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The Mindy Project | Fall’s New Comedy

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: September 27, 2012

The Emmy Awards show on Sunday capped off the last TV year, anointing Modern Family the comedy, with multiple wins. On Tuesday night, a new comedy continued the wave of women-centric comedies that have taken the world by storm in the last year — Awkward. and Girls. The Mindy Project has a lot riding on it. And not just laughs. This terrific essay in the Hollywood Reporter points out exactly what’s at stake. As the title points out, the show is all about Kaling, who was a regular on the American version of The Office as well as a writer for the show. Like writer/director/star Lena Dunham on Girls, Kaling is cut from a different cloth; she is not a size 0 like many of the starlets on TV. And, she is also Indian-American, a woman of color headlining a major TV series.
Now, as for the show, many critics love it. And, even those that are mixed on the show feel that the pilot shows great potential. Kaling plays an OB/GYN who tries to balance career and love life. She’s not entirely successful, but she is winning. Her addiction to rom-coms and love of Meg Ryan seem to trip her up and keep her from finding real love in a real world. Instead, she’s Sleepless in Seattle. Some of her decisions are questionable — like hooking up with the British doctor — but understandable. The comedy is filmed in a sorta Days and Nights of Molly Dodd way. Single camera with a deadpan style. It mostly works. Some of the jokes are funny.
And clearly Kaling has a lot of famous friends for guest appearances. In the pilot, Bill Hader and Ed Helms both play her love interests. Her supporting cast, notably Chris Messina and Anna Camp, are fabulous. You can watch them in the trailer below.

Some of the jokes — about Serbian teeth — felt a little dated, but some of the longer comedy bits were charming and insightful. And, like Dunham, Kaling doesn’t shy away from the weight angle. Messina’s character even tells her she should lose 15 pounds. But Kaling, writer-star, always gets the last word.
As she points out, “Never speak for Meg Ryan.” I’m happy to let Kaling speak for the former rom-com queen and see where this show heads in future episodes.

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