In reference to the title of this post: I say “kind of” because I like The Mindy Project. Nay, I love The Mindy Project. I think it is so entertaining and I always smile while watching it and I think the characters are (mostly) lovable, especially Mindy.
In fact, I love Mindy’s character so much, I wish I could see something other than her dating life.
Throughout the series–which I have obsessively watched as it’s gone up on Hulu, as I do not have cable–we have seen Mindy’s character go from being broken up with by a coworker to banging another coworker to dating a cheating lawyer, then sleeping with the midwife downstairs to accidentally taking home a male prostitute to getting engaged to a pastor named
Ders Casey. After their relationship ends, she hooks up with a skateboarder and eventually pursues the lawyer next door, and now, as most viewers expected, here comes Danny be the cliche (albeit wonderful, wonderful cliche) love that was there all along.
Don’t get me wrong; the sex, whether it’s casual or committed, doesn’t bother me at all, by the way. I do love that we see Mindy’s dating life. I like that she has one night stands, and talks both negatively and positively about herself like a normal human being, and how she goes through highs, lows and stalls, as we all do. However, while we do see her friendships with the other doctors and occasionally hear about her career and self image, the audience isn’t shown much about her life except how it relates to the men she is seeing, pursuing, or mourning the loss of.
Do I think The Mindy Project needs to make some big social commentary about sexism and racism, or classism and animal rights and politics, for that matter? Uh, no. I don’t think that simply because Mindy Kaling is a woman of color that she has the responsibility to make us dig deep in our souls each week and come out all livid with guns a-blazing and hands in fists verbally punching toward The Man. It does, in fact, manage to subtly sum up many body issues and human emotions without being overbearing or self-righteous.
And yet, it grows tiresome to see nearly every episode end with another revelation about a guy which, by proxy, means a revelation about Mindy’s self. People, particularly women, are told so frequently to judge themselves and their own personal progress based on whether or not they are dating somebody or if somebody loves them or if people find them hot. Every few episodes ends with Mindy in love again, then quickly moving onto another love interest, then another and another. As much as I love seeing
Dennis and Ders Glenn Howerton and Anders Holm, I just want a female character have a happy ending sans dude. Just once.
Again, I do not think The Mindy Project is obligated to set a precedent for something new on the horizon for women; obviously, simply by existing, it is already beating out the ridiculous societal standards and glass ceilings set forth by decades of predominantly male, white stars and slender women who have very few sexual urges, if any. But that isn’t the point of TMP; the point is to be a hilarious comedy about a highly intelligent OB/GYN in her early 30s who lives in New York. Nevertheless the humor and storyline grow tiring when it seems like the character development for the show’s main person primarily revolves around who she’s dating.