I really like Mindy Kaling. I didn't know it until recently, but I do. Sure, she was pretty funny in The Office as Kelly and got major street cred when I found out she was a writer, but other than that I didn't know much about her.
A couple weeks ago I read her book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" (after the library finally relinquished a copy on Kindle) and found her very endearing. She has that self-deprecating witty sense of humor all SNL/NBC comedians have in common, of course, but she's also very relatable for me.
The things she wonders about are the same kinds of things I wonder about. Mainly about how those experiences that are supposed to be all breezy and cool and sexy for beautiful, grown up women would actually play out in real life.
For example, she questions the safety of one-night stands. Not emotional safety-- physical safety. You're seriously going to let a man you've known four hours into your HOUSE? What if he's a serial killer? What if he steals your stuff? What if he doesn't kill you or steal your stuff that night but makes a mental note of your most expensive possessions and comes back later?
It's those kind of buzzkill thoughts that Mindy and I have in common. Actually, that's exactly the word. We are both total buzzkills. Practical to a fault.
Anyway, due to my newfound affinity for Mindy, I decided to give the pilot of her new show, The Mindy Project, a shot and report back to you.
Rating: Good, not amazing. Solid B+
I feel like you have to take all pilots with a grain of salt. It's really hard to introduce a bunch of characters and have a plot and give an overall "this is what this show is going to be like for the next five years" in 21 minutes. I get that.
So, that said, I thought it was good. It had some great moments, and I still found Mindy endearing, so while it didn't suck me in necessarily story-wise, I think it definitely has potential. The appearances from Bill Hader and Ed Helms also didn't hurt.
The premise is Mindy is an OB/GYN: single, 31, on a quest for love and life-improvement. Part Liz Lemon, part Sex and the City (probably…I haven't actually seen that show), part…something with doctors. Other characters include a married best friend, a goofaround hookup buddy British coworker, a jerk coworker she can't stand, and some cute receptionist girls.
Favorite line of the pilot:
Upon getting out of a consultation with a pregnant woman who has no insurance, doesn't speak english and has to use her son to translate, Mindy questions her staff on why they would send her that patient:
Vaguely Foreign Pretty Receptionist: "I thought she might be rich with oil money."
Mindy: "Well, she wasn't. She was poor, with nothing money."
Young Naive Receptionist: "What do you think she should wear, Dr. Costalano? She didn't grow up in this country!"
Mindy: "Actually, I did grow up in this country, Betsy, thank you.."
I really like Mindy's character. Even though she's got her heads in the clouds a bit [a lot] in terms of romance, her genuine moments and sass are charming and really well-placed comedically. Especially when she is annoyed. Which is a lot.
She shares similar qualities with Mindy in real life (at least according to her book), which I also enjoy because I like her sense of humor and the fact that she references her battle with being perpetually chubby and growing up the child of immigrant professionals from India. I also enjoy that she is not Kelly Kapoor in any way except for looking exactly like her.
In summary, I love Mindy Kaling and will definitely be giving this show a chance. It seems enjoyable and possibly great. Not off-the-wall hilarious like 30 Rock or Community (at least not yet), but relatable and still witty.
If you want to check out the pilot, you can view it on Hulu here. Definitely worth watching if you have 21 minutes to kill and you like NBC comedies and New Girl and such.
Are you planning on giving any new shows a shot this fall?