How The Mindy Project Moved to Hulu to Have Its Best Season Ever

Dec 14 2015 - 8:00pm

Let me take you back to a few years ago — the year was 2012; the star was Mindy Kaling. Was I pumped about the premiere of The Mindy Project? Pumped is an understatement. After feasting upon the inspirational, hilarious Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) [1] I was excited about witnessing Mindy Lahiri — pop culture connoisseur, serial dater, and talented gynecologist — on my screen once a week.

A lot of things have changed since the premiere of The Mindy Project: Mindy's friends outside of her practice are long gone; the cavalcade of homogenous suitors is gone, too. But like, that's fine, because now all that remains are the best parts of Mindy: gut-busting office humor and a fresh take on personal and professional relationships; Mindy's growth as a fictional slash real life human being; and of course, Danny Freaking Castellano. We're halfway through season four, and it's shaping up to be the best season ever — I'd say in part because this is the show's first season on Hulu instead of its old home of Fox. It's both consistently funny and absolutely heart wrenching, which is basically all I ever ask for from a show.

What exactly makes this season of The Mindy Project top notch? Here are a few of my favorite things.

Mindy’s Dedication to Her Job

Watching other people work is really boring, unless they’re a hotshot doctor with the mouth of a sailor. Mindy Lahiri is both things, and she’s also really good at her job. This is a fact that we’ve always known — this show regularly juxtaposes Mindy’s general ignorance (she thinks the moon just hides behind the sun in the daytime!) with her competence as a doctor, and I love seeing her work her magic with patients, college students, and in the fictional OR. And of course, her job brings some of the super realistic tension that she has with Danny.

The Evolution of Mindy and Danny’s Relationship

Obviously, I would be remiss to mention Danny Castellano in this list, he of the very talented, albeit former, stripper variety. Mindy and Danny’s dynamic has changed ever since the introduction of my number one, Leo (more on him in a sec, thanks) — and it sure seems like these two have different worldviews [2]. I like that The Mindy Project isn’t afraid [3] to show us that this is absolutely in no way a perfect relationship, and that the way we relate to each other changes over time and via circumstance. I like figuring things out while Mindy is figuring things out, too. Even now, after the mid-season finale, where it seems like their differences have come to a head and Mindy is (spoiler!) considering the move to being a single mom, everything still feels very organic. These are real people (well, as real as fictional characters in a television romcom can be, at least).

The Baby Himself — Leo Castellano

Speaking of, Leo Castellano is a baby angel, and I don’t care what anybody else says. As an actual infant, he basically has no personality — although I suspect he’ll end up a lot more like his mother than his father — but he has given Mindy the chance to mature into motherhood without forsaking her brand of self-obsession. Honestly, he’s probably made her even more self-obsessed, because he’s a baby and babies are cute, and they know it.

Mindy Still Dresses So, So Good

There are various [4] websites [5] dedicated to tracking Mindy Lahiri’s fashion domination [6], which has consistently been on point for the entirety of The Mindy Project’s run. This season is no different. Basically, 50 percent of the reason I even watch this show is for the clothes. Prints and neons and florals? Oh, my, my.

The Jokes Are Even Better Now

This is a show that has always been chock-full of offhand one-liners and pop culture references, but it seems like this season, there’s so much more. Before, The Mindy Project didn’t know what to do with Jeremy for a while, but now he’s put to good use by giving us glimpses into his past and present with a single line that is delivered before he returns to oblivion for the rest of the half hour. But I love that! Same with Tamara and Morgan and everyone else in the office. And! The jokes get to be a teensy bit more risque, airing on Hulu instead of Fox. Kaling has admitted to wanting to be able to say she was "tits deep in a margarita [7]," and Hulu has given her that very warranted, very important opportunity.

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