This Monday, there is one person I’d like to be above all of the others (and believe me, there are others. Enough to list one per week for a loooong time. Funny how that works out). That person is none other than the girl behind The Office’s Miss Kelly Kapoor, writer/actress Mindy Kaling.
Her real name is Vera Chokalingam, and while I guess that’s not great for the SAG, it’s got an awesomely haughty air to it, and damned if that isn’t a last name right out of some sort of Bangalore-tinged Dickens. I first saw her, as did many folks, on screen for, like, 1.3 minutes in The 40-Year Old Virgin, playing Paul Rudd’s character’s ex-girlfriend during the speed-dating sequence. It was a small part, but she was super hilarious in it, bringing the same air of detached bitchiness that she brings to her work as Kapoor.
On The Office, she’s an absolute riot, particularly in how she plays Kelly’s love life, going back and forth between the wavering affections of temp-turned-corporate-big-shot-turned-temp-again Ryan and awesome-in-a-can warehouse foreman Darrell.
As with many of the supporting roles on The Office, there’s more to her than it would initially seem – Kaling consistently displays an air of desperate tragedy beneath Kelly’s ditziness and superficial behavior, and a less-skilled comic actress (on a less well-written show) wouldn’t convey that nearly as well as Kaling does, if at all. The Office is a much richer viewing experience thanks to her on-screen presence.
What’s more, she co-produces the show and has written some of its funniest episodes, notably Branch Wars (in which the guys don disguises to steal the Utica branch’s copy machine), The Injury (in which Michael burns his foot on his George Foreman grill), and The Dundies, which is one of my all-time favorite episodes, and features the best line regarding God and Chili’s ever to grace the small screen. All that, and she’s one year older than I am. Not bad, Kaling!
As if all that awesomeness weren’t enough, she also has an super great blog called “Things I’ve Bought That I Love.” It’s a riot of a read, and a must-bookmark if you’re looking for some random hilarity to brighten an otherwise dull day. In fact, the title and overall spirit the blog inspired my “Things I Am Loving Today” posts.
So, thanks, Mindy/Vera. This week, I’m going to try to be more like you. To begin with, I’ll explain to as many people as possible the difference between talking trash and talking smack: