Commentary: 2012 gave viewers fresh TV show choices in 'The Mindy Project,' 'Girls,' 'Catfish'
Published: Monday, January 7, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 09:01
The year 2012 was a roller coaster of emotions for me — television-wise that is. Last year marked the beginning of the end for some of my favorite TV shows, such as “30 Rock” and “The Office,” both of which began their final seasons in 2012. While I’m currently dreading Jan. 31 when I’ll have to say goodbye to Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy of “30 Rock” forever, it isn’t all bad in the television world — 2012 was also the birth year for a few new shows that are beginning to fill the empty hole in my heart.
“Girls” – HBO
As a college student who stresses out very easily, whenever I think about life after college, I freak out. What if I can’t find a job? What am I going to do with my life after college? HBO’s “Girls” is about just that.
“Girls” is a comedy-drama about a group of girls in their early 20s living in Brooklyn and trying to figure out their lives. While this one-line synopsis might seem worn-out in the television world, with shows like “Gossip Girl” and “Sex and the City,” “Girls” provides a refreshing change of pace. It’s real and relatable. I mean, I know I’m not a college grad struggling to live in New York yet, but “Girls” gives a real depiction of what it’s like. The show thrives on awkward situations that make you laugh out loud, mostly because they seem so authentic.
“Girls” has gained a lot of praise since its premiere in April, and I am anxiously awaiting its return Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.
“The Mindy Project” – Fox
Mindy Kaling is amazing. While she is best known for playing high-strung Kelly Kapoor on “The Office,” she also helps make “The Office” as hilarious as it is by writing for the show. When I heard that Kaling had created her own television show, and would be both writing for it and acting in it like she has with “The Office,” I knew it was going to be a hit.
“The Mindy Project” is a comedy focused around Mindy Lahiri, a thirty-something who is trying to get her personal life back on track. The show also features Lahiri’s successful career as an OB/GYN and her relationships with a wide array of her co-workers. While the show just started in the fall, there have already been a few guest appearances that add to the show’s hilarity, including Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Ed Helms.
While “The Mindy Project” has been funny from the get go, it has progressively became funnier and transformed into a good show with a great cast. “The Mindy Project” returns to Fox Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.
“Catfish” – MTV
While in-person social interactions are becoming increasingly rare in our world today, it’s no surprise that one in five relationships begin online (or at least that’s what Match.com tells us). MTV’s “Catfish” takes us into the world of online relationships by showing us the lives of different people who are involved in them. In the context of the TV show, a “catfish” is someone who creates a false identity online, with the intentions of deceiving others. Each episode follows a different person who has met and formed a relationship with someone online, but has never met them in real life because the other person is reluctant. We then get to see if the person on the other side of the computer screen is really who they say they are (spoiler alert: they rarely ever are).
I don’t usually watch a lot of reality television. Truthfully, I was happy when America said goodbye to the GTL-loving guidos of “Jersey Shore” forever. However “Catfish” gives a refreshing spin to reality television in that every episode acts as a short documentary. Each person has his or her own story to tell about his or her online relationship, and you never know who is going to walk out of the door when they go to meet who they have actually been talking to online.
“Catfish” is quickly becoming one of the most popular TV shows on MTV and is getting a lot of hype from teenagers and college students. You can catch it on MTV Mondays at 11 p.m.