Mike and Molly

I realise I'm supposed to see beyond the overweight jokes in this new sitcom, but gosh they just keep making them....

I realise I’m supposed to see beyond the overweight jokes in this new sitcom, but gosh they just keep making them….

Hot on the heels of $#*! My Dad Says Nine is launching US sitcom Mike and Molly. This one isn’t created by Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) but he is the Executive Producer. So the form of this is another traditional multicam sitcom with loads of laughing Americans.

Michael Biggs (Billy Gardell) is a Chicago cop partnered with wise-cracking Carlton McMillan (Reno Wilson). Despite being perenially single, Michael maintains a healthy sense of humour, if struggling to stick to a healthy diet.

While attending an Overeaters’ Anonymous meeting he meets Molly Flynn (Melissa McCarthy), a sweet, chirpy school teacher, who has a brash, streetwise sister Victoria (Katy Mixon). Molly invites Mike to attend her class and give her students an occupational talk about policing, but she has an ulterior motive: romance.

There’s not much point trying to skate around the weight, or rather the overweight, issues here. It is front and centre of this show, visually and politically. Gags about body size start in the first scene and end in the last, which is not to say that there isn’t a sweetness to the relationship of the leads. If only they didn’t keep coming back to the fat jokes.

Carl: I am not gonna let you blow your diet. You just lost three and a half pounds.
Mike: Oh big deal. My farts weight three and a half pounds.

Carl: God couldn’t bring Molly to the mountain, so he brought the mountain to Molly.
Mike: I’m the mountain, right?
Carl: You’re the freakin’ Himalayas.

Remember, you’re laughing with them not at them.

No doubt we are supposed to be impressed that network television is brave enough to produce a series featuring such Rubenesque characters. But then I am reminded of Roseanne, Lost‘s Hurley, Homer Simpson, Cheers‘ Norm Petersen -heck even The Honeymooners Jackie Gleason was never reduced to so many weight gags.

Also in the cast is Swoosie Kurtz (Pushing Daisies, Huff, American Dad, An Englishman in New York), always an interesting character actress. Kurtz plays Molly’s caustic mother.

James Burrows (Taxi, Cheers, Will and Grace), who directed the pilot of $#*! My Dad Says, also directs the pilot of this comedy. Unlike the Shatner comedy he actually sticks with this project, directing further episodes. That encourages me this this will move beyond constantly returning to weight gags for its comedy and allowi us to warm to its central characters.

Mike and Molly‘s biggest challenge is to illustrate that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, however oversized.  Here’s hoping.

Mike and Molly airs 8:00pm Wednesday on Nine.

22 Responses

  1. I just love watching Mike and Molly….so funny…loved the way they met. Refreshing change from other programs. I couldn’t stop laughing….and I was laughing for ages..and it just kept rolling into another laugh…love this show.

  2. I’ve watched every episode since it began, and I love it. Good writing/scripts are what make hit shows….Mash, Cheers, et al. — and Mike and Molly have that. The people who commented that some of the dialogue is crude, that M&M’s obesity is offensive, that some of the plot lines are tasteless……are these the people who thrive on blood and guts murder shows every week, or can’t wait for the next werewolf epic to arrive, who view cars and people blowing up, cities exploding, …who Are these people? Apparently they are used to such crap shows with predictabe story lines that they don’t recognize quality writing when they see it. If M&M is cancelled (and God, I hope not), then I’ll just turn the TV around to face the wall and get back to reading books again. Books, reading…..remember them?

  3. I sure like Mike and Molly. but the sister can go. I was surprised to have. on February episode, valentine episode, the sister,talked about some guys “rug” being stuck to her “crotch”. How nasty..I will not watch Mike and Molly anymore with that filthy talk…

  4. I just don’t understand how a cop could be so over weight. I haven’t seen any the show – but I’m thinking it’s sending a bad bad message that being so overweight is ok…it’s putting your health at risk.

  5. Swoozie is one of America’s best loved and versatile actresses. She had the lead role for 5 years in Sisters in the 90’s. She may not want a long running series having been there – done that!

  6. I’m with @Craig, the fat jokes are minimal after the first few episodes and this show is fine for a few easy low-key laughs. I find it more watchable than most of the US stuff that is makes prime time network here. (ie: It’s still not a patch on 30 Rock or Parks & Rec)

  7. I have seen the first six episodes and I have to admit I did enjoy them very much and the show just gets better and better. Molly is just such a likable character and her sister and mother often steal the show with their one liners. One of the best episodes deals with the embarrassment Mike feels with taking his clothes off in front of Molly for their first romp – the issue is dealt with so empathetically, with humour and heart – I knew then that this was a show I wanted to watch. I hope it rates well 🙂

  8. Swoosie Kurtz likes going in 1 to 6 episodes of things, perhaps thats all they’ll have her for? The show doen’t interest me at all at the moment. What sort of ratings has it got, say compared to the first few episodes of Big Bang in the USA?

  9. Easily the best comedy I’ve watched in years. When you live with two people with no sense of humour at all, and they’re begging you for copies of the show, you know it’s a winner.

    Just wait til you meet Mike’s mother… every male out there will shudder as she is very, very, very, close to home for most of us.

  10. Take it from someone who has seen the season so far it just keeps getting better, the fat jokes do slow down and it gets to be a very nice show, canned laughter aside.

    This is one of the top rating sitcoms of the season in the US and I hope it does well here.

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