The Mindy Project

English: Actress Mindy Kaling at the premiere ...

There’s always been something intriguing about Mindy Kaling. Funny as part of The Office ensemble, but the small roles I’d seen her in outside the NBC sitcom were not so appealing.

Fast-forward to The Mindy Project. I was perusing Xfinity for something to watch, with the intention of putting on a movies from the 90s in the background of some reading or writing. Instead, I found Mindy Kaling’s new Fox pilot, and decided to give it a watch. And I’m so glad I did.

As it were, Mindy’s humor does not fall far from Kelly Kapoor’s hilarity on the office. She’s smart, acid-tongued, and a wee bit ditzy. Her character is an OBGYN looking for her rom-com dream man. She is endearing, albeit tragically so, and delivers — pardon the pun — some wickedly fast-paced one-liners that I wish I had written down. Oddly relatable, and lots of fun.

I’m very much looking forward to the show’s premiere September 25. It’s the only reason I’d ever tune in to Fox. For micro laughs from the brilliant Kaling, follow her on Twitter.

Girls vs. Sex and the City

I’m a devoted fan of most shows produced by premium networks like HBO and Showtime. What’s not to love about shows that take place on Sunday nights and shine entertaining light on the hours that stand between me and my work week?

When Sex and the City was first on-air, I wasn’t a loyal fan. The thought of sex and relationships being written into a storyline — more heavily than was being done on Friends or other such shows — made me red in the face.

During its final season, I finally saw what so many 20-to-30-somethings had seen; while it was completely un-relatable   in a realistic way for a girl in her mid-teens, I saw pieces of each character in my personality. Perhaps, at the end of the day, I was more of a Carrie — but weren’t we all?

Let’s bring it back to the idea of reality. In reality, as a 20-something Michigander-turned-New Yorker, I would never spend one month’s rent on a pair of Louboutin pumps — I can’t really walk in pumps — or take cabs everywhere that the subway also reaches (not anymore, anyways).

That’s where Girls comes in. While way wittier than any of my thoughts or conversations, there’s a certain charm to Lena Dunham‘s creation that is incredibly relatable. I’m far from a Brooklyn dweller — no disrespect, but I’m an Astoria girl — and while my Warby Parker frames may dictate otherwise, I’m not at all a hipster. That all said, Girls represents the real embellished non-glamour of New York life for the young and over-educated. We live by the words we hear broadcast on NPR, or what we read in the New Yorker. We make nonsensical cultural references overheard from one person we knew who studied psychology — or better yet, philosophy — at NYU or Columbia, and have friends who call themselves writers but work as glorified coffee-runners from 9 to 5. Or more realistic yet, they just work in coffee shops.

Lives dictated by insecurity and thirst for success, Dunham captures a very realistic — albeit better articulated and performed — dynamic of the non-native New Yorker in her twenties, and not all of whom are part of the New York literary scene (disclaimer: I work in book publicity).

My only gripe with Dunham is her portrayal of East Lansing, the city from which her character Hannah relocated. It’s far less folksy, and much more academia-meets-grunge. Other than that, I feel that just like today’s 30-somethings related realistically to Sex and the City back in the day, I relate to aspects of each of the main characters on Girls.

Gold, but not solid . . . [The Golden Globes in Review]

Signs for the Golden Globe Awards.

Image via Wikipedia

I may work in book publicity, but good film and television are two things about which I’m equally passionate. In line with that interest, I live for Awards Season. I was supposed to go to a movie with my mom last night, but instead stayed in to catch the Golden Globes on NBC as opposed to later via DVR.

Before the show started, I kicked myself for not yet having seen Hugo, The Descendents, or The Artist, and as a result, I feel limited on my ability to fully comment on the worthiness of each award. I can, however, share my happiness in the winners whom I did feel deserved every ounce of their solid Golden Globe wins.

Best Actress, Drama: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady.”

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo.”

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help.”

Best Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Kate Winslet, “Mildred Pierce.”

Don’t be surprised that Woody Allen’s win for Midnight in Paris didn’t make my cut. I wasn’t a huge fan, because it felt like a complete and total departure — in the wrong direction — from his other work. That’s not say that it was bad, but I suppose I was so seriously unprepared for the course the film took, that I felt disappointed.

As for the others, I feel that Meryl totally owned her performance of Margaret Thatcher, as I think I made clear from my review of the film. While I didn’t see Hugo, I’m a huge Scorsese fan and have hard only amazing things about his take on Brian Selznick‘s book. Octavia Spencer was outstanding in The Help. She brought the character from the novel to life, and was sassy, sensational, and soulful. Lastly, but certainly not least excellent, was Kate Winslet’s command of her role in Mildred Pierce. Her range grows more and more evident with each piece she appears in, and her role in Mildred Pierce was not necessarily flattering, but she did not let it hold her back. She embraced the role, as she seems to embrace everything that comes her way.

I look forward to giving the other films a gander, most notably The Artist and Hugo. Next stop: The BAFTAs.

Giving Thanks to Premium TV

Dear HBO and Showtime Execs,

Television is important to me. I spend my days reading, and my nights, too, and so when I actually find time to watch TV shows on their original air dates and not via DVR recording, it’s your shows, on your networks, that I make time for.

Good television, with entertainment value carried throughout an entire season is tough to come by these days.

In the age of The Sopranos and Sex and the City, I experienced New York and New Jersey two ways: through the gangster underworld and the glitz and glammed Upper East Side. Through shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage, I get satirical insight into Hollywood, be it through Larry David’s self-loathing lens, or Adrian Grenier’s portrayal of a Hollywood “It” guy gone wild.

On Showtime, I’m treated to mothers gone mad — a quirky view of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) with the United States of Tara, and a drug-dealing, suburban ex-pat Nancy Botwin on Weeds. Add in sweet and disturbed Dexter Morgan, and you have successful programming for the summer.

Thank you for supplying me with quality entertainment. I’m excited to see what this summer in television has to offer.

Sincerely,

A. Kirsch

 

Flip Flop

As summer nears its end, I find myself unwinding after a long day’s work, flipping from channel to channel as my TV shows of choice finally return. The following are shows that I am unhealthily invested in:

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