Dec 22, 2011

[TV] Mike & Molly: Season 1

When my sister recommended this series to me, I had some hesitation about this being a show that I'd actually like. But over the years my sister and I have had quite a few areas of overlap in terms of interests, so it was only fair to give Mike & Molly a decent chance.

What I wasn't quite expecting was to be so instantly hooked on the show enough to watch the entire first season straight through over the course of a few days. And I enjoyed pretty much every minute of it.

In hindsight, I feel that a lot of the reason this show works beyond the writing, which is sort of a requirement for any show, is the fact that the lead actors have such amazing chemistry together. I know that seems a tad cliche in terms of any sort of review, but for any movie or TV series that's founded in the concept that there's a romance at the heart of all this, the lack of that chemistry means the death of that show.

The show is pretty self-aware of the fact that it gets to explore the often dangerous areas of jokes about weight, jokes about cops and even jokes about school teachers. But the show manages to balance all this out in a fairly tasteful manner that remains entertaining across a fairly wide demographic.

Mike & Molly is a CBS sitcom created by Mark Roberts. The show is another comedy with Chuck Lorre Productions with Mike Roberts involved in the writing as well.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Actress Melis...
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The show centers around a pair who initially meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting in Chicago Illinois. Mike (Billy Gardell) is a police officer with the Chicago police department who uses humor to deal with a lot of things. On the other hand Molly (Melissa McCarthy) is a nice, intelligent school teacher who finds Mike's speech at the group rather touching and endearing. She then asks him to give a speech for her fourth grade class that she teachers. And thus the friendship begins and things certainly seem promising enough.

Rounding up the cast are their friends and families, who still play a fairly big role in things. First there's Carl (Reno Wilson), Mike's partner at the police department who is quite the womanizer and yet remains single. Plus he still lives with his grandmother (Cleo King). In addition there's Mike's mother, Peggy (Rondi Reed), who is rather surly and with only her dog as a companion. Molly still lives with her mother Joyce (Swoosie Kurtz) and her less intelligent sister Victoria (Katy Mixon).

This first season starts with the two still awkwardly trying to get to know one another. And despite the wonderful on-screen chemistry that the two share, clearly they still have a long way to go to get to a point where they're actually comfortable with one another. And it works really, really well as we can associate with all the little awkward moments that we've all gone through at least once in our lives in an attempt to make some headway with a person we're attracted to.

Beyond the romantic angle to things, both Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy are great comedians who manage their scenes really well. Each have their own brand of humor that they wield with ease in whatever situations that they get involved in. And the character of Carl is quite the spoil for Mike and the two tag-team through a lot of their somewhat mis-adventures time and time again.

Swoosie Kurtz
Swoosie Kurtz (Image via
I have to admit I get a kick out of seeing Swoosie Kurtz again. I was a major Pushing Daisies fan when the show was still alive and she was certainly one of the more memorable characters on the show. She brings the same brand of acerbic and somewhat bitter humor to the show and yet still lighter in comparison to her Pushing Daisies character.

Mike & Molly is a poignant romantic comedy series that has something for everyone to enjoy. The second season is on-going as of the time of this posting and I'm looking forward to finding the time to watch that as well. The series gets 5 quick-witted zingers that Mike hurls at Carl in the course of normal business out of a possible 5.

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