Both Christina and I sat down to review Mindy Kaling’s latest TV show, The Mindy Project. The Mindy Project, following the life of OB/GYN Mindy Lahiri, is a a single-camera comedy executive produced by the Emmy Award-nominated writer/producer and New York Times best-selling author Mindy Kaling (The Office). Despite our differing perspectives of single gal and non-single gal, we both agreed that this show rocks the house.
An: I am in love with The Mindy Project. Literally. It’s smart, incredibly well done and isn’t the typical TV chick lit. Yes, the heroine’s a mess, but she isn’t a goofy mess incapable of holding a real relationship or maintaining a job. Quite the contrary. The show’s realistic portrayal of an intelligent woman in her thirties with a sense of humor got me from square one.
Christina: Okay, I have finally watched the show … taking advantage of my air conditioned room, as I predicted.
Anyway, I think it’s great. For a pilot, it seems to have a really clear sense of what it wants to be, and Mindy Kaling has such a clear comic voice.
An: I love The Mindy Project because the Mindy character is me. I’m a minority woman who watched Hugh Grant rom coms in college and now sports a couple of extra pounds in her thirties. I went to school with a couple of congressional kids, get into fights with my friends’ kids (don’t judge me), and wear high heels I think are hot (but my male friends say are not). And, like her I’ve had a couple devastating international boyfriends.
Christina: The international boyfriend, especially British, is a romantic comedy staple, isn’t it?I too dated a British guy once, and it was a disaster. The thing about Hugh Grant is that under all that sensitivity he’s kind of a douche, right? Beyond that, I don’t relate to the Mindy character so much personally, but rather in a general way because she feels the things that romantic comedies and pop culture in general tell us women are supposed to feel.
Body issues? Check. Desperate not to be single? Check. The list goes on. The nice thing about this show, though, is that by being so upfront with Mindy’s rom-com and pop culture obsessions, it is thereby critiquing the expectations placed on women in a way we don’t see enough of. At the same time, though, we get a sense that Mindy Lahiri is real person rather than a heap of comedic stereotypes.
An: Although the show incorporates Lahiri’s dating life, it isn’t necessarily about her dating habits. It’s about life and the potholes within. It’s witty intelligence, smart irreverance and down-to-earth reality surprisingly reminds me of Parenthood. But, I definitely love the social commentary.
What do you think of the cast? Although the initial introductory scene felt uneven, once the pilot moved past it, The Mindy Project picked up its amazing one-liner rhythm. While Kaling’s known for her comedy, the show also offers a cohesive supporting cast. All of the actors fit their characters’ skins perfectly which is surprising in a pilot. Mindy, her governor’s daughter best friend, her receptionists, her head doctor, her love interests, her patients, and colleagues all have individual backstories, quirks, and well-developed characteristics.