She’s approachable; she’s not a stick figure; moreover, as her show’s one other writer-performer, Ike Barinholtz, formerly the Russian pitcher on Eastbound & Down, puts it, “She can definitely do very highbrow, but she’s not past making a boner joke. I feel like one of the first things you notice about her is like, ‘Whoa! You’re like Will Ferrell or Danny McBride, but you’re this cute little Indian girl wearing cute little red short-shorts.’” Both the mainstream and the marginalized can identify with her; by defying easy categorization, she’s become the contemporary Everywoman, both a Mary and a Rhoda.
In advance of The Mindy Project, Jada Yuan profiles the excellent Mindy Kaling for New York magazine. It's great. (The Mindy Project premieres September 25 on Fox, although the full pilot is currently on Hulu.)