Life, liberty and chicken wings! The Mindy Project gave fans a female superhero in OB-GYN Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), who was oddly relatable because of her love of rom-coms, food and tendency to crack jokes while at work.
The comedy, which followed Mindy as she tried to balance her job as a doctor with her personal life in New York City, ran from 2012 to 2017. It premiered on Fox and had three seasons before being picked up by Hulu for three additional seasons. The show also starred Chris Messina, Ike Barinholtz, Ed Weeks and Xosha Roquemore.
After falling in love with Mindy, who went from being one of many OB-GYN’s at her office to opening her own practice, fans weren’t ready to say goodbye — and neither was the show’s creator Kaling.
“The character is so fun to play and she’s every actress’ dream because she is so poorly behaved but has flashes of having a conscience,” Kaling told The Hollywood Reporter in November 2017. “She’s so many different things at once, which you don’t really get to play as an actor. You certainly don’t see those kinds of parts. She’s extremely funny, very selfish at times, a good mom with lots of challenges and also lots of big flaws. It is the best role I’ve ever gotten and I feel so lucky.”
While many fans thought The Office alum resembled her onscreen alter-ego, a workhorse with great comedic timing, a fashionable wardrobe and a hope for her own great love story, Kaling revealed in April 2016 that she identified with the show’s other lead … Danny Castellano (Messina).
“I felt much more similar to Danny than Mindy. Mindy was a combination of our writers coming up with that character,” she told Glamour at the time. “[We share] our love of fashion and clothes, [but] my character is pretty out there with the things she says. I like to think we’re both so committed to our jobs. And that we’re both very close to our family.”
Although viewers were torn between rooting for Mindy and Danny to end up together or cheering on Mindy’s solo ventures as a single mom, fans remained dedicated to the series until the very end. Even later cast additions to the show, including Fortune Feimster, who began playing nurse Collette Kimball-Kinney during season 4, noticed how special The Mindy Project fandom was from her past projects.
“It’s amazing,” Feimster told Glamour of the fans. “I was on Chelsea Lately [before], and her fans would be drunk and rowdy. Mindy fans are very respectful. From the top to bottom, everyone is so kind. It’s a dream job. And I’m not just saying that because she’s paying me.”
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