Article by Kelsey Weekman
Fox canceled The Mindy Project, and I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. It is undoubtedly my favorite show that’s still on television, but its struggle with ratings is no secret. Did I have a few gifs saved to my computer to post if this horrible day was soon to come? Yes. Did those brilliant quotes bring me inspiration on a daily basis anyway? Yes. Definitely.
So why should Fox, Hulu, Yahoo, Yelp, MySpace [ANYONE PLEASE!] save TMP?
1. It’s targeted to a specific audience, but the audience is strong
I know that I’m one of a very marginal but powerful group — the romantically disillusioned young adult female. We’re a small group but we are arguably some of the toughest on social media, definitely when it comes to spreading the word about shows. And guess what? We buy stuff like crazy. I’m no advertising pro but I feel like this consumer group is willing to buy whatever you tack onto a show you saved for us, Hulu. Or whoever. Cough.
2. Having a woman of color as the main character of a show is so rare
How many Indian women do you see on TV right now? Besides the hot doctor/nurse/whatever lady on Royal Pains. (Is that show still on? It shouldn’t be. It’s real bad.) How many that are the main character of a show? I mean, sure. TMP is buried in a cast of white dudes. Unconventionally hot ones, at that, but whatever. Mindy carries this show on her shoulders, making those pleasant little jars of mayonnaise fall to her feet. And she’s a doctor! And she’s a boss! AND SHE’S A LADY! And I’ve written about her like a million times for my diversity immersion in journalism school and I don’t want to stop!
3. The show tackles body image issues in a charming but direct way
For the most part, I hate body image episodes of television shows. They’re done too often and clearly targeted to teen girls by beautiful and unreasonably skinny women in an attempt to get parents to approve. But this is no children’s show, and the woman teaching us to value ourselves inside and out is a curvy one herself. I’d do anything Mindy told me to, pretty much, but if that woman tells me to love me for who I am and what I look like, I’ll do it so fast it’ll make your head spin.
4. It’s a fashion dream
I’ve never been one for fashion, but that Mindy Lahiri has a killer wardrobe.
5. The show is a hopeless romantic’s paradise
Littered with scenes and homages to the greatest romantic comedies of our time, TMP is a quilted work of whimsical passion. It redefined the meet cute and revamped both realistic and unrealistic expectations for love.
6. It’s a pioneer of the female antihero
I love Mindy Lahiri, but she’s an awful person! She’s selfish, neurotic, and she treats people badly. Do I relate to her? Totally! But not in every aspect. So often I think we are forced to hang onto the good in all female protagonists to struggle for equal representation, we forget that they can be realistic. But Mindy is pretty terrible, and that puts her on the same playing field as the Don Drapers and the Walter Whites of the world. Okay, no, she’s not that bad. But it’s cool to think that women can be three-dimmensional, even bad characters sometimes without simply making her undesirable traits a propensity for nagging.
7. It gave us Danny Castellano
What can I say about Danny Castellano? He’s perfect. Okay, no, he’s not perfect either. He’s a tiny, angry New Yorker. He’s got daddy issues and divorce issues and he’s just now learning how to treat women. But wow, does he love Mindy. Does it make sense? No. But their pairing reminds us that love is something that you have to work for forever, regardless of attraction. Also, he’s so cute. Thank you for him, Mindy!
8. Jam-packed with guest stars
So maybe the hot guest star guys were really filing in and out when Mindy was still dating around, but you know she’s got connections all over the place to pull from. I loved every second of Anders Holm, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Stephen Colbert, Glenn Howerton, Bill Hader, B.J. Novak, Ed Helms, Timothy Olyphant, Lee Pace, Seth Meyers and other people who weren’t hot guys. I just know Mindy could work to get more of them on here. I know Adam Pally left the show, but I’m truly grateful for the introduction to him and his weird accent that the show gave me.
9. It’s finding its niche
Okay so yeah, the show started out pretty bad. Really bad. I don’t want to talk about the first season. But guess what else had a rocky start? Parks and Rec. Mindy was, in the same way, just finding its vision. I own the second season on DVD because I had to watch one certain string of episodes when I got broken up with last summer. It truly found its voice (and shed some unnecessary and weird characters) and it’s so unique and powerful. It’s exploration of long-term relationships is something we don’t really have on TV right now, especially not for this demographic, because TV studios keep killing all the good shows. Or whatever. I’m not bitter!
10. It’s Mindy freaking Kaling
Mindy Kaling is a powerhouse. I don’t have to spit her biography back at you for you to realize that she’s made everything happen to her that she wants. She’s a very cool businesswoman, a Dartmouth grad and serious intellectual, and a girly-girl who loves fashion and romance. She is everything I want to be. Sure, this show was her passion project straight out of leaving writing for The Office, but her fans, her Mindy mouses, will go wherever she goes. That includes me. So, yeah, Hulu/Yelp/Yahoo/MySpace, pick it up. The army will follow, and we’ll buy your stuff.
“If you don’t see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself.” — Mindy Kaling