Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Mindy Project

   With The Office in it's last season, Mindy Kaling had the opportunity to take her amazing writing and acting skills somewhere else--to her own show! The Mindy Project, in it's first season on FOX, has become one of my new favorite sitcoms. Kaling plays Mindy Lahiri, an Ob/Gyn in her early thirties, that wants her life to be like a romantic comedy. She went to a great school, became a doctor, and is now a partner at her practice. But her love life has not been what she wanted it to be, so we join her on her journey for love, and get to meet all she encounters along the way. At her office there are two other doctors, Jeremy Reed (Ed Weeks) and Danny Castellano (Chris Messina). At the start of the series, Jeremy was a causal rebound for Mindy after being dumped by her boyfriend, but it quickly stopped after she realized from her best friend, Gwen (Anna Camp), that she needed to get her life back together. Danny is the macho-man of the office who doesn't have time for Mindy's personal problems, which she is always brining to work. However, there have been a few subtle-but-obvious hints dropped that the two will get together at some point during the series. The office is also joined by the two receptionists, Betsy (Zoe Jarman), who is a small town girl living in NYC and Shauna (Amanda Setton), a beautiful New Yorker who is very sweet but makes Betsy, and even Mindy sometimes, very jealous of her looks. Then there is Morgan (Ike Barinholtz), the nurse, who despite his big heart, causes some awkward situations. The cast together makes for an unlikely and quirky group but they are making it work extremely well. I'm glad to see Mindy Kaling in a more grown up role than her character Kelly from The Office. She has taken the funniness of Kelly, which was how she handled her emotions and life in general, and put it into a well-educated, strong, and self-sufficient woman. Add an amazingly hilarious cast and you've got a hit! Well, at least in my eyes.

   Tuesday night's episode had Mindy giving her 15 year-old neighbor, Sophia, some advice on her love life, or more specifically, her sex life. Mindy is shocked that Sophia even thinks she is ready to have sex, but agrees that if she can meet Sophia's boyfriend and she approves of him, Mindy will prescribe her birth control. Meanwhile, Danny has to deal with a complaint of lewd behavior between two co-workers. An anonymous letter accused Morgan of ogling Shauna's breasts, but when confronted about it, Morgan seems to think he's actually in trouble for keeping stray dogs in the office. See what I mean about awkward situations? Shauna admits she was not the one who complained and didn't notice anything with Morgan. Danny later finds out Betsy was the anonymous accuser, but she only did it because she doesn't feel men find her attractive. Danny struggles trying to comfort her, as he rarely shows emotion towards his co-workers. And by struggle, I mean it would have been easier for him to climb Mt. Everest with his bare hands.

   Mindy goes to Sophia's school to meet her boyfriend, Henry, because, as she says, she looks 18 and can get in with no questions. Once there, we find a very unrealistic perspective of high school (history of dub-step class, slime as an accessory, lounges for the kids with bean bag chairs) but I think they did that for the reason of showing Mindy (and metaphorically adults) how much high school has changed since she was a kid. Or at least I'm hoping that's why because otherwise, these writers need a serious reality check. Or I could be way over-thinking it and they wrote it that way just to be funny, because it actually was really funny seeing these kids act this way. Anyways, while being questioned about his future, Henry explains to Mindy that he doesn't need to go to college because he can just make an app and get rich, his argument being Mark Zuckerburg dropping out of Harvard. Mindy's retort that Mark Zuckerburg got in to Harvard in the first place, doesn't seem to change his attitude and, among other stupid remarks, causes Mindy to disapprove of him for Sophia. Of course Sophia gets angry and explains how they love each other and they are going to be together forever! After a talk with Gwen, Mindy realizes that while she doesn't approve of Henry, she knows she can't stop Sophia, or any teenager for that matter, from having sex with someone they believe they are in love with. So she does what she can do (which lands her in "school jail") to make sure that Sophia will at least be safe if she decides to have sex with Henry. In the end, Sophia and Henry decide to wait and Mindy even gets her own slime. Which is so slime!

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays at 9:30 on FOX

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