Mindy Kaling is a Jane of all trades. She began on the U.S. adaptation of The Office as a staff writer, but her character Kelly Kapoor was quickly fleshed out into a more prominent role. Currently she’s writing, producing, and starring in her own show, The Mindy Project, set to begin its third season Sept. 16 at 9:30 pm on Fox. Have fun catching up on this adorably funny, totally binge-worthy comedy.
What’s the premise? A quirky, 30-something, hopeless romantic (Kaling) is a successful OB/GYN, but is not so lucky in love.
How long will it take? The Mindy Project is only 46 half-hour episodes, so with the long Labor Day weekend coming, there’s nothing laborious about crankin’ this baby out.
What do the critics think? Season one is Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer at 81 percent, while season two is Fresh at 89 percent. Critics agree Kaling gives a witty performance to a show that continues to improve. Willa Paskin of Salon.com wrote of Mindy’s character, “She does what she wants. It may not be admirable, but it is often hysterical. She and her television show are both irrepressible.” And Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture said, “Kaling and her collaborators have surrounded the heroine with one of the best casts of the season, and the writing is stellar.”
Why should I watch this? Critics agree that The Mindy Project hits its stride as a serialized sitcom by the second season, striking an even balance between awkward and endearing. Thanks to solid joke-writing, laugh-out-loud physical comedy, and a strong supporting cast, The Mindy Project delivers on the funny. And most of all, Kaling herself pulls off an energizing performance onscreen, while crafting a smart, self-aware, and relatable take on young professional women and their dating lives.
What’s my next step? If you love Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, definitely look into The Office, in which she played a similar character, office chatterbox Kelly Kapoor. Also consider the current shows New Girl for its lovable and dorky heroine, Awkward for its cringe-worthiness, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine for office humor. For all the hopeless romantics out there like Dr. Lahiri, try the timeless classics An Affair to Remember, You’ve Got Mail, and When Harry Met Sally. If you like how Kaling skewers her character’s misguided romantic notions, try the spot-on Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd spoof They Came Together, written by David Wain and Michael Showalter.