For those of you Cal students who are avid TV-watching fans – we know you’re out there – you may be familiar with Mindy Kaling. Kaling, if you do not already know, is a television show producer, creator and writer. She started out writing for and starring in NBC’s recently completed hit show “The Office” as Kelly Kapoor, and last year, she birthed her own beautiful creation on Fox called “The Mindy Project,” where she plays Mindy Lahiri, a character gently modeled after herself.
Kaling has been compared to writer-actresses like Tina Fey and Lena Dunham — true powerhouses on the small screen. And if you do not know anything about Kaling or have not seen any of her work, one thing you need to remember about Kaling is that she is the epitome of dope. We’re not here to kiss her ass or make you fall in love with her, but we highly suggest that you do. Here are a few reasons why:
1. She reminds us that it’s OK to be awkward as shit. Sometimes around campus, you might find yourself tripping on the uneven Berkeley sidewalks and laughing at yourself out loud as people around you stare at you uncomfortably. Well, if you think that’s bad, think again. Kaling began her major acting career starring as talkative, clingy, squeaky Kelly Kapoor on “The Office,” and now, on “The Mindy Project,” she plays Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a successful, independent, strong-minded female OB/GYN. And despite her powerful qualities on (and off) the show, her character traits never fail to make you feel uncomfortable … in a good way. In the “Frat Party” episode of “The Mindy Project” this season, Mindy hires a college intern, whom she insists should take her to a frat party. When she sees her intern dancing on a stripper pole at the party, Mindy rushes to the pole to drag her intern off of the stage, actively attempts to take down the pole by herself and ends up looking like she’s dancing on it herself while her fraternity male counterparts yell obscenities at her. Kaling’s mastery of physical and situational comedy makes her work mortifying to watch in the most entertaining way possible.
2. She’s a prime example of G!RL$ R0Ck! Kaling started out as the only female writer on “The Office” writing staff and helped to turn the show into one of the most successful and entertaining television shows of our generation. Now, she’s created her own show on Fox that has become an instant success. In a piece with Vulture, Jenna Fischer, who played Pam on “The Office,” said that Kaling told her, “If you can get (the writers) to yell at you, then you know that they’re treating you like an equal and not like a girl,” which inspired Fischer to push hard for an idea she had for Pam in the show to the writers. Kaling also joked about herself being the only female writer for a while, saying, “Well, all the guys want to have sex with me all the time. Every day I come to work, it’s nonstop sexual harassment.”
3. Her body is a wonderland. Kaling is not as thin as a slice of American cheese, and we like it. We like it a lot. Kaling, who knows she is not the same girl you see on TV every day, uses her “dissimilarities” to her advantage. On “The Mindy Project,” she embraces her background, her physical image and everything that isn’t typical-TV-actress-archetype about her, making her show 10 times better than it already is. On the finale of this season of “The Mindy Project,” during a practice cyber-sex Skype session with her current boyfriend, played by Anders Holm from “Workaholics,” Mindy opens her shirt and says to him, “Yeah baby, you like your boobs between an A and B?” He responds to her in the most sensual way possible, “Indecisive boobs are, like, my thing now.” Clearly, Kaling is not afraid to embrace her unconventional body shape (well, by societal standards), and we thoroughly enjoy that. Brilliant.
4. She’s annoying … in a cute way? Something about Mindy Kaling that we can’t quite seem to grasp is the fact that the characters she plays and the roles she creates for herself are extremely — if we are being blunt — annoying. But at the same time, we cannot figure out why we don’t hate them. In fact, the characters she plays are annoying to the point that we somehow end up loving them. Watch this clip from “The Office,” and you’ll understand.
If you haven’t watched “The Office” or “The Mindy Project,” we suggest checking those out ASAP (Rocky). New guest stars will be coming in next season of “The Mindy Project” on Fox (and it’s rumored that James Franco will be one of them).
What do you think of Mindy Kaling? Let us know in the comments!
Image source: AmsterdamFTV under Creative Commons
Contact Gabrielle Nguyen at [email protected]