude, a dude I really want to know.
Morgan, if you’re reading this, I love you. Be my friend and I’ll make you my everything.
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