A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, aside from her medical credentials, The Mindy Project's Mindy is a far cry from a positive role model for impressionable teens, thanks to a pattern of self-destructive behavior when it comes to men and relationships. Sexual activity is mostly suggested, although characters kiss, make out, and joke about sex and relationships (including hook-ups and one-night stands) and use terms like "penis," "hook up," and "slut." Characters also use words like "hell" and "damn," but a few stronger words (like "f--k") are bleeped. There's social drinking, too, with some drunkenness that's played for laughs, along with light physical comedy.
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What's the story?
Writer-producer-creator Mindy Kaling also stars in THE MINDY PROJECT as Mindy Lahiri, an accomplished 30-something obstetrician whose obsession with romantic comedies has seriously skewed her view of love and relationships and left her drowning in her own neuroses. In the meantime, her desperate search for Mr. Right keeps taking her back to two very different doctors (Chris Messina and Ed Weeks) -- and the same bad habits.
Is it any good?
On The Office, Kaling plays Kelly Kapoor, a neurotically chatty office drone who's obsessed with celebrities, shopping, and relationships and has self-destructive tendencies when it comes to romance. So just imagine that Kelly left Scranton, went to med school, and became an OB/GYN in the city ... and you'll pretty much have The Mindy Project.
Of course, Kaling is known for acing this type of shtick on The Office and other places (for starters, see The 40-Year-Old Virgin). But it's frustrating to see her apply the same boy-crazy quirks to Mindy Lahiri, a character who could be so much more than the two-dimensional stereotype we've seen in most of the romantic comedies Lahiri references in her rambling, rapid-fire dialogue. Does a professionally successful single woman really have to be such a hot mess when it comes to her personal life? At least in real life, the answer is no.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the "lessons" we learn from popular romantic comedies -- from When Harry Met Sally to 27 Dresses -- when it comes to love and relationships. Are those lessons different for women and men? How do movie and TV plots compare to finding love in real life?
How does Mindy measure up as a role model? Is it realistic to think that an accomplished and intelligent professional would lead such a disastrously disorganized personal life?
What are the real-life consequences of some of Mindy's actions (including hook-ups and public drunkenness)? Why do we find her problems funny?