The Mindy Project – Pilot Review

THE MINDY PROJECT

 

Tuesdays 9:30 EST, Fox

Premieres September 25th

 

 

OBGYN resident and lover of rom-coms, Mindy Lahiri, finds that she needs to turn her life around. After all, when a meet-cute in an elevator inevitably leads to her drunkenly riding her bicycle into a swimming pool and being arrested for disorderly conduct after embarrassing herself at her ex’s wedding, something must be wrong. The only thing that really seems to be going for her is her job, where she takes on too many uninsured patients and must guard the few she has from patient-stealing Danny Castellano, a fellow resident who she will most likely end up dating despite/because of the seeming clash in their personalities. The wedding serves as a wake-up call that challenges Mindy to take charge of her personal and professional lives. Of course, this may be derailed if she cannot resist the temptation of attractive colleague Jeremy Reed, a sex addict with no intention of ever setting down who sees no problem with having sex at work.

 

Familiar faces: Written by, produced by, and starring Mindy Kaling, best known for her acting and writing on NBC’s The Office.  The pilot also features her Office co-star Ed Helms. Her best friend is played by Anna Camp, who has had smaller roles on shows like True Blood and Mad Men. Her fellow resident, Chris Messina, has been in shows such as Damages, The Newsroom, and Six Feet Under.  And fans of Glee may recognize Stephen Tobolowsky, AKA displaced Glee club leader Sandy Ryerson.

 

This Reminds Me: Of a more romantically inclined Scrubs or a comedic Grey’s Anatomy. Already in the pilot we have inappropriate work sex (kind of), so there could very well be more of that. And the Grey’s comparison also holds when you consider the voiceover that starts the show to give you all the necessary background information (although it is unclear whether or not that will be standard for each episode).

 

Other Aspects to Consider: Not all of the jokes hit home with me. In particular, the moment where Mindy falls into a pool and starts having a drunken conversation with a Barbie doll stuck at the bottom, and the doll one-ups her by having a steady boyfriend. Of course, you can’t expect to laugh at everything a show tries, right? Just do not watch this show expecting that the hospital where Mindy works will turn into The Office.

 

Generally speaking, if you like rom-coms, you will like this show. Mindy is a flawed but likeable character that you will end up rooting for. And lovers of rom-coms will also enjoy the constant references to favorites such as While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle, and About a Boy to name a few. This means that viewers not familiar with the recent history of romantic movies might find themselves lost, but if you have general knowledge of the appeal of actresses such as Meg Ryan and Sandra Bullock, you should be okay.

 

Remaining Questions: Will there be any spotlight on other parts of Mindy’s life? There are really only so many bad dates you can go on before it stops being funny (at least, in a row). I am curious to see if we will meet the family that must have seen her watching all of these romantic comedies.

 

The verdict: DVR. I have always loved Mindy Kaling’s character Kelly Kapoor on The Office, and this more toned down version of a girl obsessed with the idea of love is even more likable and, I hope, more identifiable. The show is pretty predictable thus far, and does not appear to be breaking any new ground in the television world, but that could make it more enjoyable in the long run.

 

 

Interesting note: Both FOX pilots premiering tonight involve unexpectedly ending up in a swimming pool. Coincidence? I think not. Clearly pools are the epitome of funny. Maybe.

13 Comments
  1. I just watched the pilot of this show. I definitely see a different character in Mindy than I had seen of her in Office. She has the main role, so you get to see how her portrayal of different characters comes in. In Office she has minor roles so you couldn’t really tell how her character really is unless she is on the screen for the whole show.

  2. I really couldn’t get into this show at all. I made it 1/2 way through and couldn’t even muster the enthusiasim to finish watching. I promptly deleted it and the schedule from the DVR. I was pretty disappointed because I thought I would really enjoy this one. But the attempts of “jokes” just didn’t seem funny at all to me. It would have to improve a lot in order to be worth watching for me. I would normally give it a couple more episodes but there are so may other promising shows right now I just don’t feel commited to it.

  3. I am on the fence about this show. Sometimes a pilot episode tries too hard to pick up an audience and ends up losing it. I thought The Mindy Project was mediocre, but I am going to give it a few more episodes. What is with falling in pools? It is not that funny. Thanks for the heads up on Louie, I forgot that was one of the shows I had been meaning to check out!

  4. This show was actually pretty entertaining, but maybe that was because I had no pre-conceived notions going into watching it. For a pilot, it really was pretty good. As soon as it was over I went ahead and put it in my Hulu Plus favorites. Mindy is a really funny lady, so it should only get better from here.

  5. Very interesting seeing Mindy as a different character.

    Though reading her book recently has made her seem less “Kelly” to me.

    • I haven’t read her book, would you recommend it?

  6. I like Mindy Kaling and I enjoyed the first episode of this show. I think she’s charming and likable. I would like for this show to do well.
    I see potential in this show. There are quite a few comedies on TV that didn’t immediately blow me away, but grew on me and got better as time went on. This show can be really cool if it stays on the air long enough to work out the kinks and develop the characters.

  7. Oh, Megan. Unfortunately there is no limit to the bad 1st dates you can go on — welcome to my life. I 100% agree with you that this is DVR worthy. There are a few things to be worked out, but Mindy is the girly girl with ambition that we’ve been waiting for!

    • Oh, Jenni. How I love you. Yes Mindy could go on bad dates for the rest of her life, but for her character and the viewing audience, I hope this is not the case. Although for the record, I would not classify the date with Ed Helms as bad. That was quite entertaining!

  8. Excited for this. Love Mindy she is such a funny gal! I am not to sure about how long the show will last, these type of comedies never go well even if the person is fairly funny. (How bad was Whitney!?)

    • Whitney was bad and that’s such a shame because I think Whitney Cummings herself is funny. Right now I think the best show featuring a comedian is Louie.