Mindy Kaling Sums Up TV's Tired Pilot Pitches in 'Why Not Me?' Preview

"As a seasoned pro, I can see certain tropes getting recycled. Not just familiar characters ('boozy mother-in-law,' 'hyper-articulate child of dumb-dumbs,' 'incomprehensible foreigner') but also basic premises."
Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling's second book of essays may not hit shelves until late September, but her preview of what's "Coming This Fall" is now available.

In a chapter from her anticipated hardcover Why Not Me?, as featured in the latest issue of The New Yorkerthe creator and star of The Mindy Project shares a hypothetical lineup of the "new types of TV shows they try to debut every fall," she previously explained at BookCon, like "the hot serial killer who is also a little bit literary, where prostitutes are murdered and Shakespeare quotes attached to their body. It's your mother's favorite show, starring a British actor with an American accent."

"Each fall, the trade papers publish loglines of the upcoming TV pilots," she writes. "As a seasoned pro, I can see certain tropes getting recycled. Not just familiar characters ('boozy mother-in-law,' 'hyper-articulate child of dumb-dumbs,' 'incomprehensible foreigner') but also basic premises."

According to Kaling, this fall season — and every fall season  features shows about "the staunch oval office dame," "the abandoned-spinster club" and "neurotic sensitive guy [who] is also super-unhappy." The pilot of the latter "always involves a child’s birthday party with a bouncy castle, or a clown who breaks character when he’s not around the kids. Deemed brilliant and hilarious, this show usually has no jokes." (Sound familiar, TCA?)

Why Not Me? hits shelves Sept. 29 via Crown; Archetype.

Read more of Kaling's essay here.

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