NEW YORK – Mindy Kaling’s new series ‘Champions’ is set to premiere on Thursday, March 8 on NBC and it is already impressing audiences, according to the Huston Chronicle.
Kaling is not a main character in the series but guest stars as Priya Patel, the high school girlfriend of Vince (Anders Holm), who owns a Brooklyn gym with his brother, Matthew (Andy Favreau) and are planning to sell the gym they inherited from their father and relocate to Florida.
But one day, Priya shows up at the gym with Michael (J.J. Totah), she and Vince’s 15-year-old gay son, as he needs a place to live in New York so can attend a high school for performers.
According to a Community Voices report, Michael initially worries that his new caretakers will be uncomfortable with the fact that he is gay, but they’re actually not and Vince even tells him “we dream of becoming a gay gym because women and straight guys are pigs.”
From then on, Totah steals the show with his witty retorts as the writers have given him dialogue that the Huston Chronicle said “Bruce Vilanch could have written for Bette Midler and Totah tosses it off with hilarious and lovable ease.”
The “oh, snap!” dialogue also comes up every now and then for Michael who even tells his dad that he “looks like an abusive boyfriend in a Lifetime movie.”
On the other hand, Michael is nervous about his new life and worried about how his audition to get into Manhattan Academy will go.
So even if he seems like a witty kid, he’s basically just a normal one who has to explain his moods and other situations by referencing scenes from “Les Miz.”
Kaling has co-created ‘Champions’ with Charlie Grandy who told Metro News: “I’ve been working with Mindy for a long time, on 5 projects, and she said to me, ‘I have this rough idea about a half Indian gay teenager moving from Cleveland to New York to pursue his Broadway dreams. Does that sound interesting to you?’ And immediately I said, ‘Yeah.’ I have to admit I would have said yes whatever, because it was Mindy. But that idea specifically felt very timely and interesting.”