The Mindy Project - The Most Painful Cancellation In Recent Memory
Well, I can’t say that I’m completely shocked. That doesn’t mean I’m not upset about it.
The Mindy Project and multiple red flags during its third season that indicated an inevitable cancellation. The first being losing actor Adam Pally because his “contract was up”. The second being the desperate pregnancy storyline used as a creative Hail Mary. The third, and most importantly, ratings still sucked.
In reality, most network television shows have bad or really bad ratings, at least in comparison to ten years ago. Very few shows hold on to great ratings beyond its premiere. Fox’s primetime soap hit Empire is a rare exception as the show increased in ratings throughout its first season. Meanwhile, Gotham had impressive numbers back in the fall and viewership has overall diminished since. The television landscape has changed drastically over the years, but ratings still matter.
However, there is still a glimmer of hope for The Mindy Project as rumors indicate that Hulu may be picking it up for a fourth season. Although I think romantic comedy is worthy of a better home (TBS, USA Network, Netflix just to name a few), I suppose it’s better than nothing.
No matter what, The Mindy Project is owed at least one more season. Here’s why:
1. Season Three had ZERO closure.
There’s no argument that Season Three was by far the weakest season yet. However, the latter half of the season really picked up steam plot-wise when Mindy gets pregnant. This sparked an emotional roller coaster ride with her boyfriend/baby daddy Danny. The finale in particular displayed Danny’s desperate attempt in saving their relationship when he flies to India to introduce himself to her parents.
Something I kept thinking about throughout the series was whether or not we would ever meet Mindy’s parents (she referred to them constantly throughout the series). Introducing them is rich with potential. And above all, we need to see Mindy and Danny have this baby! That alone could have been the series finale. How can anyone cancel a show starring a pregnant woman?!?
2. The cast and guest stars kept this show lively.
Despite the show’s minor missteps, the cast was always top-notch. Chris Messina has perfect chemistry with Mindy Kaling as the male lead. Ike Barinholtz has resurged since his MADtv days as the convict-turned-nurse Morgan Tookers. Adam Pally was a great addition to the cast as fratboy doctor Peter Prentice until he was sorta written off. Beth Grant and Xosha Roquemore offer some of the best one-liners as Beverly and Tamra. Although the cast had a handful of enters and exits, their time onscreen was worth every minute.
Probably even more impressive was the huge roster of guest stars that made appearances on this show. The list includes but is not limited to the following: Stephen Colbert, Common, Laverne Cox, Tim Daly, Mark Duplass, Jenna Elfman, Ben Feldman, James Franco, Ana Gasteyer, Max Greenfield, Anna Gunn, Bill Hader, Ed Helms, Anders Holms, Glenn Howerton, Kris Jenner, Ellie Kemper, Rob McElhenney, Maria Menounos, Cristin Milioti, Niecy Nash, B.J. Novak, Timothy Olyphant, Lee Pace, Jordan Peele, Rhea Perlman, Missi Pyle, Shonda Rhimes, Seth Rogen, Chloë Sevigny, Kevin Smith, Julia Stiles, Allison Tolman, Allison Williams, and Vanessa Williams. That’s almost as many guest stars as what Friends had!
3. Mindy Kaling has become a cultural icon.
I don’t understand why there were never enough people watching The Mindy Project because Mindy Kaling has become such an icon. Getting her big break in the beloved NBC comedy The Office and rising in the ranks as a writer and producer, she eventually jumped ship to create her own show. She has appeared in numerous films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Five-Year Engagement, and This Is The End, lending her voice in Despicable Me, Wreck-It Ralph, and the upcoming Pixar film Inside Out, she has a lengthy resume. And that’s on top of her nearly 4 million Twitter followers.
Mindy Kaling has become a role model for accomplishing so much as a young Indian-American woman in Hollywood and as an A-lister who dismisses the pressures of body image. She’s funny, fashionable, and confident. Her show may have been canned, but Mindy Kaling isn’t going anywhere.
Fox may be saving a dime, but it made a mistake. Renewing it for a shortened fourth season would have been reasonable. Whether that fourth season will still happen elsewhere is still being determined. Let’s pray to the TV gods that this won’t be the end of The Mindy Project.