‘The Office’: Mindy Kaling Thought She Might Have to Move Home After Season 1

To say that The Office is a success would be a gross understatement. In the show’s nine-season run, it racked up 44 Emmy nominations and millions of fans. And the love for the show continues today, nearly a decade after it went off the air. The Office is now considered a classic and is constantly being discovered by new audiences thanks to streaming services. But if the show was such a hit, why was Mindy Kaling worried that she might have to move home after the show’s first season?

Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor on The Office
‘The Office’ actor Mindy Kaling | Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

‘The Office’ Season 1 received tons of criticism

It may be hard to believe, but The Office wasn’t an immediate hit. Unlike Abbott Elementary, the mockumentary show took time to find its stride and its audience. In its first season, the show received tons of criticism. In fact, while filming season 1, some of the actors recall being told that every episode would be their last. Fortunately, the show began finding its audience thanks to iTunes and people started expressing love for the show. However, Kaling (who was first hired as a staff writer) can clearly remember the criticism the show received early on.

Mindy Kaling worried that she might have to move home

The Office, which I thought was brilliant and great, like people were just pummeling [it],” Kaling explained when she was a guest on Off Camera. “Luckily, [in] our second season, things turned around. But I remember being like, ‘I hope I don’t have to move home.'”

Continuing on, The Office writer admitted that she wasn’t sure if she’d gotten her one and only big break and managed to blow it. And because season 1 of the show was so short, she didn’t feel she had enough to bolster her resume in case the show was, in fact, canceled. “Yeah, I wasn’t sure,” Kaling explained. “I mean we did six episodes of the first season. So I couldn’t even say that I had done like 13 episodes of a show, I could prove that I was a comedy writer, you know to go staff on another show or something.”

‘The Office’ Season 1 was a very lonely time for Kaling

Fortunately, Kaling wouldn’t face unemployment, and The Office would eventually find success. But even though she was living her dreams, she really struggled during season 1 of the show. Not only was she worried about having to move home, but she also hadn’t yet found her people in Los Angeles. Despite working on a show that she was passionate about, she experienced bouts of loneliness.

“It was very exciting,” Kaling shared about The Office Season 1. “But, I was also like friendless and living in a terrible apartment on Fountain that cost like $800 a month. It was covered in mold…so lonely I remember being terrified and silent for most of the first season.”

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Eventually, Kaling was able to befriend those in the writer’s room. In fact, her fellow writer, B.J. Novak, remains one of her very best friends. Kaling also became more comfortable with voicing her opinions after The Office Season 1. Considering she’s the pen behind some of the best episodes of the show, clearly things worked out for her.