JAINSPOTTING: The Mindy Project

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This is the first Jainspotting post!

Jainspotting is when you spot a South Asian person in, like, pop culture and stuff! The person does not have to be Jain, although man, the day we actually see a Jain in American pop culture, this label will come in extra handy.

Anyway, Fox has greenlighted Mindy Kaling’s show The Mindy Project for its fall 2012 line-up. From the WaPo’s Lisa de Moraes:

“Fox says she plays a skilled – thank goodness or it would not be a comedy — OB/GYN trying to pursue her dream of becoming the perfect woman, finding the perfect man and getting her perfect romantic comedy ending.”

Check out the trailer here:

I like Mindy Kaling because she slapped Michael Scott in the glorious Diversity Day episode of The Office (Season 1 Episode 2), and because she got to the bottom of how Ben Affleck and Matt Damon ever wrote Good Will Hunting (NYT Alert).

I haven’t been keeping up with her recent writing because I don’t care much for shopping or romantic comedies, and if you don’t share those interests with her, it can be a little grating to read her work.

But this new show looks pretty promising, and I look forward to seeing it this fall. After the whole brouhaha over Girls, finally! A show about privileged marriage-hungry twenty-somethings who are not white! Kaling is basically playing herself, or at least the persona she has cultivated on The Office and through her writing. Shopping, clothes, being drunk and silly, wanting to get married. These concerns all sound very romcom and very Mindy.

Best-case scenario: This show will have true crossover appeal. Between white people and people of color? Sure, but also between women who love shopping and romcoms and weddings, and women who don’t. I really want to like this show.

Worst-case scenario: Kaling will try to subvert romcom tropes but really… won’t. Her character will talk about shoes and sex a lot, and it will be sort of funny, I guess, but mostly kind of boring.

But even the worst-case scenario is pretty good, actually. After all, as Eric Deggans said of why we need diversity even on shows like The Bachelor: “People of color should have the right to suck, too!”

Leave your thoughts below: What do you think of the trailer? Have you been keeping up with Mindy Kaling’s other work? Am I being too intolerant of a woman’s right to shoes?

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