The Mindy Project: Princeton Charming (Review)

Mindy on a date in Princeton Charming

“The Mindy Project,” which moved over to Hulu from FOX last year, fell under the radar until recently. Being that time of year where shows finish and that fallow period begins where new series  have yet start, there are the odd gems out there that linger on past the “season.” Mindy Kaling has a comedy that runs for an incredible 26 episodes on Hulu and it is a ray of comic sunshine that lights up this dark in-between time on telly. “Princeton Charming” the episode that aired Monday is a great example of why this comedy works so well.

Dr. Lahiri (Kaling) returns from her Texas visit with presents for everyone but holds back the giant belt buckle she bought for Jody (Garret Dillahunt) when she learns he has a new girlfriend. After dispensing the gifts, she takes a call from her old alma mater Princeton. 

The Ivy League university wants Mindy to give her “Later Baby!” presentation at the facility.  Jody initially says he cannot go, his new girl has an allergy appointment, but Mindy talks him into changing his mind.

Jody’s new girlfriend (played by Maria Thayer) has severe allergies and rubs Mindy up the wrong way the moment she begins sneezing at an ear splitting decibel level in the car.  The little group wend their way to the Princeton auditorium only to learn from the local football coach Jay R. Ferguson  that room they booked has already been taken  for recruiting players. 

Mindy learns that she booked the auditorium for the same date next year and surrenders the room to the coach. Not before learning that they know each other from when Mindy was at Princeton before. There is a clear mutual attraction, all the more so after Lahiri puts the coach’s hands on her breast “for five seconds.”

Shortly after,  the coach not only gives up the auditorium but helps Mindy distribute the flyers at the Science Library.  By the end of the episode Coach has asked Mindy on a date, after they have sex back at his place and she has bonded with Jody’s new girlfriend.

Series creator Kaling, who also stars as the ob/gyn who takes control of her own life with hilarious consequences, cut her comic chops on the American version of  “The Office.” “The Mindy Project”  showcases her talents very well.

Mindy Kaling’s character is strong, successful and quirky. Somewhat overly preoccupied with sex and always on the lookout for  a new fella in her live. Mindy Lahiri is fun and funny.

Jay R. Ferguson plays the coach in this episode and this actor, who has been killing it over on ABC’s The Real O’Neals  as the father, manages to make the most of his guest star role. Ferguson exudes a sort of truth in what ever role he plays and the interaction between the actor and Mindy Kaling was priceless. 

“The Mindy Project” is one of the few genuinely funny shows on television at the moment.  A lead character who is attractive,  funny and likable and storylines that are amusing and quirky equal a win in terms of comedy.

The series airs  Mondays on Hulu. Tune in only if you like to laugh.

The Real O’Neals Video Featurette’s (Video)

Stars of The Real O’Neals talk about the show and their characters in these two video featurette’s from ABC.

Stars of The Real O’Neals talk about the show and their characters in these two video featurette’s from ABC.  Martha Plimpton who plays Eileen, the mother of the O’Neal clan, and Kenny (Noah Galvin) talk about his coming out.

Meet Kenny:

Meet Eileen:

Jay R. Ferguson, who plays Pat, the father of Kenny, Jimmy (Matt Shively) and Shannon (Bebe Wood) talks about Eileen (Plimpton). She also talks about how she sees her character. Noah also chimes in.

The Real O’Neals premieres 22 March and tells the story of Kenny O’Neal who “comes out” in a family that could, until that moment, be the poster-family for the perfect all-American Irish Catholic family.

Kenny’s revelation begins the O’Neals’ move to reality, instead of the facade that the clan, especially Eileen, has been carefully cultivating. With love, an attempt at understanding, and an awful lot of humor, the family learn to deal with their new “real” family.

With some pretty impressive cameos, watch the pilot and you will see what we mean, The Real O’Neals tickles a pretty mean funny bone.

The Real O’Neals Continuing the Comedy – Preview

As the premiere date approaches for The Real O’Neals; March 2, 2016, previews of the series continue to be a comedy of terrors.


As the premiere date approaches for The Real O’Neals; March 2, 2016,  previews of the series continue to be a comedy of terrors. At least from the viewpoint of uptight uber religious “mother” O’Neal, aka Eileen O’Neal (played with comic brilliance by Martha Plimpton) whose perfect family loses its facade and becomes real.  

It is incredibly difficult to not love a show where Jesus keeps turning  up, not as a regular but just enough to be, say,  a standing cameo.  In The Real Lent, He shows up to complain that Eileen is making him work on St Paddy’s day.

While Jesus was planning to hang with Vishnu and Buddha, Kenny and the rest of clan O’Neal are getting out the St Patrick’s Day float and Mom decrees that the rainbow be taken from it.  Kenny says that this is a bit hurtful but he will never turn down a trip to the fabric store.

After picking up re-decorating supplies, Eileen and Kenny are approached by a young man asking for a petition against child labor to be signed.  The parking lot teen is Kenny’s first bona fide gay crush and Mom is not pleased.

As with the pilot, Eileen attempts to rule her family with a special emphasis on religion. Demanding that the holiday not be about celebrating St Patrick but about Lent, she tells her brood what they will be giving up.

Jimmy must give up long showers (“we all know what you;re really doing…”), Kenny; being secretive, Shannon her phone, and husband Pat must give up calling Eileen from the basement for “every little thing.”

The family get their own back when Kenny demands that Eileen give up being judgmental for Lent.

As the show progresses, Kenny goes on his first date, with a boy, Shannon grows up, Jimmy gets lots of splinters and Eileen finds out that she has managed to spoil St Patrick’s Day.

With The Real F Word, Kenny suffers through returning to a Catholic school after “coming out.”  Jimmy swears retribution upon anyone who picks on his brother and in Kenny’s nervous paranoia, he uses the “F” word and almost gets suspended.

Amidst a school election Kenny learns that Jimmy really will punish anyone who picks on his brother. Kenny also learns that being openly gay gets him special dispensation from the school principal.

There is a lot to love about The Real O’Neals. Jesus popping up as guest star, on a semi-regular basis and a family that has to live with a reality that did not exist before one of the children came out of the closet makes this one different.  Kenny’s act of declaring his true sexuality starts an avalanche of change in the O’Neal family and mother Eileen must struggle to cope, albeit in a comedic way.

The series is not all about Kenny. Granted Noah Galvin totally rocks as the middle kid who has let his true colors shine in spite of his moralistic mother. In The Real Lent, his fantasy “perfect date;” with the parking lot guy, Ricky;  who looks like a young Zac Efron with blonde hair (played with beach-boy perfection by Garrett Clayton) is brilliant. 

Despite Galvin being the main plot device that this comedy revolves around, each character brings their own “normal” neurosis and issues to the show making this an true ensemble piece.  Martha Plimpton manages to walk that fine line between annoying and amusing as Eileen, the mother whose perfect family has crumbled right before her eyes.

Jay R. Ferguson as the dad Pat, Bebe Wood as Shannon, Matt Shively as Jimmy all work together to present the family ideal gone to hell in a hand basket. In reality, the O’Neals are the “real” American family, each member having their own, previously unknown, issues.

Even Eileen had a secret. 

What makes this comedy work so brilliantly is the fact that once Kenny comes out, not one family member is awkward about it, except for Eileen of course.  In The Real F Word even the school is pretty much accepting of it, apart from the principal who over-compensates…

In fact, it is Kenny’s struggles with the reality of being gay that helps to make this such a splendid comedy.

Keep an eye out for this one on March 2.  A delightfully different comedy where not only Jesus but Jimmy Kimmel turn up to help move the story along.  The writing is tight, funny, irreverent and addictive. Do not miss this one, it is worth the visit.