21. The Mindy Project: “Delivers the Laughs Without Delving into Snark” #CaPC25

All this week, the writers of Christ and Pop Culture unveil their 25 most loved things of  2013. 

Previous #22: Cart Life (PC)

#21: The Mindy Project (FOX)

These are the things I should tell you about The Mindy Project: Mindy Kaling is a woman, she is curvy, she is Indian, she is funny, she writes/produces/directs and she stars in her own television show.

But here is what I really want to tell you: Mindy Kaling is spinning a web of romantic comedy nostalgia around herself, straining to capture as many of us as she can. Her world is quirky, sad, complicated, and there is always, always the potential for another “meet cute”. In her world, everyone is a Harry to another person’s Sally; we are all one episode away from true, blissful love.

And until that series finale, the way to happiness will be rocky, uncomfortable, and hilarious. I like the way Mindy skewers our culture while unabashedly celebrating it: excess, patriarchy, economic class, cultural elitism–none of it is safe from her eye, yet all of it escapes intact.

The show still has it’s rough spots, to be sure. They are excellent at poking fun at progressive church culture, but stumble when it comes to portraying individual Christians, for example. What keeps me tuning in week after week is the simple rarity of a network television show that delivers the laughs without delving into snark.

Suggested Reading
Notes from the Margins: The Mindy Project–A Once in a Decade Opportunity
What’s Up With The Mindy Project’s Sexy Christian Minister?

Next #20: Mad Men (AMC)

Olympic Metaphors and Marriage
The Kiddy Pool: All in the Olympic Family
Walking with the Dead: Living on Borrowed Faith
Downton Abbey: People Talk
About D.L. Mayfield

D.L. Mayfield lives and writes in the Midwest, where she currently is a part of a Christian order among the poor. Mayfield’s writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Image, Christianity Today, Books and Culture, and The Other Journal. Her book of essays is forthcoming from HarperOne in 2016. Learn more at www.dlmayfield.com.


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