TV TUESDAY: Why You Should Be Watching “The Mindy Project”


Every few seasons a show comes along that garners critical acclaim and moderate success, but its popularity wanes with each Emmy Modern Family snags.  Like its under-appreciated predecessors, “The Mindy Project,” now in its second season, may struggle to bring in an audience from time to time, but it never fails to deliver top-notch comedy.


Mindy Kaling from “The Office” stars, writes and produces as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, an OB/GYN who hopelessly wants a romantic comedy ending for her own life.  Though Kaling’s name may be in the title of the series, she shares the spotlight with an ensemble cast.  Dr. Lahiri often spars with fellow doctor and guys’ guy Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) about her whimsical way of life.  The tension between the two characters is a cross between the will-they-or-won’t-they Ross and Rachel dynamic and the opposites attract best-friendship of Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy.  The ensemble is rounded out by self-centered British import Dr. Jeremy Reed (Ed Weeks), wacky ex-con nurse Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) and innocent-to-a-fault receptionist Betsy (Zoe Jarman).

Not only does the cast have perfect chemistry, the show boasts an impressive roster of guest stars. Bill Hader, Ed Helms, Allison Williams, BJ Novak, Seth Rogen and Chloë Sevigny each had memorable roles in the first season.  The second season premiere features the biggest special quest star to date: Oz himself, James Franco.


Don’t just come for the guest stars, though, because there’s something there for everyone.  It’s part workplace comedy, part romantic comedy and 100% hilarious.  If you were a fan of “30 Rock” and/or “The Office,” and if you enjoy “Parks and Recreation,” the vibe of this series will make you feel right at home.  And guys, take it from me, you’ll like this one, too. (Guys can like a show with a female lead. It’s 2013.)

The season one finale found Dr. Lahiri moving to Haiti with her minister boyfriend Casey (Anders Holm). That’s only a taste of how crazy this show can get. Unlike other sitcoms, “The Mindy Project” isn’t afraid to make its characters choose the path that is the most insane.  (For example, Dr. Lahiri once narrowly escaped arrest for walking into a high school gym and handing out condoms to a group of girls, out of concern for a teenage patient in her building.)

Having already watched the first episode of the new season (which was available online and on-demand one week early), new viewers and returning fans are in for a treat.  The stories on tap for the show’s sophomore year are written tighter, funnier and as crazy as ever.

So, if you’re looking for an all-in-one comedy or you’re stilling mourning the loss of “Happy Endings,” check out “The Mindy Project.” 

All 24 season one episodes are currently streaming on Hulu and available on DVD.

The new season premieres on Fox tonight at 9:30.

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