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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

September 26, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Did you watch ‘The Mindy Project’ last night?

I did, because with “30 Rock” going off the air this season I’m pretty low on TV comedies (yes, I know, I need to catch up with “Modern Family” and “Big Bang Theory,” right?), and because I’m currently reading Mindy Kaling’s book and really enjoying it. (btw, there are lines from the book that pop up verbatim in the “Mindy Project” pilot, which I’m guessing is some kind of secret drinking game for Mindy and her friends.) Anyway, I enjoyed the show quite a bit; Kaling’s a sharp, funny writer and has created an irresistible central character: a young doctor who’s good at her job but lousy at love. The inevitable comparison is “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”: Kaling’s roughly the same age as Mary Richards at the start of the show, she’s playing a character who shares her own first name, her character just broke up with someone, she’s a competent professional at work (where she has her own funny surrogate family), she dates a lot. We’ll see if the parallels continue, but I loved “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” when I was a kid (still love it now, on DVD), and I think “The Mindy Project” has potential to be just as good. Pilots are tricky, as you have to lay out a lot of exposition (little MIndy watched a lot of romantic comedies, studied hard in college, changes into sensible underwear with her scrubs) in about 22 minutes, but this one left me eager for more. Moments I especially liked: Mindy murmuring “I did grow up in this country,” in a way that tells you that she’s said this many times before; Mindy being Sandra Bullock on a bicycle (if Sandra Bullock was blind drunk); nervous Mindy’s chitchat in the first moments of her date (particularly when she admits to having researched him), and every word uttered by Stephen Tobolowsky, who is always a joy. (Is he Mindy’s Lou Grant?) Looking forward to next week. Did you watch? Did you like?

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