Rob Sheffield's 2012 Fall TV Preview

Your day-by-day guide to the 21 new and returning shows worth watching

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'The Mindy Project'
Autumn De Wilde/FOX13/21

'The Mindy Project'

Fox, Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m.

Mindy Kaling is like a charm bombardment: She slays on The Office, on her shopping blog, in her Twitter feed and in her chatty book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). The upshot: She'll get plenty of chances to dazzle the world, so don't sweat the impossibly high expectations fans have for her new sitcom, The Mindy Project. Kaling plays a neurotic gynecologist (based, naturally, on her mom) who's looking for love yet knows almost nothing about straight guys beyond her rom-com fantasies. True, the pilot is shaky – but then, so was 30 Rock's. The best gag is about John Cougar Mellencamp – but it's not as funny as the one in Kaling's book, where she argues that if "Jack and Diane" were a couple of immigrant kids, they would have had too many after-school jobs to hang out at the Tastee Freez. Point taken.

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