The Genius of Mindy Kaling: Bringing in the Diversity

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The Genius of Mindy Kaling

Being in love with movies and tv series is a hard job. No matter what everyone says about watching films, the entire experience is more than just entertainment. There is a need for fulfilment and a never-ending search for a resonating story along with finding yourself on the screen. It is the age of representation (long overdue) so stories are more than cis white males trying to fight the villain and get the distressed damsel. There is diversity. 

Gradually, this diversity is seeping in. There are more cultures being explored and characters with various ethnicities are being cast for roles other than comic reliefs. From the time of Raj Koothrapali, we have come a long way. In terms of South Asian Representation, a large chunk of credit can be given to Mindy Kaling. 

The Background of Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling is a writer, producer, director and actor who has works like The Office, Mindy Project and Never Have I Ever to her credit. From a South Asian background, many of her stories revolve around the lives of immigrants. Never Have I Ever stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan who is the daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants who grew up in Canada. Kaling has incorporated the diverse lifestyle of an Indian-American so perfectly in the show that the few controversial elements of the series (Darren Barnet was 29 years old while shooting as a 16/17-year-old teen) could be overlooked. 

The Office is on the sitcom pedestal and deserves to be so. Mindy played the role of Kelly Kapoor in the show and besides her flawless acting, she was also a writer in the show. Tackling comments about her body and also navigating as one of the few women in the writing panel of the show, she made her mark and can be credited with some of the most amazing episodes. Through this time, she also faced many comments about her relationship with co-writer and actor, B. J. Novak showed not her stance in the situation but the mucky nature of how women are viewed by women. 

The Mindy Project and Kaling’s Brilliance

After delivering a sitcom classic she went ahead to create her own project named The Mindy Project. Her genius oozed out in the show. She played the role of a selfish, bold and annoyingly relatable gynaecologist with such perfection that a non-science inclined South Asian girl like me also thought that she could be a doctor. The story broke all sorts of cliches; nerdy Indian doctors, shy and conscious women or self-pitying overweight persons. In the show, she showed a very complete and happening life for Indian women in the busy schedule of a doctor who was confident about herself. For sure, she had her faults. Mindy in the show was selfish, hasty and often inconsiderate but through all that she made the audience root for her. Similarly, Mindy pulled off making Devi (protagonist of Never Have I Ever), an extremely unlikeable character, a person that the audience ended up hoping the best for.   

Being a writer who has mostly worked in comedy, she hasn’t limited any of her stories to comedy only. Her storylines include mental health, body positivity and relationship dynamics. Topics that are important to society today. She gives depth to her characters so that they become something more than a tool to make viewers laugh. Devi might be selfish her self-indulgent actions are not the only thing driving the story. Mindy has very beautifully incorporated the death of a close family member into the day-to-day life of a high school teenager. It isn’t mentioned at all moments of her life but anyone watching can see hints of the pain. 

Mindy Kaling's latest hit, The Sex Lives of College Girls

Mindy Kaling’s latest hit, ‘The Sex Lives of College Girls’

Kaling’s latest show, “The Sex Lives of College Girls” is something very different from her earlier show. Set in Essex College, the series is about four girls who have been forced to be roommates to navigate college life specifically the robust sex aspect. Each character has a background of their own; Pauline Chalamet plays the role of Kimberly who is comparatively more sex-shy than her roommate Bela, played by Amrit Kaur. Bela came with the intention to have a wild college life where nude parties, abs and sex experimentation is the norm. With them is senator’s daughter Whitney for who life is but something protected by a thin veil against the media and Renee Rapp, a New York It Girl who is hiding from her sexuality to prevent it from being her identity. The show was so much more than one could have expected. Kaling outdid all the expectations that had built up against her and showed them that stories of immigrant lives in America are not the only thing she can write about. She tells the stories of normal lives in the most exciting way possible.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Making each moment a celebration of normalcy and giving the viewer a confirmation that all lives are movie-worthy. With her phenomenal writing also comes her lack of tolerance for societal rules. In her books, she has laughed at the various lines and rules and boundaries women in the entertainment industry as well as in life are supposed to abide by. She says these rules are to dull the bright nature of humankind and if that is not a genius thing to say then pick up any line from Mindy Project because they are all quotes to live life by. 

Author

  • Akriti is a reader and a movie lover who is currently pursuing Law. What started as a way to while away time, getting immersed in land of films has become Akriti's passion. Being a talkative person, she can discuss literature for hours.