The Amazing Adventures Of The Sofa Spudniks

Published: Wednesday December 17, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday December 17, 2014 MYT 9:58:24 AM

TV characters that make the grade

From Mindy Lahiri to Sheldon Cooper, these are characters that we love ... and love to hate.

She is loud, supremely sure of herself (to the point of being self-absorbed most of the time), smart and constantly on the hunt for the perfect man to settle down with. She’s Mindy Lahiri, the titular character on The Mindy Project, a show which I find very entertaining, most of the time.

Yeah, sure, like most shows, there are some episodes that just don’t work and jokes which just seem politically incorrect, but generally, it is a show I watch to unwind. It’s a half-hour of mindless TV which makes me laugh and take a load off my mind.

I find the show really funny and even though I do not share Mindy’s fondness for sequins nor understand her need to constantly be in a romantic relationship, I get her. I am nothing like her, but I get her.

In fact, I’ve met people like Mindy (self-absorbed but well-meaning, loud and obsessed with their love lives) and even in real life, I’m fascinated.

But not everyone feels the same as I recently found out via a friend’s post on Facebook (the place everyone goes to rant).

Some people simply hate The Mindy Project and the fictional character Mindy Lahiri (and by extension, the show’s creator and lead actor, Mindy Kaling). They find her annoying (her voice, in particular) and narcissistic. They feel the show is shallow and not funny at all.

Mindy Lahiri (not to be confused with Kaling, who won many fans when she played Kelly in The Office) is one of those polarising characters on television whom people either love or hate. 

'If I pout and act cutesy while staring at a coffee cup, will people love me more?' Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in Scandal.

Just like Simon Cowell (remember him?) from American Idol of seasons past – you either loathed his self-righteousness or you loved his candour and his intolerance for drama and substandard performances (can you tell that I like him a little?). Like Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) on Scandal. Now that’s a character whom I really dislike. 

I loathe the way she talks, the way she cries, the way she reacts to things, or how she responds to people. I just don’t get why she’s special.

In fact, I find the character quite boring. Take away all the conspiracies of the show and what we’re left with is a plain character.

I mean, when she’s not working or dealing with her messed-up love life, what does she do? When she’s at home … what does she do? She’s such a flat character.

But obviously, not everyone feels like me as Washington has been nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her portrayal on the show.

I suppose that’s the wonder of television – there’s something for everyone and all you can do is hope that your favourite characters win enough support to sustain themselves through a few seasons. — S. Indramalar 

I fear Indra may have been writing about me when she went on about how people in real life are self-absorbed but well-meaning, loud and obsessed with their love lives. Hmm. But real life shouldn’t distract us from the matter at hand – television’s anti-heroes, or the characters who push the envelope so far, you’re undecided if you still like them or not.

The characters I have picked out, I secretly like, but there are days when they get so obnoxious that I have to ask myself why? (Entertainment editor Gordon Kho fears Ann Marie may have been writing about him here.)

Why exactly am I a fan of the likes of Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), Homer Simpson (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons)?

Barney from How I Met Your Mother is not just fickle and feckless, he finds meaning by picking up as many women as he can; he somehow remains best buds with his ensemble cast who he constantly ridicules and derides every chance he gets. 

And he is so pretentious! You might even have to say his vaingloriousness is ... wait for it ... legendary! He’s horrible and yet you’ll find Barney has probably got the largest fanbase of anyone in HIMYM. Go figure.

Homer, the patriarch on cartoon The Simpsons is the bumbling father of a rather dysfunctional family set in the fictitious town of Springfield. While he is a devoted husband and father to his brood, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, Homer’s methods are more than often doused in more than a little madness.

Often found having a pint or two of Duffs at Moe’s Tavern or goofing off as Safety Inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer’s quirks and idioscyncrasies can ocassionally push the wrong buttons. I know, I know he has a huge fanbase too. Even my kids have T-shirts with his mugshot on them.

The Office’s Dwight Kurt Schrute III may be one of the highest-ranking salesmen at Dunder Mifflin, but his oddness is just appalling. And the weird thing is that there are so many people in real life like Dwight that it is almost scary! Notorious for his social ineptitude, Dwight is the type of person you do everything within your power to stay away from.

And last but not least, theoretical physics’ gift to mankind, Sheldon Cooper. The former child prodigy with genius level IQ is almost an aberration to normal human beings – he is cold, narcissistic, weird, has a strange sense of humour, almost no humility and is peculiar in every way you can possibly think of. Yet Sheldon became the most-loved character on The Big Bang Theory.

So, just what is it about unconventional that gets the better of us every time? Ask Simon Cowell, who bucks the trend and gets top marks for doing it every time. — Ann Marie Chandy

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Opinion, Entertainment, The Mindy Project, Scandal, The Simpsons, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Simon Cowell, TV

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Talk to the hand (puppet): Dr Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is loud ... both in her personality and her choice of outfits, which makes for good television. Take that haters

TV characters that make the grade

17 December 2014

From Mindy Lahiri to Sheldon Cooper, these are characters that we love ... and love to hate.

Full house: If you can get past the melodrama, Scandal is replete with conspiracy theories that will set your mind racing.

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A well-devised conspiracy plot can turn a mediocre TV show into a winner.

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The Sofa Spudniks discuss how women are depicted on TV.

Big screen blues: Will the Jem And The Holograms movie retain the magic of the TV series? Right: The Equalizer then and now, Edward Woodward was suave and severe when it came to meting out justice in the 1980s TV series. Denzel Washington has large shoes to fill, and doesn’t quite equalise the same way, at least in the Spudniks’ view.

Why bother adapting TV shows for the big screen?

5 November 2014

The spudniks grumble a little and long for days of yore.

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Our columnists find a whole new wide world of ‘Internetainment’ on the Web.

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24 September 2014

Among other pressing subjects discussed by the water cooler, the Spudniks deliberate if good looks are essential for good TV.

Enjoying time travel, TV style

10 September 2014

Sofa Spudniks: Past, present or future? What floats your … er, TV?

If only some TV characters were real

27 August 2014

The Spudniks take characters out of their favourite shows and bring them to life. Well, kind of.

Television vs Cinema: A battle of the screens

13 August 2014

Has television viewing upped the ante so much that it now surpasses the movie-going experience?

Screen savers: Actors who should do more TV work

30 July 2014

To keep the TV renaissance going, the Spudniks would like to see these folks on the small screen.


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