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Picks and Pans Main: TV

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The Mindy Project

FOX, Sept. 25, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT |


Mindy Kaling, leaving behind NBC’s The Office to create and star in her own sitcom, could very well be the next Tina Fey. But not necessarily with The Mindy Project, a sitcom that veers uncomfortably between charmingly cute and cloyingly sarcastic. She plays Mindy Lahiri, a smart young OB/GYN whose clinical mind is often shoved to the back of the line by girlish fantasies she learned from movies like Sleepless in Seattle. In the premiere she finds swoony ecstasy with a fellow doctor, but after he dumps her, she gets drunk at his wedding, makes a poisonously mean toast to bride and groom, then rides a bike into a swimming pool. It’s hard to find any of this especially enchanting. And yet Chris Messina, as her colleague, does much the same thing, throwing out blunt put-downs while obliquely flirting-and makes it work. Kaling’s next project is to align her performance with his.


NBC, Mondays, 10 p.m. ET/PT


A global blackout sends us back to the Dark Ages and forever kills Facebook’s chances on the stock market. Fifteen years later, in an America now dominated by militia, a strong young woman (Tracy Spiridakos) sets off to find her kidnapped brother and maybe unlock the mystery behind the catastrophe. (Her dead dad was involved.) I sat through Revolution’s pilot three times and failed to ever detect a live current: The potential for suspense is exponentially greater in our high-tech world than in one that’s unplugged. This is well-produced, but it could just as well be Mission: Colonial.