The Mindy Project is an Americanromantic comedy television series that premiered on Fox on September 25, 2012, and airs on Tuesday nights. The series, created by Mindy Kaling (the series's star), is co-produced by Universal Television and 3 Arts Entertainment. The series is currently in its third season.
The series follows obstetrician/gynecologist Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) as she tries to balance her personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small medical practice in New York City. The character was inspired by Kaling's own mother, an OB/GYN. Mindy explores through life with the help of her co-workers: Danny Castellano, her best friend and love interest; Jeremy Reed, a handsome British doctor who Mindy used to sleep with in Season 1; Morgan Tookers, an ex-con nurse; and Peter Prentice, another doctor who was in a fraternity while he was attending Dartmouth.
Cast and characters
Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a romantically frustrated Ob/Gyn at Shulman & Associates.
Chris Messina as Dr. Daniel "Danny" Castellano, another Ob/Gyn at Shulman & Associates, Mindy's main frenemy and love interest.
Ed Weeks as Dr. Jeremy Reed, Mindy and Danny's somewhat hapless supervisor at the office.
Anna Camp as Gwen Grandy, Mindy's longtime friend who has settled down with a family (episodes 1–12, guest episode 17)
Zoe Jarman as Betsy Putch, an optimistic former receptionist at the office (episodes 1-46)
Amanda Setton as Shauna Dicanio, a former receptionist at the office (episodes 1-12)
Ike Barinholtz as Morgan Tookers, a registered nurse at the office (episodes 13, 15–present, recurring episodes 2-12, 14)
Stephen Tobolowsky as Dr. Marc Shulman, a former senior partner of the practice (episodes 1-2 and 8)
Beth Grant as Beverley Janoszewski, a former nurse turned receptionist at the office (episodes 15–present, guest episode 2)
Xosha Roquemore as Tamra Webb, a nurse at the office (episodes 25–present, recurring episodes 22-24)
Adam Pally as Dr. Peter Prentice, a gynecologist at the office (episodes 29-59; guest episodes 27-28)
Mark Duplass as Brendan Deslaurier, a male midwife. (16 episodes)
Anders Holm as Casey Peerson, a Christian minister and Mindy's ex-fiancé. (10 episodes)
Glenn Howerton as Cliff Gilbert, a lawyer in the same building as Shulman & Associates and Mindy's ex-boyfriend. (10 episodes)
Tommy Dewey as Josh Daniels, a lawyer and Mindy's ex-boyfriend (9 episodes)
Jay Duplass as Duncan Deslaurier, a male midwife. (8 episodes)
Mort Burke as Parker, an intern at the office. (7 episodes)
The series was initially commissioned by NBC, but the pilot with the working title It's Messy was released from NBC's projects on January 27, 2012. Disney then sent the script to Fox executives who read it over that following weekend. On January 30, 2012, Fox greenlit the pilot, with Mindy Kaling attached to star.
On May 9, 2012, Fox placed a series order for the comedy. Two days later, the title was changed from It's Messy to The Mindy Project. On August 27, 2012, the pilot episode was made available to view online on various sites including Fox, in an attempt to garner interest in the series. On October 8, 2012, Fox ordered a full season of The Mindy Project.
On March 4, 2013, the series was renewed for a second season, which began on September 17, 2013. On November 21, 2013, Fox announced that The Mindy Project would take a mid-season hiatus, before returning on April 1, 2014. Fox announced the third season renewal of The Mindy Project on March 7, 2014.
Casting announcements for the remaining series regular roles began in February 2012, with Ed Weeks cast in the role of Dr. Jeremy Reed, a sexy, British doctor in the practice.Zoe Jarman and Amanda Setton then joined in series regular roles. Jarman signed on to play Betsy Putch, an upbeat receptionist at the practice; whilst Setton joined as Shauna Dicanio, a young, party loving receptionist in the practice. In mid-March, Chris Messina joined the cast as Dr. Danny Castellano, an arrogant doctor who works at the practice. Shortly after, Anna Camp boarded the series as Gwen Grandy, a stay-at-home mom and Mindy's best friend.
A few months later, Amanda Setton, Stephen Tobolowsky and Ike Barinholtz joined the series. Setton replaced Dana DeLorenzo in the role of Shauna; Tobolowsky joined in the series regular role of Dr. Marc Shulman, the senior partner of the practice; and Barinholtz signed onto the recurring role of Morgan Tookers, a quirky rehabilitated ex-con who joins the practice as a nurse. In the middle of the first season, the network made changes to the show's cast. On November 20, 2012, it was reported that Amanda Setton's role had been eliminated and that Anna Camp had been downgraded to a recurring cast member. Stephen Tobolowsky's role was also eliminated, with his character retiring in the eighth episode. Beth Grant, who guest starred as Nurse Beverly in episode two, returned as a series regular in episode fifteen.Ike Barinholtz was also upgraded to series regular.
Xosha Roquemore, who guest starred in the final few episodes of season one as Tamra, was upped to series regular beginning with season two.Adam Pally, who originally signed on for a recurring role, was upgraded to series regular during season two.
On April 30, 2014, it was announced that Jarman would not return as a series regular for the third season. On November 21, 2014, it was announced that Pally would depart the series in season 3 episode 13, however may re-appear as a guest at some point.
The Mindy Project received positive reviews from critics, with many highlighting the writing of the series, Kaling's performance, Kaling's unique character and the direction of the series. Review aggregation website Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean—out of 100—based on reviews from mainstream critics, the show received a score of 69 from 32 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". It was the number-six best-reviewed show according to the site's fall 2012 season.
The Mindy Project has been the object of intense scrutiny from not only traditional media forms, but also by feminists and people of colour, who often weigh in on the show's decisions in casting and writing. At the end of the first season, Jezebel posted an article called "Mindy Kaling Only Makes Out with White Guys," a critique of the casting of romantic leads on the show which compares it to John Mayer's comment about having "a Benetton heart and a David Duke cock." The same article contains a response from Nisha Chittal, who has defended Kaling's success in the past, who applauded the show for not making Kaling's race central to her character, and for showing that an Indian woman could date non-Indian men.
During the second season, the episode 'Mindy Lahiri is a Racist' provoked discussion as to whether or not Kaling had made "reparations" for showing a predominantly white cast.
Before the third season began airing, Kaling was criticized for a comment in a Flare article entitled "She's the Boss", in which she stated that the show would not address abortion, as "it would be demeaning to the topic to talk about it in a half-hour sitcom.” In an appearance on The Colbert Report two weeks later, she clarified that,
A lot of women look to me and look to the show, and they want me to be a spokesperson for a lot of issues, and I actually think that's a responsibility that's cool, I want to live up to that ... I want to be able to talk plainly on things but I also want to create an entertaining show. We haven't found a hilarious take on abortion that has been done yet — but we might. I have faith in us.