Struggling with the state of the world right now? Same, friend, same. So, it’s time to put some smiles back on those dials with a dose of Mindy Kaling.
Mindy is a comedy powerhouse, and while there aren’t/better not be enough lockdown days to cover all her work, here are five favourites to get you started … and they’re all on Netflix.
1. The Office
Haven’t watched The Office yet? First question, how dare you? Kelly Kapoor is iconic.
Kelly Kapoor (Kaling) is neurotic, endearing and utterly relatable with her sassy one-liners and unapologetic hot girl energy. While the mockumentary series revolves around many other colourful characters at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Kaling’s efforts as Kelly are absolute highlights.
Kaling not only stars in the series but is the creative writing genius behind many of the show’s standout episodes. There are a whopping nine seasons of The Office, so if you haven’t subscribed to the cult classic yet, now’s your chance.
2. The Mindy Project
Loved The Office but didn’t get enough Mindy time? No worries, The Mindy Project is six seasons of non-stop Mindy—it’s as fabulous as it sounds.
Kaling plays Dr Mindy Lahiri, an OBGYN with a tragic romantic life and an enviable wardrobe boasting a fabulous selection of Bedhead pyjamas. Mindy is a body-positive, sex-positive, feminist badass … who’s relatably flawed.
She is the hopeless and hapless romantic in us all, struggling to reconcile the realities of finding love in the “real” world after growing up with one too many romantic comedies. The series follows Mindy’s highs, lows and hilarious misadventures as she navigates work, life and love.
3. Never Have I Ever
Unless you built your lockdown nest in the backyard instead of the couch, you’re bound to have heard of Never Have I Ever. The Netflix series doesn’t feature Kaling but, as co-creator, her dainty, comedic fingerprints are ALL over it.
Remember being 15 and watching high-school dramas full of fresh-faced models parading around as super stylish 16-year-olds … and cursing your parents for instead sending you to a horribly normal school with a knee-length uniform, lace-up shoes and a zero-tolerance policy for (“tastefully” applied) eyeliner? Well, unlike the sexy vampires and spoiled Upper East-siders of the world, Never Have I Ever gives viewers a far more genuine high-school experience by embracing the hilarity of awkward adolescence.
The coming-of-age drama follows 15-year-old Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she navigates high school love interests, culture, family pressures and friend dramas—all while coming to terms with the loss of her father.
The series draws inspiration from Kaling’s experiences growing up as a first-generation Indian-American woman and has received praise for normalising cross-cultural experiences and successfully finding humour without relying on outdated Asian stereotypes.
Netflix recently confirmed the series renewal for season three.
4. Late Night
Late Night is a quick-witted and heartfelt film written by Kaling and directed by Nisha Ganatra (High Note).
Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a late-night talk show host struggling to stay relevant after becoming complacent in a white-washed, male-dominated industry with an age problem. In an effort to shake up the mediocrity of her writing team, management hires Molly Patel (Kaling).
Branded a “diversity hire” by the other writers, Molly initially struggles to find her footing as her ideas are dismissed and her inexperience held against her. But in true Mindy style, Molly flips the script and gets the attention she deserves.
The comedy-drama draws inspiration from Kaling’s experiences as the “diversity hire”, writing for The Office and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. With more than just a little insight into this hyper-competitive industry, Kaling gives a comedic take on the serious business of being funny.
5. Ocean’s Eight
Forget footy finals, the line-up you really want is an all-star team of leading ladies captained by Sandy B for a high stakes, high fashion heist.
Ocean’s Eight is an all-female spin-off from Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven trilogy and follows Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) as she assembles a crew to steal a multi-million-dollar necklace from the Met Gala.
The misfit crew include street hustler Constance (Awkwafina), fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter), criminal co-captain Lou (Cate Blanchett), actress Daphne (Anne Hathaway), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna) and mum Tammy (Sarah Paulson) … and obviously Mindy, who plays jewellery designer Amita.
Honestly, the film has had mixed reviews, but it’s funny, it’s sexy, it’s clever … and it’s got Mindy, what more do you want?