Mindy Kaling has gone from crazy Ryan Howard (B.J Novak) obsessed, Kelly Kapoor on The Office, to crazy Bill Hader, Tom Hanks, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant obsessed Mindy Lahiri. Mindy Kaling has exchanging her cute pencil skirts and blouses for not so cute scrubs and shiny shirts. She’s also going from confused single girl to confused single girl who talks to Barbie dolls. The Mindy Project, which can currently be viewed on Hulu.com and Fox.com is an unusual and hilarious look at single life for a romantic comedy obsessed single girl.
The Mindy Project is a hybrid of many comedic genres, and completely new at the same time. It’s a little bit of a doctor comedy, single girl comedy, and kind of an edgy comedy. The Mindy Project pilot begins with Mindy being arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct after attending her ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Her ex-boyfriend is played by SNL star, Bill Hader. The Mindy Project then follows her life as an Ob/Gyn and as a single girl looking for love. She works mainly with two other male doctors, the hot-possibly sex addicted-Jeremy (Ed Weeks), and the not afraid to speak his mind-kind of jerky- Danny (Chris Messina).
Mindy has been hooking up with Jeremy secretly, but she’s trying to stop her destructive behavior and she even agrees to go on a blind date setup by her best friend. Mindy and Danny have a love/hate relationship, heavy on the hate and most of Mindy’s scenes involves bickering with him. Her best friend, Gwen (Anna Camp) who almost seems completely opposite of Mindy, and a quirky receptionist, Betsy (Zoe Jarman) who seems more clueless than Mindy round out the cast. Gwen and Betsy do not really have a strong presence in the pilot but will probably become more important and interesting later in the show.
The first half The Mindy Project is really strong for just being really weird, everything from Mindy talking to a Barbie to her obsession with romantic comedies unfolds in the first couple minutes of the show. The second half of the pilot falls a little flat focusing on her blind date and a family who couldn’t afford health care but needed assistance. The first half of The Mindy Project is really funny, but the second half takes more serious turns and seems like a lot is added just to show The Mindy Project is not just funny but has a heart.
One of the strengths of The Mindy Project is Mindy Kaling, who does a fantastic job playing a character so different-yet similar-to her famous Kelly Kapour character. Mindy’s character in The Mindy Project is likable and, unlike many other female characters in single girl comedies, her character is relatable to many. Some of her behavior is over the top, but it’s a comedy so that’s expected, but anyone who has a single girl friend over thirty can probably see similarities between Mindy and their friend. Some other strengths are the guest appearances by Bill Hader and Ed Helms, who both have minor roles, but just seeing them gives a little bit of excitement for what they could bring to the show.
The male leads and the additional characters on the pilot are not really standouts. You don’t love them nor do you hate them. They’re just there. The show is about Mindy, so it’s good she is the standout character and you’ll watch it for her character probably more than any other character.
Though, The Mindy Project could have been a bit more focused, it has really funny moments, the writing is pretty good, it’s bold, fresh and original. It’s definitely worth thirty minutes of your Tuesday night. I can only seeing it getting better and more weird.
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