If you ask me, "The Mindy Project," written by and starring Mindy Kaling, is off to an impressive start. Before I get into the specifics of what made the episode so great, here's a rundown of the fast-moving 23-minute pilot.
In the opening scene, Mindy Lahiri introduces a sad, semi-pathetic life in which all she does is watch romantic comedies. "When Harry Met Sally," "You've Got Mail," "Notting Hill" -- you name it, she's seen it. She watched them while doing her homework, eating dinner, and in her college dorm room while everyone else was partying.
She may have a penchant for sappy, formulaic films, but there's more than meets the eye when it comes to Mindy. She's a 31-year-old OB/GYN who works ridiculously long shifts and kicks ass at her job.
She's also completely fearless, as is proven by the highly inappropriate toast she makes at her ex-boyfriend Tom's (Bill Hader) wedding in the show's early minutes. She eventually attempts a drunken bike ride home, ends up in a pool, talks to a Barbie doll at the bottom of said pool and gets arrested.
Back at the office, her slimy -- but incredibly handsome -- British coworker Jeremy (Ed Weeks) tries to seduce (but not date) Mindy, while Danny (Chris Messina) throws one too many insults her way.
In the show's final scenes, she goes on a sorry excuse for a date with a great guy played by Ed Helms, manages to deliver a baby in the same night, and concludes the episode in the hospital's break room watching "When Harry Met Sally" with Danny.
And what makes all of the above in "The Mindy Project" so great is the clever, cringe-inducing, offensive dialogue.
Let's take a look at the best lines of Episode 1 of "The Mindy Project."
Romantic comedy-related lines
Mindy, on her childhood: "When I was a kid, all I did was watch romantic comedies in our living room while I did my homework. In college, everything changed ... I could watch romantic comedies whenever I wanted to!"
Mindy, upon meeting Tom in an elevator: "Met in an elevator? My hair came undone? Are you kidding me? I'm basically Sandra Bullock!"
Gwen (Anna Camp), on Mindy's disastrous toast at Tom's wedding: "Did you think Tom was just going to ditch the wedding and run off with you like you're Katherine Heigl?"
Mindy, on Jeremy: "I think he's Hugh Grant in 'About A Boy.'"
Danny, on the ending of "When Harry Met Sally": "I'd be pissed off if I was Meg Ryan and someone interrupted my New Year's Eve like that."
Arguably offensive lines
Mindy, in her toast to Tom: "Here you are, getting married to the Serbian bagel girl. By the way, are we sure she's not a war criminal?"
Mindy, on being slightly overweight: "My body mass index is not great. But I'm not like Precious or anything, you know?"
Mindy, to her assistant Betsy (Zoe Jarman): "Why are you sending me non-English speaking pregnant immigrants with no health insurance? With literally like, Burkas and stuff?"
Betsy, attempting to pacify Mindy: "More white patients. Done."
Betsy, on Danny's criticism of Mindy's sparkly date outfit: "What do you think she should wear, Doctor Castellano? She didn't grow up in this country!"
Danny, in an attempt to take Mindy down: "You know what would really look great? If you lost 15 pounds."
Mindy, during her toast at Tom's wedding: "Or the time Tom told me -- when we were having sex -- that he wanted to marry me and make me pregnant with six babies."
Mindy, talking about a patient's son while on a first date: "He's so attached to me. Kids love me."
Mindy on the phone, with her date in hearing distance: "Max, I am on a date right now. Do you know how difficult it is for a chubby 31-year-old woman to go on a legit date with a guy who majored in economics at Duke?"
Mindy, when her date is baffled that she knows everything about him: "I looked it up online, okay? Relax."
Mindy to her date as she's rushing off to hospital: "I should be finished at like 2 or 3 in the morning. You can just come over."
Out of context and amazing one-liners.
"Before I leave, would it be possible to get a tour of the Special Victim's Unit?"
"You look so trashy right now. Do you want to hang out?"
"I'm not good at saying no, okay? Once I left a flea market with a Samurai sword."
"Oh great. We broke this model of the human pelvis."
"That's really rude. Just so you know, when I'm that age, I'm gonna be super hot, and have a bunch of cute kids running around. Meanwhile, you'll be some weirdo alcoholic trying to write a novel in Cuba."
"Dear Lord, please let this date be good. May he have the wealth of Mayor Bloomberg, the personality of Jon Stewart, the face of Michael Fassbender, the ... penis of Michael Fassbender."
"Maybe I won't get married. Maybe I'll just do one of those 'Eat Pray Love' things. Oh, I don't want to pray. Forget it. I'll just die alone."
The Mindy Project airs on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox.
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