How does this happen? Let's recap, shall we?
The Pilot: Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, the naive small town girl from Upstate New York (played by Kristen Bell, of course- the similarities are uncanny) moves to Hollywood to make it big much to the chagrin of friends and family. She auditions at a local theater & gets in. The last scene is her out to dinner with friends when she says, "Don't worry, guys-- I've got it" and pays using a credit card. *cue smoke monster noise*
Season 1: She works herself into the ground taking classes and performing but has no life experience to really know who she is enough to be comfortable walking into an agent's office or to audition. She has lots of fantastic adventures & creates a loving world of friends around her. She struggles with her spirituality and becoming her own person. She isn't getting quality auditions and classes & headshots have drained her bank account. Last scene is her looking over her credit card statements as a roommate walks in eating a cookie, "You should do this professionally. Like... fo realz."
Season 2: Time has gone by... The heroine is ROUGH around the edges. She begins working 2-3 jobs even to pay off her severe credit card debt. Baking is her lifeline. She begins to burn out from lack of opportunity and loses her love of acting. She views life as impossible and builds a great resentment toward people with money. She hates LA- the smog, the people, the tackiness, the fake boobs. Last scene is her getting passed on at Groundlings. She cries herself to sleep. (Though the acting was Emmy Award winning, fans hated this season. Nobody likes Mandi in a corner. The finale, however, proved brutal and there wasn't a dry eye in the house watching cable that night).
Season 3: Mandi, having hit rockbottom in Season 2, begins to find life again. Desperate for something to change she signs up for a full-length marathon and begins to take classes from a spiritual life coach. She struggles with whether or not she's an actor or a baker. She settles on the idea that she's an artist and doesn't need to commit to either. Through the marathon, she meets her first love who is long-distance. (EW writes a whole story on "Good Girl Gone Bad?"). Last scene she packs up her car to move to Chicago.
Season 4: Very quickly you find out the relationship isn't working. She has no job, no money, no place to live and not many friends or family to nurse her through her first break-up. Despite this heartbreak, her life has changed. She's fearless, empowered and more aware because she has no choice. The more fearless she is, the more miracles she sees. She is given an opportunity at a tea shop to be a General Manager. She goes for it and is incredibly successful there, rebuilding her life. They talk about developing her as the Regional Manager in Los Angeles and while she has no desire to go back to LA, she says yes thinking it might allow her to move up faster in the company and make more money. The idea marinates and subconsciously she becomes fascinated with the idea of going back to LA a different person- salaried, living alone. She gets sick of the tea shop as the culture there is an 80 hour work week. She gets called in to interview at a brand name bakery and makes money she didn't ever think was possible. She gets her staff successfully through a holiday season and using marketing tactics from the tea shop, the bakery has it's most successful day the store has ever seen on Valentine's Day. She pays the last payment on her $34k+ credit card consolidation-- huge win! Despite these successes, this isn't where she's supposed to be. She loves the people but she isn't happy. After work drama, she re-evaluates what she wants in her life. She makes a list and discovers what she wants is the following: acting, baking, cooking videos with friends, to blog regularly, Tarrantino midnight showings with friends... This list is LA, LA, LA, LA, LA... Last scene is her with her list at the kitchen table saying, "What the F*CK!???" Oh JJ...
SEASON 5 EPISODE 1: Mandi is back in LA (Fans rejoice! 'Old Hollywood Glamour' Mandi is on the cover of EW, sunglasses, palm trees in the background as they write, "Guess Who's Back?") She has $223 in her pocket, no job lined up but she has committed to it being easy and doing it differently. In her first week a friend says she'll refer her to her agent, she books a catering gig and has a myriad of interviews set up by a hospitality recruiter. She has no idea what's going to happen because the money is in General Manager positions that require 60 hour work weeks & 3 hours in the car in commuting. Her heart however is in acting and baking. Commiting to doing LA differently and making it easy she trusts that what comes in is what's supposed to happen. And while scary, she knows that scary means the opportunity to be fearless and fearlessness equals the stars aligning to make miracles happen....
Next On 'Life As Mandi'...
SHE STILL HAS NO #&$*ING IDEA WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! But amazing things are to come... the audience has NO IDEA. Very exciting. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
So there you have it, folks... the boxed set. I hope you've enjoyed the show thus far! I'm SURE JJ will keep it interesting (as long as he doesn't get caught up with that whole doing the next Star Wars thing). ;)
Hollywood Stars and Aprons, b*tches!!!! ;)