Mindy Kaling's television writing credits read as a string of successful hits. Featuring The Office, The Mindy Project, Never Have I Ever, and The Sex Lives of College Girls, she seemingly has yet to have a flop. Fans of all ages love her work, with her name guaranteeing hilariously good entertainment. She's clearly doing something right, so to what does she attribute this success, and what does she believe is the magic ingredient?
Speaking at the Time 100 2022 Summit on 7th June 2022, Kaling discussed her approach to storytelling. Alongside her writing partner and Netflix global head of TV, Bela Bajaria, the pair explained that instead of going in with the sole motive of showing inclusiveness in their shows, they aim to create entertaining television that just happens to shine a light on inclusivity. "What I like about the shows is they're not like, 'We're going to teach you how to be inclusive,'" Kaling reflected. "They're just really entertaining and sexy and fun, and what's so shrewd about the way [Netflix] has programmed its shows is they just happen to have casts that we never see traditionally."
But it's not just that. Mindy has a unique way of getting into the minds of her perhaps younger audiences and understanding what they want to see on screen. It also often happens to align with what she would like to watch. The result? Top-rated and funny television that almost everyone can relate to! "What they show more than actual sex — they show women who are longing for connection and relationships, and women who've been traditionally told you can't want to be in sexual situations or to be sexy, being able to explore that in a funny way."
Mindy matched this sentiment during her acceptance speech at the 2022 Gold Gala Legend Awards in May. She explained that her favorite characters to write about are complex, often unlikeable women who don't act the way the world expects them to. "It is also really rewarding that so much of my work features South Asian women getting to be sexual on their own terms versus being an exotic beauty who, like, explodes from a genie lamp," Kaling said. “We have women spanning from their teen years to Indian grandmothers who are exploring desire and being desired." Hollywood, take note.