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TV Series Review

Mindy Lahari is a good person. In her heart she knows this. So what if she doesn't always do particularly good things or say particularly nice words or think particularly decent thoughts? So what if she sometimes is completely inconsiderate or drinks way too much or gets, every now and then, arrested? That doesn't diminish the inherent ball of goodness that she is. Really.

And while she might not have been good today, she will be good tomorrow, she swears. Or, perhaps, the day after. Such is the setup of The Mindy Project, the one-time Fox comedy that has now moved to a new high-rise apartment on Hulu. The project, it would seem, is Mindy herself—embarking on a listless, bunny-hop progression of self-improvement that emphasizes self and sort of loses the improvement part along the way.

Mindy is played by The Office alum Mindy Kaling. She's a thirtysomething OB/GYN who was raised, essentially, by romantic comedies. She believes true love has to be the product of quirky meetings and heartfelt speeches and, if possible, a swelling musical score. Her dreams came true, after a fashion, thanks to her one-time frienemy-turned-fiancé Danny Castellano. But Danny's a pragmatic sort of dude, and Mindy believes she's the star of her very own romcom, imbued with a cosmic get-out-of-jail-free card for her bad behavior. So their happily ever after hasn't always been quite so.

Good, Better and Best

The Mindy Project is gleefully self-aware. And in a twisted sort of way, it's a show Plugged In "gets." Now, follow me for a minute here: Mindy is no role model, but the writers don't intend her to be. She is instead a reflection of our media-soaked, self-obsessed times. She's been told all her life that she's a great person (no matter what she does), and she believes it. She's convinced that the template for lifelong love can be found in the movies. She believes the world owes her something, and woe to the world should it fail to pony up.

When Mindy's at her best—her real best—it's when she turns her attention away from herself and, just for a moment, considers the well-being of someone else. Someone like Danny. And because she's focusing on Danny more and more as the series goes on, it seems as though Mindy is growing into a progressively better person.

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

'Course, she's also already pregnant with Danny's child. So The Mindy Project blends the wonder of impending motherhood with jokes about being knocked up. Or worse. And there have indeed been worse things that've shown up on this show.

When you center a series on someone who does bad, inadvisable things, and it will naturally show her doing bad, inadvisable things. Mindy drinks. Mindy sleeps around. Mindy swears. Mindy treats people horribly. And all of Mindy's supporting cast? Well, they're doing much of the same.

And for that, Plugged In isn't quite as quick to throw down a get-out-of-jail-free card as Mindy is.

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Episode Reviews

The Mindy Project - September 15, 2015: "While I'm Sleeping"
Mindy-Project: 10-2-2012
Mindy-Project: 9-25-2012



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Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri; Chris Messina as Danny Castellano; Ed Weeks as Jeremy Reed; Anna Camp as Gwen Grandy; Zoe Jarman as Betsy Putch; Amanda Setton as Shauna Dicanio; Stephen Tobolowsky as Marc Shulman






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