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Prescription that delivers

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By Debashine Thangevelo

WHILE on holiday, my best friend was adamant he’d found my doppelganger – in a TV series nogal. I fobbed off the association.

Well, that is until we started to watch The Mindy Project. Denial is probably the best form of flattery here. I resonated with the dating woes of Mindy and, I grudgingly admit, her personality, too.

A confident gynaecologist, Mindy Lahiri (played by Mindy Kaling) is outspoken and refuses to take flak from her chauvinistic male peers – despite their hotness. And they are McSteamy hot. Her love life has taken a bit of a dip and her best friend, who is happily married, is her confidant-cum-therapist.

If I could liken this series to anything else on TV, Mindy is the Indian fuller-figured version of Ally McBeal. Kaling is best remembered for her role as Kelly Kapoor in The Office.

Her acting prowess is marvellously offset by her knack for penning witty storylines for the comedy, for which she also wore the hats of director and co-executive producer.

And if she breeds familiarity, it is because viewers have also seen her in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and The Five-Year Engagement.

Her skills of observation, coupled with her comic memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, have contributed brilliantly to her crafting this uproarious slice-of-life series, where her character’s unintentional dating faux pas trigger a tsunami of laughs. And her self-deprecating humour is another great asset.

While shades of New Girl and Girls seep through, Kaling, in an interview with vulture.com, maintains: “I just wanted to do a show that is kind of about dating, about someone who thinks about love all the time. One thing that is different from other shows is that my character is weirdly, extremely confident. She feels like she should be dating Chris Evans. That’s something I learnt from writing for Michael Scott. He thought he was going to marry Teri Hatcher, even though he was constantly being told that was not the case.”

And her ethnicity isn’t shied away from, or heavy-handed.

The Mindy Project is refreshingly funny, atypical, as it has an Indian who is a far cry from Jessica Sarah Parker-skinny as the lead, and über-entertaining. But don’t take my word for it – I might be somewhat biased, lol!

• The Mindy Project airs on M-Net Series (DStv channel 114) tomorrow night at 7.30pm.

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