My blogger friend Kim and I usually follow the same rule when it comes to watching a new television series. We like to call this particular rule “The Three Episode Test.” Since there are usually so many new shows during the fall and spring, we can only devote so much time and effort to a show in order to gauge whether or not it is worth pursuing long-term. Brooklyn 99 and Trophy Wife are series that I applied this test to this season and given the plethora of shows on the air, I decided to drop them after finishing the third episode. That’s not, of course, to say that the shows are bad. They’re comedies that I simply could not become invested in after three episodes. And if I’m not invested after three episodes, there’s little to no chance that I’ll be invested in ten or twenty.
Kim and I both gave The Mindy Project the Three Episode Test in its first season and I’ll be the first to admit that after three episodes, I dropped the show like a hot potato. It wasn’t clicking for me, and though I had found the pilot to be funny but slightly cringe-worthy in how grating, immature, and self-centered Mindy Lahiri was, I could not continue watching. Here’s what separates a good show from a great show though when it comes to the Three Episode Test: a good show will continue to work with what it has going for them; a great show will recognize its flaws, flatten them out, and re-work the characters, if necessary, in order to be the best it can be.
And The Mindy Project is the only show in recent memory that I have extended a second chance to because of this reason. It seems to me that this series found out (just like New Girl did with Jess’ quirkiness in the first few episodes) that it did not have to exaggerate Mindy’s qualities, nor did it have to exaggerate the qualities of the other supporting characters. The show found its footing when it humanized the Shulman Women’s Health Associates characters rather than turning them into caricatures and archetypes. I am now proud to say that I am a fan of The Mindy Project – I love each of these characters and their quirks and habits; I love that I empathize with Mindy and want to be her best friend; and I love so much that the show allows these characters to be weird and wacky and wonderful.
So below the cut, I outlined five major reasons as to why The Mindy Project got a second chance from me and why I’m so very grateful that it did.*
*none of the following GIFs are mine because I'm talented in other ways!