The Mindy Project

Having been a huge fan of The Office (still waiting for the last season to arrive on Netflix), I was curious about Mindy Kaling’s comedy “The Mindy Project”. I don’t watch a lot of normal television, but The Mindy Project kept me coming back.

Kaling’s character is a rom-com obsessed gynaecologist in her 30s, with a broad streak of narcissism and self-destructive behaviour. It will come as no surprise that she lives in New York. Her colleagues are a good-natured but wannabe-tough-guy from Staten Island, a rather effete English ladies-man, and a male nurse with a shady past who means well but ends up doing crazy things. During the season they form a rivalry with a pair of New Age midwife brothers.

The series has some of the harsh realism of Lena Dunham’s Girls, but on the whole is much softer. It is jam-packed with hilarious one-liners – frequently due to Mindy’s uncontrollable ego and inability to take responsibility:

  • “Clubs make me feel judged and rejected – by the people I’d normally judge and reject.”
  • “Keep your racism voice down!”
  • “Danny, you’re so selfish! I don’t care if you’re depressed, help me out for once!”
  • “That’s what I said. But what I felt in my heart was quite different.”
  • “It’s hard to do the right thing. That’s why it’s good to have people around you who force you to do it.”
  • “We hooked up once. And then a couple more times… and then only once.”
  • “Ow! You hurt my breast very badly. It’s okay, I have a padded bra on.”
  • “Are we just yelling our jobs now?”
  • “I would make a fantastic sex slave!”

There are some great scenes – my favourite is when Mindy is shaken down by a male prostitute; the rivalry between the English and Italian-American doctors is another source of humour – their back-slapping right, or when the Brit gives the American a back-handed compliment: “The world needs more rough-hewn strivers like you. Scrummers and scrappers who claw and scratch their way through life.” There is even a bunch of plot progression (though one of their secretaries disappears and I don’t know why), so it’s not the same thing week after week, and over time Mindy becomes slightly less self-obsessed.

The Mindy Project is a funny series with a sometimes-sympathetic, almost-always delusional main character – if you can put up with her, it’s worth catching.

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