The Mindy Project Season One (2012) - Review

by - July 17, 2019


For as much as I love romantic comedies, it's a wonder why it took me so long to finally watch The Mindy Project. Created by self-proclaimed and proven rom-com fan, Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project revolves around OBGYN Mindy Lahiri as she tries to find love in New York City while balancing work and friendships. I really have no excuse other than being wary of getting suck into any new show as so many of the shows I end up liking get canceled. Which is exactly what happened to The Mindy Project after three seasons on FOX. But then HULU stepped in and The Mindy Project went on to air three more seasons on the streaming service. Again, I have no excuse for why I waited seven years after the premiere to watch this show, but it doesn't really matter. On a whim last Friday I watched the pilot and binged the rest of the 24 episode first season over the course of the next four days. I also got about 3 episodes into season 2 before realizing I should stop long enough to write my review.

Simply put, I love this show. It's the perfect romantic comedy series for the small screen. I always give a new series about six episodes to suck me in before calling it quits, but TMP had me at... dare I say it?... hello. You can tell that the writers were tweaking the show as they went, and while I did enjoy the first handful of episodes, the season really seems to take off after the addition of Morgan (Ike Barinholtz), the animal-loving ex-con turned nurse. To be honest, I almost didn't notice Shauna's (Amanda Setton) absence halfway through the season, which tells me they probably made the right choice in removing the character with zero acknowledgment. Beth Grant plays Beverly, the unpredictable nurse with zero bedside manner, who is fired at the beginning of the season and replaced by Morgan. They wisely bring Grant back later in the season to take over the role of the receptionist (once played by Setton). In terms of being laugh out loud funny, Morgan and Beverly share this prize. Beverly's lines are outrageously inappropriate and I'm pretty sure I've laughed at every single one. Grant is absolutely a better match for this ensemble than Setton was.

Kaling does a fantastic job at creating characters that are sympathetic, funny and more importantly, human. They make mistakes, they say and do stupid things. Sometimes they're downright mean. But they're relatable, and that's one thing I love about the show. Obviously, another thing I love is how Kaling pays homage to various rom-com classics. Hanging out at the Empire State Building in the hopes of finding the love of her life, dating a prostitute and trying to make him classy ala Pretty Woman. One of my favorite episodes revolved around Mindy realizing she's the supporting character in someone else's romantic comedy, the plot device meant to push the hero and heroine to realize they're in love with each other. Her quest to find Mr. Right never grows stale, and it probably helps that she has an amazing lineup of guest stars (Seth Meyers, Ed Helms, BJ Novak, Ellie Kemper, etc.).

There were a couple episodes here and there that felt a bit slow and didn't capture me as much as the others, but I think that's to be expected during a season with 24 episodes. The Mindy Project begins almost solely focused on Mindy herself, but like so many comedies before it, it really finds its stride once it branches out to the supporting cast as well.

I have to say that the season MVP in my eyes is Chris Messina. As Dr. Danny Castellano, Messina strikes the perfect balance of hunky, grumpy and vulnerable. He's also freaking hilarious. In a way, he reminds me of Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) from New Girl. A cranky old man stuck in the body of a thirty(something) year old. Danny has it much more together than Nick ever did, but the two characters are still perfect romantic foils for the heroines in their respective shows (in Nick's case, Jess played by Zooey Deschanel). The sexual tension is absolutely evident between Mindy and Danny, but the two date other people and become much closer friends over the course of the season. Slow burn romances are my jam, and I have absolutely loved seeing their relationship blossom to something pretty close to best friends. In a sense, it kind of feels like their own version of When Harry Met Sally playing out.

The last scene in the finale, Take Me With You, was rife with sexual chemistry and a near kiss that left me ready to push the button on season 2 (and I did, of course). It's been a long time since I found a truly bingeable show (other than Stranger Things, of course) and I can't wait to see where Mindy's journey takes me.

Starring: Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ike Barinholtz, Beth Grant, Ed Weeks
Created by: Mindy Kaling
Watched: 07.2019 on Hulu

Rating:


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4 comments

  1. I never saw that show but Ike Barinholtz is freaking hilarious in everything I saw him in so far, maybe I'll give it a shot one day I quite liked Mindy in The Office!

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    1. He's one of my favorite characters on this show. Just so heartfelt and silly and he has some of the funniest lines. Plus he LOVES animals to an almost ridiculous level, and I love it. There are a lot of cameos from Office cast members and I can feel the Office's influence in this show a lot. It's just a lot of fun :)

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  2. I loved Mindy's character in The Office so I don't know why I haven't started this show yet. I've just finished Brooklyn Nine-Nine so I've got a comedy-shaped hole in my life!

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    1. My husband and I started Brooklyn 99 a while ago! it's just been a battle being home at the same time with the same amount of energy to watch it all! We're finishing up season 3 of The Good Place too which is a lot of fun.

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