"The Mindy Project,"
premiering Tuesday, Sept. 25, on FOX, Dr. Mindy Lahiri (
) is soused at her ex-boyfriend's wedding and makes a fool of herself.
It's bad enough that she's wearing a sequined dress so hideous, that it alone could have killed disco. She leaves, gets on a bicycle and wobbles into a swimming pool, after which she has an imaginary encounter with a talking Barbie. And she still has to go to work as an OB/GYN.
Kaling, best known as Kelly Kapoor on
draws from her own life for the comedy, which she created.
She describes the show as "a workplace comedy with a female lead, and it has a lot of the other elements of a romantic comedy movie. It's a girl who wishes her life was a movie."
Mindy, eager to find a man, weathers insults about her desperation, but there is something very real about the character.
"She is fun to write because she has huge blind spots," Kaling says. "She is a little elitist, compared to Michael Scott in 'The Office,' who put the premium on coolness."
Though she doesn't plan to milk the cast of the show that made her a star, do look for
Ed Helms in the pilot.
"I love working with Ed because obviously he is such a close friend of mine," she says. "But I don't want to take too many people from 'The Office' too soon. Ed's [appearance is] late in the pilot. People liked it because of the comedy of a blind date."
Given Mindy's (the character, not the actress) track record with men, it's not surprising all doesn't go well.