Sorry, ‘Office’ Fans — Mindy Kaling Says ‘Never Have I Ever’ Is the Highlight of Her Career

Said Kaling, ‘Never Have I Ever... loved a creative experience more than this’
Sorry, ‘Office’ Fans — Mindy Kaling Says ‘Never Have I Ever’ Is the Highlight of Her Career

For most people, writing more episodes of an iconic, genre-defining TV show than anyone else on the staff would be the highlight of their careers. Mindy Kaling is not most people.

Kaling was The Office’s most prolific writer, and series creator Greg Daniels called her “the best writer on our staff” — unsurprising, seeing as she was the most accredited of the bunch with a whopping 22 episodes to her name. However, Kaling favors her post-Office showrunning career more than her time on someone else’s staff, and as the fourth season of the Kaling co-created coming-of-age dramedy Never Have I Ever premiered on Thursday, Kaling made her feelings quite clear on what she considers to be her magnum opus.

Yesterday, Kaling posted a picture of the Never Have I Ever team to celebrate the premiere (which Kaling did not attend in solidarity with the writers’ strike) and explained how the show is the most personal and impactful experience of her working life — and that includes meeting Ryan.

“When (co-creator Lang Fisher) and I created a show about an Indian girl making her way through high school, grieving the loss of her father but trying to be cool and normal, we wanted to make something personal that the two of us would want to watch,” Kaling explained. As she said, Never Have I Ever is, in part, an exploration of Kaling and Fisher’s own grief as it tells the story of a 15-year-old Indian girl growing up in suburban Los Angeles who deals with the sudden loss of her father. Kaling says that she and her writing partner created the show, in part, “to feel better about missing our dead parents and shine a light on the experience of being headstrong nerds in high school.” 

Immediately following Kaling’s departure from The Office, she set to work making six seasons of the critically acclaimed romantic comedy series The Mindy Project, starring herself as a self-titled character loosely inspired by her mother, who passed away in 2012. Through Never Have I Ever, Kaling and her crew have explored the depths of loss in the most deeply personal work she has ever made. 

In regards to the reaction Kaling has received for Never Have I Ever, she said, “The outpouring of love for the show has been the highlight of my career,” explaining, “It’s so meaningful when someone comes up to me at the airport or CVS or wherever and tells me that they watch the show and feel seen.”

Well, Mindy, plenty of us felt seen when Kelly Kapoor told the world, “I think sometimes people are really mean to the hot, popular girl."

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