SXSW: Running the Show: TV’s New Queen of Comedy

Emmy-nominated writer Mindy Kaling made a trip to SXSW to give a panel about the changing nature of television and its new dynamics.

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A challenge to send a tweet in less than 45 seconds started off the event. No pressure right? Mindy Kaling is awesome. She managed it in a mere 17 seconds with saying “Where am I?” (and was sadly later deleted).

Kaling talked about her presence on social media. For her, Twitter is just for fun and something to be used to tease her writing staff.

The moderator asked the question of the writing process/writers room and creating an episode. Kaling responded with how writers all have creative (and out there) conversations about what’s going on in their lives. What they have been noticing.

“Our writer’s room is very gentle and loving. All the guys would identify as feminists. It isn’t sexist like other writer’s rooms,” Kaling said.

Kaling provided some humorous lines that made the nearly all of the hundreds in attendance laugh.

“I think recycling makes american look poor-Mindy Lahari”-Mindy Kaling

“I always wasn’t one of those sunny, cheerful kids. I was plotting.” Mindy Kaling on wanting to have her own TV show since 8 years old.

Kaling’s The Mindy Project castmates Ike Barinholtz and Adam Pally were alongside in the panel to give commentary.

“My cast doesn’t drug women,” Kaling

“We take drugs with women,” Barinholtz

Moderator: Pet Peeve?

“Moodiness,” Kaling.

“Mindy’s moodiness,” Pally

The panel went into the discussion on the format of the show and how it differs from cable and online streaming counterparts. Kaling acknowledged that the structure for network shows and cable shows is different. Having HBO shows like Nurse Jackie and Shameless in the same categories as network shows doesn’t seem to fit, Kaling said. The shows are different and have vastly different structures, she said.

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Adam Pally added on with how cable and network shows are different because of the episode counts. Cable shows usually have 13 episodes or less while network shows have the usual 22 episodes.

“When you’re only making 12 or six episodes you can say ‘okay let’s follow this character for the season’, you can’t do that with 22 episodes,” Pally said.

The panel did get a tad awkward at the end times when audience members repeatedly asked questions about the racial and gender concerns of the show. The issues were something that Kaling subtly dropped hints that she didn’t want to focus on those concerns.

Despite the audience repetitive questions, the panel went great. Kaling has proved herself as a book writer, television writer, actress and leading a strong work ethic. Kaling is a jack of many trades and has many great years ahead.

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