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Mike & Molly 1.01 – Pilot

Fat people working out! Isn't this funny?!


Genre: Relationship Comedy

Grade: D

Verdict: Pass

Too Long, Didn’t Read: Fat jokes. Don’t watch it.

Chuck Lorre is the producer of three CBS sitcoms – Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and now Mike & Molly. Each of these sitcom is based upon shallow humor, consisting of procedural jokes that evolve into recycled, soylent green comedy- “he’s the ladies man!”, “we’re nerds!”. Mike & Molly might be the worst offender yet. Every instance of an attempt at humor revolves around the weight of the two main characters or the occasional marijuana “joke” made by Molly’s sister. While there is the occasional chuckle (occasional is the operative word), it’s so sophomoric and juvenile that you’ll wonder how an audience would find it entertaining.

The premise of Mike & Molly is fairly relationship comedy standard – policeman Mike (My Name is Earl‘s Billy Gardell) meets elementary school teacher Molly (Gilmore Girls‘ Melissa McCarthy) at a OA meeting (for those of you not in the know, that’s Overeaters Anonymous). They’re immediately smitten with each other, with Mike finally asking Molly out on a date.

Simple, right? The real harm is that it’s not funny. It’s not that jokes about ones weight can’t elicit a workable gag, it’s that they’re so poorly written that it’s hard to even smile. While new shows like Raising Hope embraced stereotypes of rednecks and made a mockery of itself, Mike & Molly is too oblivious and simple to realize that their entire pool of one-liners are on a 3rd-grade humor level without any real self-reflective humor. Yes, I still laugh when someone says “poop” or when someone farts, but that kind of humor has a time and a place. When an entire 22-minute sitcom is written with such an immature level of comedy, it gets problematic.

It’s unfortunate too, because the actors involved are obviously talented. Both Gardell and McCarthy have a certain charm to them that makes them undeniably charming. One aspect of the series that bodes well for Mike & Molly‘s future is that sitcoms are a relationship between the script and the actor, more so than any other form of television. Gardell and McCarthy take a terrible script and do the best they can with it. It’s not good, not even mediocre, but it’s not the desolate wasteland of humor it could have been (see: $#*! My Dad Says). Pushing Daisies‘ Swoosie Kurtz also stars in the series. She’s woefully underutilized, especially considering that she’s the most talented and accomplished actor in the show. It’s unfortunate that she has to stoop to staring in such a moronic sitcom after Bryan Fuller’s smart off-kilter dramady, but it pays the bills I suppose. As with cult television shows, Pushing Daisies was a true television classic ended early and Mike & Molly will live without ever becoming a bubble show during its first few years on air.

If you like Two and a Half Men or even The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly might be your thing. Immature humor can be hilarious (my recently favorited YouTube video a monkey peeing in his mouth) but it also should not dominate an entire network sitcom. That’s why we have Spike.


One Response

  1. […] Mike & Molly (CBS – D) Verdict: Pass […]

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