Kelly Kapoor as a real person: Why I can’t wait for The Mindy Project
Kelly Kapoor is a ridiculous individual who would never function in society. However, a lot of women have a little bit of Kelly in them. ‘The Mindy Project’ makes Kelly into a functional human being, and the results make it my most anticipated new show of the season.
The Mindy Project is hands-down my most highly-anticipated new show this fall. The pilot, if you haven’t seen it, was available early online, and it is everything I hoped it would be. In it, Mindy Kaling plays Mindy Lahiri, an unlucky-in-love OB/GYN. Yes, the premise is gag-inducing and the execution undoubtedly would be in anyone else’s hands. However, as Kaling fans know, you can put a tired premise in her capable hands and watch as she spins it into gold. Most people know Kaling as the annoying, shallow, slightly psychotic Kelly Kapoor on The Office. While she never had a large role, Kelly was always memorable. At first glance, the character seems wholly ridiculous: she treats celebrity lives as if they are her own, she’s terrible at her job, and she’s so vapid that she’s constantly in danger of sucking Scranton into a black hole devoid of any intellectualism or rational thought. But sometimes, I can totally relate to Kelly Kapoor. I’m not the only one, either. A lot of smart, well-adjusted women feel like they have a little Kelly in them. We would never actually buy a tapeworm from a creepy guy in our office, but we’ve certainly joked about it (and maybe secretly considered it for half a second).
We would also never creepily sing karaoke to a guy we’re hung up on who treats us like shit, but maybe, if we were singing karaoke (and we’d had a drink or two), we may be thinking this.
Kelly Kapoor is our frivolous side, our crazy side. She’s the side of us that breeding and society have told us we need to push down so we can function like normal adults. We know that everything about her is wrong, but she’s still in us. Office jobs are boring. Sometimes a fashion show at lunch is enough excitement to get you through the day.
Sometimes Kelly is even with it enough to drop some serious knowledge. She’s dead on in her textual interpretation of the 5 dots Darryl included in his text.
This is what makes me so excited for The Mindy Project. Kaling is basically making Kelly Kapoor into a functional human being with a real job. I’ve seen the pilot, and I can relate to Mindy Lahiri. I mean, she has a much better job than I do, but her basic personality and experiences feel very familiar,which An and Christina discuss in their preview. Like Mindy, I have to constantly remind myself that life isn’t a movie; that I can’t expect someone to come in and save the day, or for there to be a happy ending, or really any kind of tidy ending at all.
It’s difficult for women to be taken seriously in general, so oftentimes we present a serious side to the world and keep our inner-Kelly locked down. Mindy Kaling, and now by extension Mindy Lahiri, are showing us that not only can we embrace our inner-Kelly, but we can kick ass at our job and basically rock at life while we do it. After all, I’m neither a showrunner or an OB/GYN, so she must be doing something right.
The Mindy Project‘s pilot gave me a lot of hope, but it’ll be interesting to see how grounded Mindy stays as a character throughout the season, or if she slowly devolves into a less-realistic person to fit in with the “bigger is better” FOX mindset.