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FALL TV PREVIEW: the Mindy Project

by Winston "Stone" Ford

I’m going to be quite open here: I have a crush on Mindy Kaling. I dont know what exactly does it for me. Her South Asian heritage? Her off -beat hipster homor? Possibly. Whatever it is, i was really looking forward to her full length debut of The Mindy Project from Fox.

Kaling rocketed her way onto the scene by writing (and subsequently acting) for NBC’s The Office at the tender age of 25. Back when the Office was good, (the “Diversity Day episode is a classic) her dumb as doornails character of Kelly Kapoor was a sleeper favorite.

Her quirkiness, however, does not carry over to her latest sitcom, The Mindy Project. Fox green-lighted this show after the moster success they had with Zooey Dachenel’s New Girl and I’m sure the network sees this as a perfect paring–two confident thirty-something women headlining their own comedy shows, a rarity in Network TV these days.

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Unfortunately, Kaling cant match her channel-mate’s humor, quirkiness or charm. Kaling plays Mindy Lahiri, a New York doctor dealing with the stress of dating, relationships, and workplace pressures. And it’s obvious from the jump, she is kind of a nutjob. The pilot sets up the character going crazy at an ex-boyfriend’s wedding (sure, he dumped her for a European with bad teeth, but considering Mindy’s behavior, I’m not mad that he did), and her whole situation goes downhill from that point on.

As some have already written, this sitcom tries hard to show “realness” in Mindy’s character. We all know that girl who s a little whacked out, most likely because she is not marred and over 30 and who seems to be on a constant PMS fit 24-7. The biological clock is a beast some times. However, I can’t really find the humor in this type of character. In fact, I felt sorry for her character more than anything.

As a fan of Kaling, The Office, and more colored people on Television, I really wanted to like this show. But I already see where the writers are going with this one, and I don’t know if I can really take the sheer amount of dramady that they want to dish out every week. However, as a male, I doubt I’m in the target market for this show. Women will most likely find this show relatable and I’m sure it will find its audience. But unfortunately I may just have to sit this one out.

The Mindy Project premieres September 25th on Fox. Check Local Listings for Details.