Now returning to the screens after a brief Christmas hiatus, Mindy Kaling’s new show has managed the impossible: to slyly convert its casual viewers into Mindy Addicts all within the frame of a 20 minute episode. Like all addicts, I am totally hooked, and watch at least half of each episode from behind a cushion because of the life-like humiliation the lead character endures. Riding in on the coat tails of award-winning dramedy, Girls, Kaling’s new project is also based on the abysmal love-life and quirky musings of a narcissistic female lead, Mindy Lahiri. The 30-something OB/GYN doctor hopelessly longs for her own romcom happy ending, but inevitably lands far from it every time – often on the sofa of her private clinic, alone and drooling like a rabies infested zookeeper. Funnily enough, Kaling attributes her choice of career for her main character to her own mother’s struggles, now a retired obstetrician. Needless to say, the actress herself is insistent on pointing out that although the cringey scenes in the show are often borrowed from her own life, her character’s petulance and neediness are completely fictional.
Laced with the crème de la crème of the comedy circuit (the first episode alone features both Ed Helms from The Hangover and Bill Hader from Saturday Night Live, both of whom have recurring appearances in the show) and a fresh-faced supporting cast, this show has all the components for a funny, chilled Sunday night in. It’s light, warm and best of all, excruciatingly embarrassing. Like, Girls embarrassing. But without all the nudity and hipster vibes. In short -a true gem.
Look out for The Mindy Project on E4 soon. US audiences can find it on FOX at 21.30/20.30c on Tuesdays.