'The Mindy Project' Honors Kaling's Real Mom

Yes, it's very dramatic and romantic that Danny called Mindy and may not have gone through with his wedding while Mindy and Ben exchanged "I love you"s on The Mindy Project, but since Mindy focused on her family for this episode, I will too. Mindy encouraged her mom to write plays on The Mindy Project, and it was a sweet, heartfelt moment. The reason this stuck out to me, and gave me a boost of positivity on a very stressful day (week, month, year) is that it's inspired by Mindy Kaling's own family, but not in the way you think.

Mindy escaped to Massachusetts to avoid dealing with Danny getting remarried, and ended up helping out her mother. Mindy's mom was looking for opportunities to express herself creatively and perform in a local theater, but had a few obstacles in her way. She was frustrated, because while her children had followed their own dreams — Mindy opened her own practice, and Rishi is a third of the way through DJ school — she was not able to follow the dreams of her own. Mindy then encouraged her to take her experiences and write something for herself. It's good advice to all of us really, but seems extra special coming from a mother and daughter.

In real life Mindy Kaling's mother, who died in 2012 just after The Mindy Project was originally picked up by Fox, was an OB/GYN. Meanwhile, Kaling got her job on The Office after writing and starring in the play Matt and Ben with co-writer Brenda Withers. So, in the fictional world of The Mindy Project, it's like they switched. Kaling is living her mother's story in the sitcom every day, and her fictional mother is now mirroring her own interests and talents. Isn't that lovely? You should always write what you know, and The Mindy Project is finding new and interesting ways to do that every week.

Images: Byron Cohen/Universal Television