Thursday, September 30, 2010
TBG TV: Mike & Molly
When/Where: CBS – Mondays at 9:30 PM
10-Word Premise: Shockingly, the fat guy's sitcom love interest isn't 110 lbs.
Starring: Stand-up comedian Billy Gardell as the unrealistically obese beat cop – continuing a television tradition that includes Clancy Wiggum from The Simpsons, House from Police Academy – The Series and, of course, the late Big Boss Man. Melissa McCarthy as the plus-size gal with a heart of gold – continuing a television tradition that includes Oprah Winfrey (1985-1987, 1991-1993, 1995, 2007-present), Cass Elliot in those two episodes of Scooby-Doo and, of course, the late Wendie Jo Sperber.
Reno Wilson (the voice of Autobot Bojangles in the last Transformers movie) as Gardell's obligatory buddy cop/black friend. Katy Mixon as McCarthy's dim-witted, pot-smoking "perfect" sister. And, Swoosie Kurtz…who should still be entertaining America on Pushing Daisies, if YOU people hadn't ignored it and forced her into this.
The Best Thang: Gardell's "Mike" and McCarthy's "Molly" have a sweet, awkward chemistry that…works? In the premiere, Mike's pathetic attempts to ask Molly out could've been cribbed from the script of my first two years in college. There were a few clever little sight gags involving an elementary school urinal and the name of a Hall of Fame running back that made me chuckle, while the inappropriate payoff to Mike's "dad" speech in Molly's class was pretty damn funny. I'm as shocked as y'all.
The Worst Thang: This show's going to run out of fat jokes and it's going to happen sooner rather than later. Two overweight people in a stairwell ("OK, one of you has to inhale!") is just…two overweight people in a stairwell, writers. Not surprisingly, the secondary cast members were just broadly-drawn caricatures in the pilot episode.
The Verdict: The premiere episode was surprisingly entertaining. It's not exactly groundbreaking, but the throwback feel to the sitcom structure of my adolescence is actually effective. The actors are plenty likeable and if the writing can catch up, I just might stick around.