Mindy Kaling -- the talented creator, writer, and star of "The Mindy Project" -- is a funny, likeable woman with a real flair for comedy. In the series premiere "Pilot" episode, her role is immediately endearing, as she shares her passion for romantic films, recites the dialogue from memory, and calls Tom Hanks her first high school "boyfriend."
A fool for comedy
Mindy Lahiri (played by Kaling) is a single, 31-year-old physician, who enjoys making out in the doctor's lounge, daydreams about elevator love affairs, knows how to put down a few drinks, and is unafraid to make a fool of herself for the sake of comedy.
With the aid of a few vodka and sodas, Mindy takes the microphone at her ex-boyfriend's wedding to give him a piece of her mind, steals a bottle of booze, takes off on a bicycle, wreaks havoc on the streets, and lands in a swimming pool, where she has an imaginary underwater conversation with a Barbie doll who says to Mindy, "At least I have a boyfriend!" Ouch! When Mindy gets arrested, the female officer at the police station declared Mindy "a rapist of peace and quiet."
Nice shirt, cougar lady
At work, viewers meet Danny (Chris Messina) , the sassy but sexy doctor, and Jeremy Reed (Ed Weeks), a hunky British co-worker.
Danny gets in a lot of great lines, including his reprimand of Mindy's poor choice of style, "You don't show up at a Springsteen concert wearing a John Cougar T-shirt unless you want to get punched in the face."
Another funny "Danny-ism" took place as he offered his two cents on Mindy's flashy outfit, "Is your date with Elton John on New Year's Eve?"
Mindy's hot date turns out to be none other than her former co-star from "The Office," Ed Helms, playing the part of the ideal guy. When she hears he works on Wall Street, Mindy comments, "You must have access to a lot of drugs!" Well, he doesn't, so she scratches that one off her smart-phone "no no" check list.
You go, girl!
What's intriguing about Mindy is her transformation from hottie to drunken buffoon to compassionate OBGYN to regular girl curled up on the hospital lounge couch watching "When Harry Met Sally" with Danny, who randomly shouts romantic advice to Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. It's thoroughly satisfying to watch Kaling play these different parts so effortlessly, while still maintaining a non-threatening, down-to-earth persona.
The debut episode of "The Mindy Project" is filled with plenty of opportunities for the writers to create memorable, lovable new TV friends. If it remains sharp with a natural progression of character development, this program will easily capture a large audience of appreciative fans every week.