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COMMENTARY

Christina and Mindy among Time's '100 Most Influential'? Really?

April 18, 2013|By Greg Braxton
  • Chris Messina and Mindy Kaling in Fox's "The Mindy Project."
Chris Messina and Mindy Kaling in Fox's "The Mindy Project." (Beth Dubber / Fox )

Perhaps the editors of Time magazine need a refresher on the definition of  "influential."

Some of their choices from the TV arena for the just-released "100 Most Influential People In The World" are clear and spot on. Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad," Lena Dunham of "Girls" and late night's two Jimmys -- Kimmel and Fallon -- have all had a clear impact on show business.

However, a few of their other choices are baffling, to say the least.

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For instance, why are Christina Aguilera and Mindy Kaling on the list?

Aguilera attempted to revive her sagging singing career and erase the memory of her awkward movie debut in "Burlesque" by enlisting as a judge on NBC's "The Voice." The talent competition series is a hit, and, indeed, boosted Aguilera's profile.

However, fellow judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton have been far more prominent, popular and influential than Aguilera, who is currently on hiatus from the series.

The evidence from record sales is clear. While Levine's Maroon 5 and Shelton have hit albums, Aguilera's so-called comeback effort, "Lotus," quickly faded after debuting to lackluster sales. Her planned tour has yet to materialize.

In her Time essay praising Aguilera, Celine Dion wrote that the entertainer "has proved she can sing anything and make it sound incredible: pop, soul, R&B and even country."

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Apparently Dion never saw "Burlesque."

Then there's Kaling, formerly part of "The Office" ensemble and now stars in "The Mindy Project," which she created and produces for Fox. Comedian Ed Helms in his essay for the magazine raves about Kaling, calling her "brilliant, wonderful and hilarious." 

What he doesn't mention is "The Mindy Project," which continues to struggle despite cast changes and revamps. Though the talented Kaling is popular on Twitter and has a loyal fan base, it has not translated to sizable ratings for the show.

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