Now seems a good time to be a woman in comedy. 30 Rock, Parks & Rec and to a lesser degree Whitney have all done their bit to reclaim the trope of female protagonist from that of brand-obsessed, multiple shoe-owning, body-clocked governed woman who Sex and the City and Bridget Jones unleashed. Take Liz Lemon. 30 Rock was seven seasons of a woman who, despite the ridiculousness of everyone who surrounded her, loved her job and wanted a personal life to match. The lesson when the show ended was not about compromising your aims but being pragmatic about the means. The last episode was a master class in how to tie-up a series for good.

The early signs for The Mindy Project are that Mindy Lahiri could follow a similar path. All the markers are there: job that she loves but also interferes with her personal life, a habit of picking unsuitable men but never allowing this to blow her off course, and a kooky bunch of friends who also have life lessons to learn (but only when they are not helping our eponymous heroine).

Mindy has that balance of razor-sharp intellect with questionable judgement which works. It’s a tricky one to master: my biggest frustration with New Girl is that Jess’s judgement is so poor that I doubt the character’s ability to be profound. Mindy is far more believable as a character: for starters we finally have a lead female character who makes jokes about having a poor lifestyle who actually has a body that reflects that (lack of vanity is always a big plus in a female character in my book). And my favourite moment of the series so far came from when she barged into the (male) midwives office, won back all of her lost patients by exposing her rivals lack of knowledge about medicine and openly stole from their office.

Yes there are a few jokes about clothes and she does still define her happiness by her need for a man, but the character will hopefully grow. Like Liz she will find the man who works for her. It won’t be a glamorous life but it will be one that works for her. TV needs women like Mindy Kalling and Tina Fey to show young women that you can get what you want. It might not come in the packaging you expect, but the content be exactly what you wish for. The Carrie Bradshaw’s are never happy. The Liz Lemon’s are. Now that is a lesson that both men and women can learn from.

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