lauren stern looks at the new series from the mind of mindy kailing…
Plot: After getting arrested for reckless drunken behavior at her ex’s (Bill Hader) wedding, Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), a 31-year old OB/GYN, decides she wants to make some serious changes with her disastrous love life. Tired of her friends-with-benefits relationship with her co-worker Jeremy (Ed Weeks) going nowhere, she dives into the dating pool, with the hopes of finding a serious relationship again. Mindy is set up on a blind date with Dennis (Ed Helms) which is interrupted and ruined by the birth of the baby of a non-insured foreign patient she agreed to help. After she delivers the baby, Mindy relaxes in the doctors lounge where she bonds with a co-worker she feuds with, Daniel (Chris Messina) while watching When Harry Met Sally. After a surprisingly polite conversation with Daniel, Mindy heads home to meet and hook up with Jeremy.
When I first heard about Mindy Kailing’s new show The Mindy Project, I thought that it was basically going to be a situation similar to Joey, where a character on a great TV show gets their own spin off and it’s a big giant flop. But to my surprise, The Mindy Project has nothing to do with The Office and it isn’t anything close to a bad spin off. It’s a entirely different plot with an entirely different style of humor.
The Mindy Project is kind of like if 27 Dresses was broken apart and cut down to 20 minute episodes. It kind of has the same premise. Both feature a woman in her early 30s (or close to it) who is tired of searching for love and wants to find “the one” to settle down with. Similar to many other characters in romance films, Mindy is just a misunderstood hopeless romantic trying to create a world that only really exists in fictional love stories. It’s a character viewers have seen time and time again, but Kailing (who is also the show’s creator)’s style of humor and the context of the plot separate it from it’s romantic comedy counterparts.
What’s best about The Mindy Project is that there isn’t such an obvious desire to be funny or create laughs. The characters aren’t doing anything stupid or outrageous. They aren’t saying corny punch line after corny punch line. They are acting like normal people and that’s what makes it funny. In most cases, viewers want to see characters they can relate to; characters that will make them look at their own behavior and laugh at themselves. Not a group of silly idiots running around causing chaos.
Another great aspect of this show is how good looking the men are. I hate to bring this up but I can’t lie that the producers made the right casting decisions. This show was made to have a primarily female audience, and these guys are the hooks to reel them all in. Mindy’s hook-up and (hopefully) her soon-to-be love interest Jeremy is the main guy you’re going to be routing for. So far his character is incredibly sweet and genuine. I can see him being the guy that Mindy ends up with but right now, I think she’s holding back because she’s just too scared to get hurt again.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Mindy Project. I thought it was very relatable, funny, and it honestly left me wanting more! I just hope that Kailing producers continue to make it more unique than from the romantic comedies that are already out there. The show has the perfect premise to attract viewers but they really need to be careful about replicating ideas viewers have already seen multiple times in the past.