“The Mindy Project” Debuts Lesbian Character Married To Julie Goldman, Bless It

Last night’s episode of my favorite currently-airing sitcom, The Mindy Project, introduced this season’s brand new lesbian character, Dr. Jean Fishman, played by Niecy Nash. You may remember Niecy Nash from Reno 911. If you don’t, you should probably cancel your plans for the day and marathon Reno 911 instead. At some point you’ll feel like you’ve had enough Reno 911 for the day, at which point Episode 305 of The Mindy Project, “The Devil Wears Land’s End,” will be up on Hulu and then you can watch it while you eat supper. There, I just planned your day for you!

The episode is traditional Mindy Project fare: Mindy’s self-absorption gets her and everybody around her into trouble, jokes are made at everybody’s expense, flexible and often progressive ideas about sexuality are expressed, those two bros work out their obvious sexual tension, etc. But this time WITH LESBIANS!

Niecy Nash and Mindy Kaling on "The Mindy Project"

Watching last week’s episode of “Faking It”

The show kicks off and Mindy quickly gets in trouble when her phone’s Iggy Azelia ringtone goes off during Dr. Jean Fishman’s big introductory speech to all the doctors who do stuff at her hospital, and thus Mindy’s practice is punished with a shitty hospital schedule. In order to transform this dismal situation into a more delightful situation, Mindy takes Jean out to do girlfriends stuff, but Jean thinks it’s girlfriends stuff.

But Mindy’s still dating Ted the Republican from Six Feet Under and it turns out that Jean also has a girlfriend and her name is Deborah (obviously) and she’s played by our patron saint Julie Goldman. Hijinks ensue! You’ll have to see for yourself.

jean-mindy-date

Scissoring? I could take it or leave it.

Last night’s story contained a thing I generally dislike — a lesbian kissing a straight girl who isn’t actually interested in her — but in this context, the whole situation still landed. (Plus the ep’s other storyline featured a guest appearance by Shonda Rhimes!) The lesbian storyline was granted the same level of often-disrespectful ridiculousness every story gets on the show, and GLAAD has indicated that Jean Fishman will be a recurring character. We had a black lesbian and a butch lesbian holding hands on a television show! I know Kaling has responded to fan criticism of various elements of her show in a way that many people on the internet aren’t impressed with and sometimes this episode inspired my girlfriend to make this face, but I laughed out loud more than once. Plus, a new episode of The People’s Couch starring Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard was on right afterwards, so if I’d had a banana peanut butter milkshake then it would’ve been a perfect 1.5 hours on the couch!

Riese is a Jewish lesbian and the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2596 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. I knew you’d have prompt coverage of this wonderment! I really liked the episode and think it’ll be cool to have Dr. Fishman as a semi-antagonist.
    (I think they might have been married and not just dating? Her and Julie Goldman?)

    (Also, I truly appreciate that someone other than me occasionally still thinks Lawyer Ted before Danny Castellano.)

    • I had “married to julie goldman” in the headline when I published this post and then I had a panic like, “wait. were they really married? or did i just assume that?” and since i was in that rare period of time in tv land where the episode was still inaccessible online in any capacity I couldn’t double check so I changed it to girlfriended and re-published the whole she-bang! YOU HAVE EMPOWERED ME TO CHANGE IT BACK TO “MARRIED.”

  2. I knew Niecy Nash was going to play a recurring lesbian character and was super-psyched because YES, Reno 911! I have the box set. And Raineesha was totally my favorite. But I had no idea Julie Goldman was playing her wife till she showed up! I hope she’ll make another visit or two as well. I was a little annoyed that Jean would cheat on her wife after just a couple hours out with Mindy, but of course this is not realism, it’s just a goofy sitcom (in which Mindy ran up all the stairs of the Empire State Building no problem-o and didn’t die) so I’ll roll with it.

    (And I did get a good chuckle out of Mindy wearing a plaid flannel to her “I’m really straight” confession.)

  3. So, is it ridiculously weird that the feeling I got when Julie Goldman came on screen, was that somehow my real life and the Mindy Show world were intersecting? Nevermind that I only know JG from her webisodes…

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