It’s September, and you know what that means: pumpkin-spiced everything, football, and TV season premieres! And while I love a good pumpkin spice latte and my Buffalo Bills, my favorite thing about this month is all of the new TV that comes our way.
Sometime next week, I plan on breaking down my fall viewing schedule and discussing what shows we’re all watching this year. (Until then, I highly recommend taking a closer look at what new shows you might check out with Heather’s helpful guide.) Today, however, I want to focus on the premieres we’ve been counting down to since May, the beginnings of brand new seasons for our favorite TV shows.
There’s always that one season premiere you’re looking forward to slightly (or not-so-slightly) more than any other. Whether it’s because the season finale set some great things in motion, the show’s been surrounded by cool casting buzz, or your appetite has been whetted by exciting spoilers, we all have to admit that there’s one show whose premiere we wrote in slightly bigger letters on our September calendars.
For me, it’s The Mindy Project.
Confession time: “Danny and Mindy” is my most re-watched episode of Summer 2014. It’s not just because it’s an ode to one of my favorite film genres. And it’s not just because one of my favorite TV couples of the last year got together at the end of it. It’s because it’s so confident. That finale had such a clear voice, and it was a reflection of the way the show as a whole found its voice in its second season—and its voice is so clearly that of Mindy Kaling, a writer I love with the same fervor others in my generation have for Tina Fey. Kaling is still so proud of “Danny and Mindy;” you can tell in every interview she’s given since it aired. And that pride in an episode I love so much has me hopeful that this coming season will have that same clear vision and voice.
Another confession: If you asked me last year which premiere I was most looking forward to, I would have said New Girl, and anyone who follows this blog knows how that worked out in the end. I got burned by that hope—big time. But getting burned doesn’t mean you stop believing that shows can come back from a strong finale with an even stronger follow-up season. And what’s left me feeling the most hopeful about The Mindy Project is the way the writers and the cast are talking about Mindy and Danny’s relationship.
Mindy Kaling wants Mindy and Danny to be the next Lucy and Ricky. I want that, too; I want that so badly. I want to see the crazy, silly, awkward situations they’ll get into together. Together. I don’t want angst for the sake of angst or breakups or false starts or overused tropes. I want the rarest of things on television: a real exploration of a relationship instead of contrived drama. I want what happens after the credits roll in the romantic comedy, and I love that we’ll be getting that this season. There’s still so much comedy and character growth to be explored from two very different people making a relationship work with each other. My generation needs its own Lucy and Ricky, and I think Mindy and Danny could be exactly that—with their own little twist, of course.
If you know anything about my taste in TV, you know that I love the story that develops after “Will they?/Won’t they?” becomes “They did—now what?” (See Ben and Leslie, Castle and Beckett, and Snow and Charming for examples.) It’s why the returning show right below The Mindy Project on my excitement list is Once Upon a Time. I want to see Emma and Hook navigate a romantic relationship, and I also want to see Emma really develop her relationship with her parents after discovering how much they meant to her in the season finale.
I like shows that aren’t afraid to say that stable relationships don’t have to be boring, so I’m ready for the exploration of the comedy that can be found as Mindy and Danny explore what it means to be in a relationship with each other. Both characters have been developed so well as individuals that I can only imagine how much fun it will be to watch them continue to develop together.
The Mindy Project is a show that knows what it wants to be, and that lines up perfectly with what I want to watch as a fan. And if this sneak peek is any indication of what’s to come, I know I’ll be spending this season laughing a lot.
Which returning TV show’s premiere are you most excited to watch?