I had been looking forward to The Mindy Project on Fox since it was first announced (and they were calling it The Untitled Mindy Kaling Project). I fell in love with Kaling after reading her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) a while back (which I wrote about in this post). As I was reading her memoir, I had the distinct feeling I was going to love anything that this amazingly funny and talented woman ever put her name to. Last night’s episode of The Mindy Project was no exception. Kaling plays Dr. Mindy Lahiri, an OB/GYN who, despite being obsessed with romantic comedies (she can quote them – verbatim), can’t seem to find love in her own life. Although she has her own personal shortcomings, Dr. Lahiri clearly has a heart of gold and a soft spot for charity cases. The supporting cast is excellent (I especially love Chris Messina who plays one of the doctors in Mindy’s practice and I’m sure we can expect good things from Stephen Tobolowsky – I have loved him since he played Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day). The show is well written, witty and delightfully politically incorrect. I was expecting the world from The Mindy Project and it was above and beyond my expectations. Love this one.
Another show that I fell in love with straightaway was Ben and Kate. I actually laughed out loud during one of the teasers for the show a few weeks ago, so I knew I had to tune in. It is, at its heart, about the relationship between a brother who has never really grown up and his younger sister who had to grow up fast when she had her five year old daughter. The show stars the hilarious Nat Faxon as Ben and the charming Dakota Johnson (as in Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson’s daughter) as Kate. Then of course, there is the adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones who plays Kate’s daughter, Maddie (you might recognize her from Footloose and We Bought a Zoo). Lucy Punch, who plays Kate’s friend B.J., looked insanely familiar and for the entire show it was driving me crazy because I knew that I recognized her, but I wasn’t sure from where. At the end of the show it occurred to me that she played a kooky assistant on Doc Martin (if you haven’t seen Doc Martin, be sure to check it out on Netflix immediately…unless you don’t appreciate British humor, then it might not be your thing).
I know it is too soon to judge a show’s success after just one episode, but if the pilot episodes of these two shows are any indication, they’ll be around for a while. Ben and Kate is on Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30 central and The Mindy Project is on Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30 central.