The Mindy Project: A Reflection on Five Years with Mindy

For those of you who don’t know, The Mindy Project ended its five year, six season run this Tuesday. In honor of the occasion, I’m taking a brief break from book blogging to write a little bit about the show I’ve been forcing people to watch for the past five years. So, here we go…

In 2012 when The Mindy Project first aired, I was a sophomore in college, struggling with social anxiety coupled with the tendency to over-romanticize everything. The first episode’s opening monologue about Mindy going away to college and being able to watch romantic comedies whenever she wanted resonated with me so hard that I was immediately hooked. For the next five years, I watched The Mindy Project religiously–the best day of the week was always Mindy day.

Mindy gif

When you connect with a character as much as I connected with Mindy, the show becomes more than just something to watch. In Mindy Lahiri, I saw a smart woman who had the determination to achieve her career goals but who didn’t see why she had to let go of her romantic world view to do so. I saw someone who, like me, considered food her first love and constant companion. And, perhaps most important of all, I took the show’s title to heart and realized that you can consider yourself a project in progress and still love yourself as you are. As flawed as Mindy Lahiri is, I loved the bits of myself that I saw in her and I loved watching her try (and often fail) to do better.

The Mindy Project saw me through my first broken heart as I sobbed along with Mindy after her (spoiler alert) season two split from fiance, Casey. Eating ice cream for breakfast after my own breakup became a bonding session–me and Mindy, just a couple of romantics with broken hearts.

When I was living alone for the first time, reruns of The Mindy Project became my background noise, the sound of a good friend always a few clicks away.

I loved the show so much that I decided to learn more about its producer and star, Mindy Kaling, and found one of my first real role models. I ready Mindy’s personal essay collections and found the same sense of familiarity and kinship that I felt while watching her show. It was the first time I felt seen as an intelligent woman who likes to laugh and watch romantic comedies and not take things too seriously.

me as Mindy

The Mindy Project has meant the world to me. I’ve shown it to new friends as a way to connect, and I’ve leaned on rewatching it whenever I was having a difficult time and needed a familiar, friendly face. As Mindy Lahiri grew over six seasons, I grew up along with her. I graduated from college, got an AmeriCorps position with a nonprofit, got into graduate school, and put myself on the path to my dreams. Along the way I learned to take care of myself, lean on friends when necessary, and navigated countless heartbreaks and romantic missteps, many of which were probably sitcom worthy themselves.

Thank you to everyone involved in creating The Mindy Project. While there will never be a new episode, the show will live on in my heart forever. Plus, my roommate and I are barely into season 2, so you best believe I’m taking this journey all the way for a second time and many, many more to come. But for now… Later, Baby!

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Amanda Reads: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky

I’m breaking my MFA thesis hiatus to write a quick review of the super fun romance novel I managed to find time to read this weekend: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock.

Title for Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer HeacockI got an arc of The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky via NetGalley back in the summer months when I had time for things like pleasure reading and not wringing my hands over the essays in my thesis. This weekend, I realized I needed to read something not thesis related, so I dug up my copy and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

If someone had been writing specifically to an audience of Amanda, they couldn’t have done much better than this book. Cupcakes! Awkward issues preventing successful sexy times! Banter! More cupcakes!

Now, I read romance fairly irregularly because it takes a very specific level of awkwardness for me to enjoy it, so I could be off base here, but I’ve never personally encountered a book that deals so deeply with physical issues in the bedroom while also somehow providing steamy sexual tension.

Main character Kat has somehow forgotten to make time to deal with some physical issues preventing successful sexy times with her longterm boyfriend and as the two year mark approaches, she gets a little bit desperate to find a way to reignite her spark.

While Kat was sometimes oblivious to her own emotions and behaviors, it was still fun being along for the ride. Plus, the side characters each had their own fleshed-out backstories and personalities, which lent her girl gang of cupcakery coworkers some authenticity–even if one of them is named Butter, which seemed a bit far fetched. The love interest was also adorably nervous and nerdy, which is more or less catnip for me, so I was 100% head over heels for this story.

As is often the case for me when I read romance, I felt that the plot pacing was a bit odd at times, with everything speeding along after a given point. But as someone who likes a good slow simmer (see: Jim and Pam in The Office) that’s probably just personal preference speaking.

All in all, spending my weekend with this book was a delightful way to reset and refresh. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks sexy times can be a bit awkward or who loves some good banter. Or cupcakes, for that matter.