In every relationship there will come a time, sooner but much more probably later, when Things Get Real. When the small stuff of new romance—the daily discoveries, the pet names, the in-jokes—give way to bigger questions. Do you see yourself getting married? Do you want kids? If so, how many? And, if so (no pressure or anything, but), when?
And also: How will those kids be cared for? Will that caring require one of us, or both of us, to scale back our careers? If so, who will do the back-scaling? For how long?
So, pretty much: Where is this going?
And: How sure are you, really, about any of that?
One of the ongoing surprises of The Mindy Project—which, like Master of None and a handful of other recent sitcoms-slash-rom-coms, tries to say something about the romantic culture brought on by feminism and texting and Tinder—has been how insistently the show has bypassed all of this romantic realtalk. That’s mostly because, in service to the obligations of sitcomic tension, the show’s protagonists, Mindy and Danny, have had the answers for the most part decided for them: Mindy dates other people; Danny gets jealous; then they get together. Mindy gets pregnant; then they get engaged. They have their baby; then they think about who will care for him, day to day. For Mindy and Danny, the thing comes before the decision-to-do-the-thing, almost always. With the result that, among other things, the assorted awkwardnesses of real-getting are mostly avoided.