The Mindy Project and Authenticity

My love for Mindy Kaling is pretty obvious to those that know me. My brother, a recent parent, emailed me this article which discusses how The Mindy Project has been handling parenthood this season. While it was a good read, I did not find myself agreeing with the author. It made me think about the way women and parenthood are depicted on television.

Though there has been a recent trend of authentic shows, The Mindy Project strives to be anything but real. Mindy Lahiri has always been a little bit ridiculous and just out there. If Mindy and TMP wanted to portray parenthood accurately, it wouldn’t be authentic to the show itself. For a real take on parenthood, the author should be looking at dramas like Parenthood. Don’t look to a comedy show about a woman who is trying to find the Kanye to her Kim to be authentic about a lot.

Personally I found TMP’s take on parenthood to be refreshing. As someone who isn’t a mother, it was quite nice to see a woman become a parent but not let it change or consume her. Mindy is still the same person she was before she had Leo, just that she has a little human she is responsible for.

Ultimately at the end of the day people turn to television as form of escapism. I know I don’t want to watch a show about a woman that goes to work and watches Netflix at night. That is the life I live so when I turn to TV, I want something that takes me to another world.

This season of The Mindy Project has been my favorite by far. I’ve loved to see the way Mindy, who wants nothing more than to find her happily ever after, is handling her new role as a single parent. Her life has taken turns she has never imagined and while she is struggling and hurting, she is learning to overcome and come to terms with her new life. It’s still a comedy show, but there have been a few heavier moments which the show has handled impeccably.

Have you been watching The Mindy Project? What do you think about TMP’s take on parenthood?

 

 

 

 

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UnREAL

To say I was hesitant to watch a Lifetime show is an understatement. But wherever I turned I was seeing the buzz for UnREAL, especially upon it’s renewal for a second season. Since I was in the need for a new summer show (I had been rewatching Parks and Rec, #amiproblems?), I decided to give UnREAL a REAL shot. Besides I’ve been a Shiri Appleby fan since Roswell, so I knew I had to watch for her alone.

 The setting is a fictional reality show dating competition (think The Bachelor) and the characters are the cast and crew. It’s a smart look at the reality show industry. You realize how the contestants are manipulated to act certain ways that will result in the biggest drama and therefore the higher ratings. Each contestant is immediately given a persona by the production crew, ie the virgin, the villain, the single mom, and so on.

UnREAL is an eye-opening look at the brutalities of reality shows.  It’s cruel, calculating, and probably not too far-fetched to imagine that similar things happen on actual reality shows. There’s also moments of sharp humor and wit to balance out the drama.

I would say I am enjoying UnREAL so far. It’s a smart show with a gripping underlying message – reality isn’t always what it seems. Have you been watching UnREAL this summer? What are your thoughts?