OK, who else wants to be Mindy Kaling’s best friend?

The pilot of Mindy Kaling’s new show, “The Mindy Project”, is amazing. And is free on Hulu. Go watch it now, because we’re about to talk about it. Seriously, go! I’ll wait.

OK! How hard did you laugh, on a scale of 1-10? There is a lot I love about this show: Mindy is likable, relatable, and a real woman. She’s a doctor (!! Girls in STEM careers on a mainstream prime-time TV show! HALLELUJAH!), says what she thinks, and everything that comes out of her mouth is basically comic gold. So many times, just like what happened while I read her book, I found myself saying, “oh, Mindy. You and I are the same” – quoting romantic comedies at age 7, hoping for a “meet cute” – I have been there.

Mindy is a great character to have on TV, if you ask me. She’s healthy (finally, a woman who actually is the average size for women appearing as a desirable woman with a sex drive on television), smart, compassionate, and desirable.I thought it was a great tie-in to the discussion I had with friends recently about whether or not the hook-up culture and whether or not it’s beneficial for women, men, 20-somethings, and relationships in general. We didn’t have a definitive answer, except for that it depends on the person – but it’s a debate that’s been going on quite a bit lately in the media, and I love that it’s out there and being played out on TV.

There are a couple of things that need to be worked on, though:

  • The Racism. Is it really necessary to make the family who can’t afford health care middle eastern immigrants coming in and begging for handouts? I know it wasn’t intended that way, but it just rubbed me wrong. As long as we keep the characters who are struggling diverse, I’m cool with it – but next time, show a white family! They have issues affording health care too!
  • The male characters are kind of stereotypes right now, and are dicks to Mindy. One just wants to hook up with her, and one tells her to lose weight. Mindy isn’t just taking it lying down – she has a say in how she handles these situations and isn’t a doormat – but would it be so wrong to just have a guy friend without him insulting her?

What did you guys think? I’m excited to see where this show goes! Both of those issues are totally things that they could work out.

 

Bitches and BFFs: Spring Premiere Quicktakes!

In case you missed it, there are two lady-centric shows this spring: Best Friends Forever and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. I watched both of them. Let’s dive in.

I had mixed feelings about Best Friends Forever. I liked that the two friends were comfortable talking about their sexuality even in front of dudes, and that they had a loving, supportive friendship. I HATED that everyone told the newly-single friend that she had to get down to her “fighting weight” a la Joan inMad Men. What is this, the 1960’s? The actress is thin and gorgeous, and people are insulting her pants (which do not look bad/make her look fat) and telling her she could lose some weight (WTF? She seems pretty normal to me). Best Friends Forever writers – please give us more of a fun, real friendship and less of the made-up weight problems, silvous plait!

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 was also good, and I think part of me appreciated the blossoming friendship on that show more – both characters have the potential to lose their archetype status – and reclaiming the word bitch as a positive thing as the character grows. I like that the “bitch” actually turns out to be a pretty loyal friend despite a barrage of character flaws. Don’t get me wrong – all characters, jokes, and even the concept has a lot of growing to do before I give this show any form of a stamp of approval – but I think I like where we’re going here. Plus, James Van Der Beek and Dawson’s Creek references won them at least 10 Becka points…

What do you guys think?

Parks & Recreation: Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2

EPISODE 1:
“It’s a great time to be a woman in politics! I like to tell people get on board, buckle up, and if you get motion sickness… put your head between your knees, because Leslie Knope is stopping for no one.”Leslie’s excitement for local politics is almost infectious, and I found myself rooting for her to pick up steam with her parks project as the episode(s) go on.

I love how enthusiastic she is about government. And I love that at a certain point, she got fed up with trying to be helpful and decided it was time to get the drunk out of the slide.Women in government often struggle with that line of being nice and helpful and being strong and powerful, and it feels like Leslie has a pretty solid grasp on when to kick into which mode.

The character of Ann is fantastic. I love that the whole series starts off with a partnership between two women acting out of concern for their town. And I love that she calls Tom out on hitting on her.I do wish she was a little less wishy-washy in terms of her relationship with Andy at this point in the series.

Leslie’s excitement about a new project and ability to be optimistic is awesome. Mark’s quote of “I lost my enthusiasm for govenment work after 6 weeks. Leslie’s held hers for 6 years.” really tells you everything you need to know about Leslie and her love for Pawnee and politics.

A few choice quotes:

“What’s up Brandanawitz! You crazy old…. POLISH PERSON!”

“Dream with me for a second, Ann.”

—-

I love Leslie’s mom. She’s powerful and in charge, and, as Leslie puts it, “she’s my hero. How do I explain her? She’s as respected as Mother Theresa, as powerful as Stalin, and as beautiful as Margaret Thatcher.”

Leslie’s enthusiasm for the park is great, and her misguided attempts to convince people of how awesome her park will be are hilarious and endearing. Something I really love this show is that there is heart behind every joke and misstep, something that was seriously lacking in Whitney. You root for Leslie to move on in government and politics, and you feel the (albeit hilarious) pain behind when she blurts out something like “if you don’t care about this park you don’t care about your kids” and how much that’ll set her back in her goals.

Basically, this show is awesome. What were your thoughts?

Whitney, Whitney, Whitney.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the surge in awesome ladies on TV. I’m a huge fan of Leslie Knope on Parks & Rec (check in tomorrow for my review of the first two episodes!), Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, and most days I really dig Kat Dennings’ Max on 2 Broke Girls. But there is one lady on fall TV who I definitively do not dig: Whitney.

I was thinking again today about my pure distaste for this show, and after a couple of glasses of wine (and, full disclosure, episodes of the West Wing which may or may not have included me doing the Jackal along with the magnificent Alison Janney/C.J. Cregg) I thought maybe I should give Whitney another chance.

The bad news? I watched the Whitney pilot again. The good? I drank two glasses of wine and then wrote about it. Below are my thoughts. Enjoy.

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DRUMROLL PLEASE…

Our next venture into TV-Land will be in two parts: Mad Men and Parks & Recreation!

I haven’t laid out a schedule for viewing either show yet, so stay tuned for that.  I’d love to start doing live episode reviews the day after they air for Mad Men once Season 5 begins in March!

I’m currently deciding between watching a certain couple of seasons of Mad Men or trying to cram it all in there. Same for Parks & Rec, although I’m not quite as worried about that – those episodes are only 20 minutes each. What are your thoughts? 🙂