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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Mindy Kaling on track for world domination

Published: October 25, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

Although Beyoncé will always be queen of the world, Mindy Kaling is starting to give her a run for her money. She’s certainly dominating the comedy world, creating and starring in the hit show “The Mindy Project.” Comparable to “New Girl,” the show features Dr. Mindy Lahiri as an OB/GYN who spends most of her time with her crazy coworkers. Yet where Jess is quirky and lovable, Mindy is sassy and self-centered. Working in the same office, the entire cast is filled with a diverse set of characters that often don’t seem to understand each other. However, they all manage to somehow support each other through break-ups and exes seeking revenge and make some pretty raunchy and clever jokes in the process. Throughout the series, Mindy is also on the prowl for her fairytale love. Her ultimate dream is for her life to turn into a romantic comedy.

After being the only woman writing for “The Office,” the real Mindy took a shot at creating her own show. In 2013, she was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She attended Dartmouth College where she took up writing a comic strip for the college’s humor magazine and performing in an improv comedy group. The character of Dr. Mindy Lahiri is actually based on Kaling’s mother, who was also an OB/GYN.

So what makes Mindy so hilarious? Most of all is her confidence. She’s constantly reminding the world that she’s hot, smart and funny, and her coworkers are lucky to have her. Although her coworkers often say otherwise, nothing ever seems to bring her down. She’s also not ashamed to admit that most of her life revolves around popular culture. Her somewhat irrational but serious concerns keep the show lively. Examples of her fears are: having her butt sucked into the sink of an airplane bathroom and being murdered by a serial killer (she keeps a knife under her pillow when she sleeps and slips a knife into her glove when she goes on dates). While the rest of the universe is trying to be hipster, be alternative and pretend they’ve never heard of Nicki Minaj, Mindy is proud to say her favorite singer is Katy Perry and she watches “The Real Housewives” in her free time. Her brutal, and sometimes embarrassing, honesty makes her extremely relatable and entertaining.

The rest of the ensemble cast enforce the show’s comedic value. Danny Castellano is essentially the Luke to Mindy’s Lorelei. Hailing from Staten Island, Danny attempts to put on a macho front but is actually quite sensitive. They are similar, but the humor plays out while they’re bickering — which is often. The show has yet to directly address their sexual tension, but keep an eye out for when Mindy starts to have some romantic dreams about him. Also be sure to watch the budding relationship between the eccentric Morgan Tookers and the feisty Tamra, both nurses at the practice. For anyone looking for a new comedy that’s filled with deadpan humor, pop culture references and romance, “The Mindy Project” is for you.