'The Mindy Project' Showrunner Ranks Mindy's Top Boyfriends (Guest Column)

Matt Warburton looks back at his favorite of Dr. Lahiri's main squeezes ahead of the series finale.
Courtesy of Jordin Althaus/NBC Universal Television
From left: Glenn Howerton, Chris Messina, Anders Holm

Seth Rogen. Timothy Olyphant. Seth Meyers. Josh Meyers. Tim Daly. Ne-Yo. 

The list of Mindy Lahiri's love interests on The Mindy Project is nothing if not diverse. Over six seasons and 117 episodes of the Fox-turned-Hulu comedy, the love life of Mindy Kaling's rom com-loving alter ego has been a rollercoaster of surprising hookups, bad breakups and even a broken engagement or two.

But the many pitfalls of (fictional) Mindy's love life provided great opportunity again and again for the real Mindy and her team to welcome impressive guest stars from all the over map. With The Mindy Project set to wrap on Nov. 14, The Hollywood Reporter decided to take a look back at Mindy's many boyfriends by asking showrunner Matt Warburton to rank his favorite. 

5.  Josh Daniels (Tommy Dewey) 

Josh was Mindy’s first serious boyfriend on the show and he’s always been a fan favorite. From his pickup line that Mindy looks like the mistress of a black congressman to their epic breakup at Mindy’s Christmas party (where we learn that Josh had been in a secret second relationship the whole time he and Mindy were dating), Josh taught us how to bring in a boyfriend, have fun with him and exit him in the splashiest way possible. 

4.  Tom McDougall (Bill Hader)

Tom began the show as Mindy’s ex, and Mindy’s meltdown (where she drove a bike into a swimming pool and got arrested) was at Tom’s wedding. It became a fun game to show Tom sinking lower and lower every time we saw him after that. He formed a men’s group called “The Getting Over It Gang” and later found out his new girlfriend was cheating on him when his dog passed a condom. Poor Tom.

3.  Cliff Gilbert (Glenn Howerton)

Mindy met Cliff when she needed a lawyer to try to sue Amazon for leaving too many boxes in her building’s entranceway. Glenn is so funny and charming, and in a world where a lot of very hot guys are into Mindy, it was nice to give her a boyfriend who seemed truly annoyed by her. And this guy never let it go. It was always fun to find reasons for our group to need a lawyer and go bother Cliff.

2.  Pastor Casey (Anders Holm)

Pastor Casey was such a fun character and someone you don’t normally see on network TV. It was really useful in the first season to have a character who was extremely self-sacrificing and forced Mindy to prove herself as a good person. Our take in the writers room was often that at the same time Mindy became better for knowing Casey, Mindy sent Casey spiraling in ways that really messed up his life. He quit the church to become a DJ, then an event planner, then a sneaker mogul with some very unfortunate tattoos (a Minion dressed as Shrek, for one). 

1. Danny Castellano (Chris Messina)

There’s only one choice for the top spot, obviously. Danny was such a fun character to crack, a hot guy with the soul of an old man. Chris was so great and game to create the character, and it was a joy seeing him learn to be hilarious in what was really his first big comedy role. Getting them together was a three-season pleasure, and breaking them up was a 13-episode challenge, but even after he was gone, Danny was always a specter just offscreen, and it was a thrill watching him return this season and slip right back into the role. Except now he has a sexy beard.