In life, and on TV, if you persevere it often really does get better. Few shows have proved that more recently than Mindy Kaling’s series, “The Mindy Project.” What started as a fairly superficial show about a fairly superficial person has evolved into, dare I say it, a surprisingly thoughtful and consistently hilarious show about a superficial person. Now in its second year, “The Mindy Project” can make me laugh, - really, really laugh – more reliably than almost any other show in TV. (Don’t worry, “Parks and Recreation,” you’re still my No. 1. Also, you’re another prime example of the It Gets Betterification of TV shows in their second season.)
But I digress. What helps to make “The Mindy Project” so special is a) it’s crackerjack cast and b) Mindy herself. To get in character and be superficial, this is the only show on TV centered solely around South Asian female character (Mindy is Indian-American) and one of the few shows on TV centered solely around a not stereotypically skinny female character (Mindy is by no means overweight, but her non model-thinness is touched on frequently). Sure, she’s kind of a brat – but dammit if she isn’t a fun brat to watch.
The real Mindy is whip-smart and more than aware of all the bullshit expectations, obstacles and trappings that come with being “different.” As she told Parade magazine in September:
On standing out in the white male-dominated comedy world.
“There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.”On the attention paid to her appearance.
“I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”Yeah, she gets it. She gets it. Her show gets it. Happy weekend, all.
p.s. SPOILER, WILL ROBINSON: Duuuude, I can’t believe I have to wait until April to see how that kiss turns out.