The Mindy Project is on the bubble. In other words, send help! The show has struggled out of the gate, but it's managed to hold on for one and a half, lovely, hilarious seasons. And we want – nay, need – a third.
The show has too much to offer before it goes riding off into the sunset – it's too young to die, and here's a few reasons why:
* Brendan DeLaurier: I may or may not have an obsession with Brendan – he's my favorite of Mindy's exes (so move on over, shoe store mogul Casey and oral surgeon Bill Hader). His reaction to Maria Menounos' rendition of "Santa Baby" ("You were offering up your womanhood to Santa in exchange for material gifts!") may just be one of my favorite lines on the show, ever. Heck if Danny Castellano wasn't on the scene, I'd be pulling for a reunion: his douchey pretentiousness is unparalleled in its hilarity.
* Peter and Morgan Forever: As Danny and Mindy have grown closer and closer, Peter and Morgan have spent a lot of recent storylines together (guess fifth-wheel castmate Dr. Reed has his unhealthy relationship with food to keep him company). Even better, they've been thrown together by mutual shipping of Mindy and handsome-lawyer-Cliff – they spent the entirety of "You've Got Sext" sending him … you guessed it, sexts from her phone, and they recently (heartwrenchingly) convinced him to get back together with her following their break-up. And watching them suffer through the dulcet strains of Cliff sobbing along to Jewel through the air vents? A+.
* Will-They-Won't-They?: No good romantic comedy is complete without a will-they-won't-they couple, and The Mindy Project has the ace in the hole with that one. Mindy and Danny started out quite adversarial, but have grown closer and closer as friends, and in the midseason finale, they finally kissed. But it's far too soon for it all to be peaches and cream – Mindy even hinted at the fact that their impromptu airplane makeout may lead to some regret; so it looks like the two are in for some more turbulence. And we need them to be able to see them through their bumpy ride to happily ever after.
The Mindy Project is a show that's only improved with time (I'm not even going to make the standard "fine wine" joke) and our lives simply wouldn't be the same without it.
There's an allure to imperfection. With his latest drama Lawless director John Hillcoat taps directly into the side of human nature that draws us to it. Hillcoat finds it in Prohibition history a time when the regulations of alcohol consumption were subverted by most of the population; He finds it in the rural landscapes of Virginia: dingy raw and mesmerizing. And most importantly he finds it in his main character Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf) the scrappy third brother of a moonshining family who is desperate to prove his worth. Jack forcefully injects himself into the family business only to discover there's an underbelly to the underbelly. Lawless is a beautiful film that's violent as hell striking in a way only unfiltered Americana could be.
Acting as the driver for his two outlaw brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) isn't enough for Jack. He's enticed by the power of the gangster figure and entranced by what moonshine money can buy. So like any fledgling entrepreneur Jack takes matters into his own hands. Recruiting crippled family friend/distillery mastermind Cricket (Dane DeHaan) the young whippersnapper sets out to brew his own batch sell it to top dog Floyd Banner and make the family rich. The plan works — but it puts the Bondurant boys in over their heads with a new threat: the corrupt law enforcers of Chicago.
Unlike many stories of crime life Lawless isn't about escalation. The movie drifts back and forth leisurely popping in moments like the beats of a great TV episode. One second the Bondurants could be talking shop with their female shopkeep Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain). The next Forrest is beating the bloody pulp out of a cop blackmailing their operation. The plot isn't thick; Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave preferring to bask in the landscapes the quiet moments the haunting terror that comes with a life on the other side of the tracks. A feature film doesn't offer enough time for Lawless to build — it recalls cinema-level TV currently playing on outlets like HBO and AMC that have truly spoiled us — but what the duo accomplish is engrossing.
Accompanying the glowing visuals and Cave's knockout workout on the music side (a toe-tapping mix of spirituals bluegrass and the writer/musician's spine-tingling violin) are muted performances from some of Hollywood's rising stars. Despite LaBeouf's off-screen antics he lights up Lawless and nails the in-deep whippersnapper. His playful relationship with a local religious girl (Mia Wasikowska) solidifies him as a leading man but like everything in the movie you want more. Tom Hardy is one of the few performers who can "uurrr" and "mmmnerm" his way through a scene and come out on top. His greatest sparring partner isn't a hulking thug but Chastain who brings out the heart of the impenetrable beast. The real gem of Lawless is Guy Pearce as the Bondurant trio's biggest threat. Shaved eyebrows pristine city clothes and a temper like a rabid wolverine Pearce's Charlie Rakes is the most frightening villain of 2012. He viciously chews up every moment he's on screen. That's even before he starts drawing blood.
Lawless is the perfect movie for the late August haze — not quite the Oscary prestige picture or the summertime shoot-'em-up. It's drama that has its moonshine and swigs it too. Just don't drink too much.