Classy Christmas Q&A with Mindy Kaling

Corrine: I have a two-part question: a) are you or one of the other writers a fan of iCarly? and b) what made you choose Freddie (the friend with the camera) as the part Darryl would enjoy the most? Loved the random humor of that!

Mindy: Thank God for the Dads on the show. I have not seen iCarly. That was a pitch of some brilliant Dad writer.

B.J. however pitched the unaired last line of that Darryl Talking Head, which got cut for time, which broke my heart. The line was supposed to go: “That kid with the video camera? He’s got a nice way of talking. (then, dead serious) The Suite Life I cannot do.”

Meg: I was just curious why you decided to have Dwight be pretty mean in this episode, compared to the last episode where we actually saw him be compassionate?

Mindy: Dwight is a complicated character, and he and Jim are not friends.

Greg told us first season that he never wanted it to be some situation where Dwight evolved into “the best man at Jim’s wedding” or something, which I think is really smart. I think a lot of sitcoms make enemies into best friends through some crappy sitcom feel-good formula.

It was actually the exception that Dwight showed that compassion to Pam, which is why the moment in China was so sweet, I thought. I also like to believe that Dwight has a soft spot for Pam, which he does not have for pretty much anyone else in the office.

Receptionitis13: Looking at some of the other episodes you’ve written, it seems like you often portray Jim as bumbling or ineffectual. Do you prefer that version of him to the clever guy who usually gets the best of Dwight? What was your reasoning for the way this episode ended?

Mindy: Jim gets to be the voice of the audience so much of the time in the show, and in many ways the one we identify with. He’s funny and handsome and smart and kind and patient etc.

But we wouldn’t really appreciate that as much if he didn’t also show that he has flaws. He’s not perfect. By the way, perfect isn’t always nearly as fun to play or watch as flawed. I love seeing Jim off-guard or surprised.

It also made the scene where he gave Pam the diamond bracelet resonate more, I think.

Ruben: We found out in this episode that the “Scranton Strangler” is facing trial. He’s come up in several episodes and I was wondering what his backstory is. Would you please share it? :)

Mindy: The Scranton Strangler is one of the most pitched things in the writers room. I bet if you compiled all the notes, we would have an epic and terrifying mini-series on our hands.

What started out as a joke has now become an important runner for the season that I promise we will not drop.

DomSMC: What did Jim give Pam? Was it just a bracelet – maybe an expensive one – she probably hasn’t gotten many expensive presents from Jim? Or was there something more to it that made her well-up?

Mindy: I felt like, look, Jim had a great year. In a year, his girlfriend became his wife and a mother. They were taking on more traditional roles, and this seemed like a charming and more traditional gift.

Also, I love jewelry. Who doesn’t? I like that Jim can be creative and clever but also knows when it’s appropriate to just drop some cash and get a grown-up gift.

14 comments

  1. Awesome. Thanks Mindy & Team! Great to have a question answered.

    “I like streaks of blood on the young good-looking actors.” Hilarious as always!

  2. ‘The stage direction was “he whips around like a dramatic hamster.”‘

    I was actually hearing the music in my head when Dwight did that montage! Mindy Kaling is so funny, it’s actually ridiculous.

  3. This was great! Thanks Mindy! Really hoping that this is not your last season. Love your acting and Kelly, but your writing is superb.

  4. Thanks so much for the Q & A, Mindy and peeps! And thanks, Tanster, for asking about the reindeer sweater, which I forgot to do. So sad it can’t be mine! :(

    [from tanster: i know, i was so bummed to hear that answer, too. :( ]

  5. Of course she’s right Jim and Dwight aren’t friends, and i would never want them to become friends. But there has been many subtle hints of something, maybe not friendship, just a strange kind of bond that’s developed over time between them, throughout the show.

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