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Herc’s Seen Kaling’s
THE MINDY PROJECT!!

Published at: Sept. 25, 2012, 7:46 a.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!

A new sitcom written by and starring longtime “The Office” writer-performer Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project” is a sitcom chronicling the personal and professional life of a young obstetrician.

I like Kaling as airhead narcissist Kelly Kapoor on “The Office” and I love the “Office” episodes she’s written (“The Injury,” featuring a hilariously concussed Dwight Schrute, was one of hers), but “The Mindy Project” pilot did not get any laughs out of me.

I note that at least some critics are pointing out that “New Girl,” which airs its second season premiere tonight, had its own shaky start, but I still contend “New Girl” kicked off with one of the best sitcom pilots ever.

Time says:

… doesn’t yet have a steady handle on its characters–particularly, oddly, Mindy’s. In the first half-hour she swings from empathetic to callous, smart to borderline-nuts, likeable-but-flawed to off-putting. … In all, it’s a polished pilot, but one that will have to work ground its characters better to work as a series.

HuffPost TV says:

... The job of "The Mindy Project" was to make me root for the fictional Mindy Lahiri or merely want to spend more time in her presence. It didn't get very far in either of those arenas, and I didn't find it very funny either. … the lead character is so tonally mixed up that it's hard not to get whiplash from watching the pilot. …

HitFix says:

... There are a few rough patches — a blind date gone awry scene (with Kaling's old "Office" co-star Ed Helms) pushes Mindy's behavior to the point where she seems unstable rather than just neurotic — but overall, "The Mindy Project" is a comedy that arrives knowing what it wants to be and what kinds of stories and jokes it wants to tell. …

The New York Times says:

… The pilot of The Mindy Project isn't quite as funny as Ms. Kaling is at her best, but it has some amusing moments and a lot of promise. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... I like this a lot. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... Kaling is good enough to make the C-plus dialogue sound better than it is. …two things are clear from the "Mindy" pilot: First, that the writers need to do some work to make the secondary characters less of a cliche, and, second, that Kaling has the stuff to go the distance.

The Washington Post says:

... Everything about “The Mindy Project” is so very Kaling and happily spot-on, starting with the strength of the jokes and dialogue. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... There’s something so likeable about Mindy Kaling that even though the pilot for her new series “The Mindy Project” underwhelms there’s also reason for optimism. …

The Boston Herald says:

… plays like a blind date gone bad. …

The Boston Globe says:

... Despite a few flaws, “The Mindy Project” could evolve into an interesting hybrid, an anti-romantic-comedy romantic comedy. … Like its heroine, “The Mindy Project” is a work in progress.

USA Today says:

... If you've resisted Kaling's charms up to now, nothing that happens tonight is likely to change your mind. But even those who like her may be turned off by her affection for an odd form of self-deprecating humor, one that seems to poke fun at her character until you notice that every scene vindicates her and every man wants to sleep to her. Then the word you may most want to append to her Project isn't "Mindy." It's "Vanity."

The Hollywood Reporter says:

... shows enough comedic snap in the pilot to hint at significant potential. … Here’s to one of the few half-hours of merit this season, a beacon of hope among the bleak fall offerings. …

Variety says:

... it's an imperfect product, and given its familiar trappings needs to put even more effort into bolstering its support system. Still, there are enough winning moments here to come back for an encore. …

9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Fox.

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