On Taking Sitcoms Too Seriously

It had to happen. Here’s an interesting article overthinking…overthinking.


Ooh, it's Mindy!
Ooh, it’s Mindy!

by Kate Dries

Perhaps we’ve reached a point with sitcoms where we’re giving them too much credit. They are, at their core, just supposed to be funny. But as their quality has improved, our understanding of their significance and depth has maybe gotten blown a little out of proportion.

In an interesting piece for Indiewire’s Women and Hollywood, Alyssa Rosenberg opines on the character growth of Jess and Mindy, the two female leads who make up Fox’s primetime Tuesday night lineup of the shows New Girl and The Mindy Project, respectively. In the essay, Rosenberg argues that both shows have fallen victim to an excessive dependence on the least interesting parts of their characters. With Jess, it’s her wackiness and with Mindy, it’s her jerkiness.

Of New Girl, Rosenberg writes:

The third-season premiere has some weird notes reminiscent of its rocky first year, like giving Winston and obsession with puzzles and newly-diagnosed color-blindness, the kinds of traits that acted as placeholders for Jess’s actual personality before New Girl figured out who she is as a person. Three years in, you’d think they’ve have done the same work for all of her supporting characters.

Of The Mindy Project, Rosenberg notes that “Mindy Kaling and her writing staff still haven’t figured out a purpose to her character, Mindy Lahiri’s, unlikability”:

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One thought on “On Taking Sitcoms Too Seriously”

  1. I rarely watch sitcoms, and when I do, I rarely stay for the ‘citin’ ending. Ozzie and Harriet. Where did they go?

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