My boss here at TGON likes to say “if it’s got to do with Mindy Kaling, Hasti is all over it.” My response had always been “LOL” but I’m starting to realize she’s right (she tends to be, cos she’s awesome!)
I wrote about The Mindy Project, Mindy’s movie with Emma Thompson, A Wrinkle In Time, Ocean’s 8, and now Champions.
The new NBC show she co-created with Charlie Grandy (also from TMP) is set to premiere tonight. The first 3 episodes were available for review before the premiere and I’m here to tell you to give this show a shot.
Check out the official synopsis below.
Vince lives with his sweet, naive younger brother, Matthew and is on the verge of secretly selling the gym and moving to Florida when his high school fling, Priya unexpectedly drops off their 15-year-old son, Michael on his doorstep.
Priya decides to move her talented and ambitious theater kid son away from his sheltered life in Cleveland so he could attend a prestigious performing arts school in New York. While she loves her son deeply, she’s delighted at the chance to let Vince and Matthew do the parenting while Michael pursues his dreams. In addition to adjusting to his new home life in the Big Apple, Michael is now a small fish in a big pond and has a lot to overcome before he can make friends and win the EGOT that is his destiny.
Rigid and old school, Vince has virtually nothing in common with his son, and in addition to balancing unruly employees and his sensitive brother’s smothering love, he must now learn to become a dad. Meanwhile, Matthew has always longed for a more complete home life, so when Michael shows up, it fills the nephew-sized hole in his heart and frees him to become the homemaker he was always meant to be.
Other members of the gym family include: trainer Ruby, Vince and Matthew’s oldest friend who often takes advantage of their relationship, but still always has their back; Britney, a yoga instructor/entrepreneur who can occasionally stop pursuing Instagram fame to dispense valuable, yet unsolicited, wisdom; Shabaz, the spin instructor who constantly guilts both staff and gym members into seeing his terrible plays; Dana, the put upon accountant tasked with helping Vince keep the gym afloat; and, finally, Uncle Bud, the lovable, Brooklyn-born, boxing instructor struggling to adapt to the modern era.
The typical style of comedy you’ve come to know from Mindy is very present here, the jokes roll at a crazy speed and are genuinely funny. JJ does an incredible job with Michael, making you fall in love with him instantly and getting you hooked on his story.
Anders Holm & Andy Favreau also have great chemistry and play off each other really well. The rest of the supporting cast is honestly epic. Yassir Lester appears a bit later on but is the perfect addition to the cast. Fortune Feimster also fills the Colette sized hole in my heart with her character, Ruby.
As any MK property, it’s got some rough edges but by the third episode, so many of my Pilot complaints had been addressed and fixed. If NBC gives this show more time, more than a season, it really has the potential to come into it’s own and become such a bigger show and improve upon it’s message.
In the end of the first episode, Vince totally steps up for his son and becomes his biggest cheerleader! Everyone just decides to work together for Michael’s sake and it’s a refreshing take on the absentee father story.
Check out Champions tonight and share your thoughts in the comments below!