As someone who considers herself stuck in the first half of a rom-com — as though my life is a DVD that refuses to skip over the damaged area so I never reach the montage where the positive changes happen that leads me to the happy ending — I am pretty much the target audience for Mindy Kaling’s new Fox comedy, The Mindy Project. You can watch the full Sept. 25 premiere below now, courtesy of Hulu. Kaling stars as Mindy, a single 31-year-old OB/GYN who’s always been obsessed with romantic comedies and has reached her own self-improvement montage — which, if all goes well, will obviously last for seasons. Here are five reasons I’m already a fan:
1. I have never related to any line more than this one: “Maybe I won’t get married, you know. Maybe I’ll do one of those Eat, Pray, Love things. Ugh, no. I don’t want to pray. Forget it. I’ll just die alone.” A close second, Mindy’s pre-date prayer: “Dear lord, please let this date be good. May he have the wealth of Michael Bloomberg, the personality of Jon Stewart, the face of Michael Fassbender… the penis of Michael Fassbender.” (Even if some of the pilot’s pop-culture references feel a bit dated now, Kaling’s charming enough to pull them off.)
2. Love interests played by pilot guest stars Bill Hader and Ed Helms: They are exactly the kind of guest actors you want to see opposite Kaling (and probably the kind of actors her core audience would crush on — win-win).
4. Those Grey’s Anatomy-style elevator scenes. I hope they continue past the pilot.
5. Danny (Chris Messina) seems to be the only one aware of their will-they-won’t-they chemistry. It’s a bit like the relationship Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler’s characters had in The Ugly Truth, only crueler, thanks to those jabs about his ex-wife and her being even more attractive if she’d lose 15 pounds. (Danny got better lines than Jeremy, her f— buddy, because we’re supposed to like him, I presume. But they’ll need to figure out a way to make Jeremy funnier while still keeping him someone we can root against. Otherwise, Jeremy’s just not fun to watch.)
Bonus: Dr. Mindy is actually good at her job. I wouldn’t have liked the character as much if Kaling, who created the show, didn’t establish that she’s actually a skilled OB/GYN in the end.
Your turn. What do you think of the pilot?