Why “The Mindy Project” Matters

Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell has been my favorite new show this season (for a sample of the reasons why check out this and this.)

Comedian Hari Kondabolu is a writer for the show and recently did this web exclusive on why Mindy Kaling’s new sitcom is good for Indian-Americans everywhere. And yes, he mentions both Apu and the Metro PCS guys. Check it out:

Archie Panjabi: My mother said I was destined to be an actress

Archie Panjabi visited Live with Kelly and Michael Thursday to promote the upcoming season of The Good Wife (which returns on Sept 30 on CBS). In addition to sharing her love for macaroni and cheese and other American foods, Panjabi revealed that her mother predicted she’d become an actress shortly after her birth.

“Apparently when I popped out of my mum, my mum looked at me and just went ‘There was something in your eyes that said, I want to be an actress’,” the Emmy-nominated actress told the hosts. She added that her parents originally intended to name her Aarti but that her mother then changed it to Archana (which means worship) because she thought her daughter would move to America when she grew up to become an actress.

“So, I’m thinking if I have a child, I’m going to call it Oscar,” she joked.

Fox Releases Trailer for ‘The Mindy Project’

It’s official: Mindy Kaling’s new comedy The Mindy Project will debut on Fox this fall.

The network announced this morning that the half-hour sitcom will air at 9:30 EST on Tuesday nights, following fellow media darling Zooey Deschanel’s show New Girl.

The show’s official synopsis is below:

THE MINDY PROJECT is a new single-camera comedy from Emmy Award-nominated writer/producer and New York Times best-selling author Mindy Kaling (“The Office”) that follows a woman who, despite having a successful career, desperately needs to break bad habits in her personal life. After all, how many doctors make inappropriate toasts at their ex-boyfriend’s wedding, nearly drown at the bottom of a stranger’s pool and get arrested for disorderly conduct just moments before having to deliver a baby? Funny, impatient and politically incorrect, MINDY LAHIRI (Kaling) can quote every romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan that exists. She loves the good ones and the bad ones, because the girl always gets the guy. Mindy is determined to be more punctual, spend less money, lose weight and read more books – all in pursuit of becoming a well-rounded perfect woman…who can meet and date the perfect guy. Mindy is a skilled OB/GYN and shares a practice with a few other doctors, none of whom make life any easier for her.

Kaling has said in past interviews that she decided to make her character a gynecologist because her mother is one. Given that fun fact, lets all be quietly grateful the show’s original title, It’s Messy, was quietly nixed.

90210’s Manish Dayal wants you to Be the Match

90210 actors Manish Dayal (who played Raj Kher) and Gillian Zinser (Ivy) released this PSA last month for the Be the Match foundation. The spot was produced as part of Be The Match’s efforts to create a younger and more diverse registry.

ETA: There are montages galore of Raj and Ivy’s relationship on YouTube. Here’s an example. (SPOILER alert gleaned from the YouTube comments: Dayal’s character was killed off this season.)

Mathai Rocks ‘The Voice’

Could an 18-year-old singer named Mathai be the next winner of NBC’s The Voice?

Billboard called Mathai’s performance on the show last week “awe-inspiring” and noted she was “one of the few [contestants] who understands nuance and power.”

I hope that as the season progresses we’ll get to see Mathai do more ballads. This 2010 talent show performance, in which a 16-year-old Mathai covers Adele’s version of To Make You Feel My Love, is incredible. (You can check out more of her songs at her official YouTube channel.)

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Wins Oscar For ‘Saving Face’

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy became Pakistan’s first Oscar winner last night when her film Saving Face won best documentary short.

Saving Face tells the story of two women (39-year-old Zakia and 23-year-old Rukhsana) who were severely disfigured after becoming victims of acid attacks. According to the film’s website:

Every year in Pakistan, at least 100 people are victimized by brutal acid attacks. The majority of these are women, and many more cases go unreported. With little or no access to reconstructive surgery, survivors are physically and emotionally scarred, while many reported assailants – typically a husband or someone close to the victim – are let go with minimal punishment from the state.

The film follows Dr. Mohammad Jawad, a plastic surgeon who left a thriving practice in Britain in order to assist Pakistan’s acid attack victims. During her acceptance speech, Obaid-Chinoy dedicated the award to Dr. Jawad, Rukhasana and Zakia, and “to all the women in Pakistan who are working for change.” She added, “Don’t give up on your dreams.”

Hopefully Obaid-Chinoy’s Oscar win will mean that more people in Pakistan will have the opportunity to see the film. The filmmaker told the Wall Street Journal in November that she planned to show the film in private venues and recently told the Asia Society that “contractual restraints” prevented her from showing it to large audiences.

HBO will be broadcasting Saving Face on March 8. Mark your calendars.

A Dosa Hunt Through New York City

Warning: Don’t watch the above video while hungry.

Stereogum’s Amrit Singh just released the trailer for his documentary Dosa Hunt, which is scheduled to be released this spring. In the film Singh and his friends Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Vijay Iyer (Vijay Iyer Trio), Himanshu Suri (Das Racist), Alan Palomo (Neon Indian), and Anand Wilder (Yeasayer) travel through the streets of New York in a hunt for the perfect dosa.

You can follow the film on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. I’ve long maintained that the best dosa in New York can be found at the Ganesha Temple canteen in Flushing, Queens. Hopefully they visited during filming.

(Via my brother, who helpfully sent me this Gothamist link.)