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'The Mindy Project' - one worth watching
September 25, 2012 - April Diodato
Every fall, I watch with great amusement as the television networks throw everything at the wall to see what sticks. Usually, not much does. There's always a few new shows that I eagerly anticipate and mark on my calendar, a handful that pique my interest that I never actually end up watching, and many that leave me scratching my head over how the initial pitch ever got approved.
Among those few premieres that I tune in for, there will be only one or two that make it into my regular viewing schedule. Last year, “New Girl” and “American Horror Story” earned a place in the rotation – and after discovering it in the depths of winter, fall 2011 newbie (and dominator of the 2012 Emmys) “Homeland” quickly became a favorite.
This year's offerings look especially dismal. “Guys with Kids?” Yawn. “Animal Practice?” Have they finally run out of premises for medical-themed programs? I can imagine how it happened: “It's like 'House,' with animals, and a charming chimpanzee co-star.” And don't even get me started on “Revolution.” I've been rolling my eyes since the first commercial. Mankind is suddenly left in the dark, with a mysterious occurrence ending modern life as we know it! There is no electricity and everyone must rough it, Old West-style … but somehow, the bow-and-arrow-toting lead actress (archery is so hot right now – thanks, “Hunger Games!”) is perfectly coiffed, eyelashes curled, as she “tries to save the world.” Where did she plug in her curling iron?
I did, however, find one pilot that doesn't suck – and it airs tonight. Curious about the positive buzz surrounding Fox's “The Mindy Project,” I checked it out while it was available On Demand a couple of weeks ahead of its premiere. It turned out to be pretty hilarious.
Mindy Kaling, who is also the show's creator, stars as a young doctor who can't seem to get the rest of her life together. It begins with her landing herself in the drunk tank after getting ridiculously hammered at her ex-boyfriend's wedding, riding her bicycle into a pool and having an imaginary underwater conversation with a rather condescending Barbie doll. Mindy vows to turn it all around, aspiring to become more like one of the leading ladies in the romantic comedies she obsessively watches, then promptly makes one bad decision after another. She's relatable, she's talented, and she's left “The Office” just in time.
“The Mindy Project” will be the perfect companion to “New Girl,” which also starts its new season tonight at 8 p.m. (There will be two new episodes – one at 8 and another at 9, with “Mindy” on at 9:30 p.m.). I love Zooey Deschanel but sometimes I want to strangle her character, Jess, for being too cutesy and sweet – Mindy's got a lot more salt.