‘The Mindy Project’ Preview: Life as a Romantic Comedy

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It’s been a long time coming for actress, writer, and producer Mindy Kaling to finally get her own show. She has shined on NBC’s The Office and as a New York Times bestselling author, but this fall season it’s time for her to branch out on her own with FOX’s The Mindy Project.

Created, written, executive produced and starring Kaling, the show is about Mindy Lahiri, a successful OB/GYN who is unlucky in love. Mindy is obsessed with Meg Ryan movies and can quote pretty much every romantic comedy. She just wants love, but needs to make better choices in life to get it and that is essentially the premise of this half-hour comedy.

What’s the scoop on The Mindy Project?

Who’s who: Kaling has some good company for her co-stars. First there’s Chris Messina (Damages), a fellow doctor who loves to push her buttons. Then there’s Ed Weeks who plays the hunky brit doctor Jeremy that Kaling’s character loves making bad choices with. Mindy’s level-headed BFF who attempts to derail some of those bad choices is played by Anna Camp, who has been seen on The Good Wife. Stephen Tobolowsky rounds out the cast as Dr. Shulman, head of the medical practice where the boys and Mindy work.

Buzz: With last season’s big successes in female driven comedies (see New Girl and 2 Broke Girls), there’s an increased amount of pressure on Kaling to succeed. Tack onto that the fact that this show is all her and we are extremely interested to see if the multi-hyphenate star can pull off her own show. Lots of buzz is sure to come with the numerous guest stars as well. In the pilot alone, Bill Halder (Saturday Night Live) and Kaling’s The Office pal Ed Helms made guest appearances. Three NBA players have signed on to play themselves in a later episode.

Workin’ it: We’d say that 9 out of 10 girls pretty much want to live in a romantic comedy,  making Kaling’s character extremely relatable. We felt like we were watching our friend, which is definitely a good thing. The show has an extremely similar feel to her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Also, the chemistry between Kaling and Messina’s character has already left us wanting to see what will develop between them.

Not so much: While the pop culture references littered throughout  the pilot should have been funny, most of them felt dated to around when it was filmed. We’re hoping since the show is consistently filming now that this won’t be the case in subsequent episodes. The show also skewed towards the ladies leaving us wondering if it needed a broader appeal. While targeting mostly woman as your audience isn’t a bad thing, it could definitely limit its ratings.

Celebuzz meter (1-10): 7. As a long time fan of Kaling, we have high hopes for this show. It has a lot of potential and we think it will make a good fit and most likely benefit from its pairing with New Girl.

The Mindy Project premieres Tuesday Sept. 25 at 9:30 PM on FOX. If you can’t wait that long, you can catch a sneak peek of the first episode for the next two weeks starting Monday Aug. 27 at 5 PM EST on Fox.com, Facebook and Hulu.