Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pilot Review: Mike & Molly

Mike & Molly (CBS)
Premiered September 20 at 9:30pm

Ah, the laugh track. For so many years it was a staple of the sitcom, and now that many shows succeed without the assistance of canned laughter, it often feels grating to have the laughs spelled out for viewers. That’s the case for this show that isn’t necessarily unfunny but doesn’t offer a terribly entertaining first half-hour to recommend itself. The premise is simple enough and the jokes try to stay true to that by generally being as obvious and generic as possible. It’s frustrating because there are definitely some talented people in the cast, most notably Melissa McCarthy, formerly of “Samantha Who?” and “Gilmore Girls,” as fourth-grade teacher and Overeaters Anonymous attendee Molly and Katy Mixon, who played dumb like no other on the first season of “Eastbound & Down,” as her sister Victoria. I’m not as convinced of the skills of main actor Billy Gardell, whose resume includes “My Name is Earl” and “Yes, Dear.” Reno Wilson is certainly trying his darndest to fill the role of the loud-mouthed sidekick, and Nyambi Nyambi seems to be an attempt to mimic the role of the limo driver on “How I Met Your Mother” but with considerable less success (and a much bigger headache). This show has the potential to be endearing, yet the emphasis right now is placed solely on making fat jokes. There’s little else to say about the pilot other than that it could do better, and I don’t think I’m really interested either way.

How will it work as a series? Well, they’ve already met and sort of begun a relationship, so now there will have to be trials and tribulations for the couple as they face the challenges of intimacy and eating healthily. More fat jokes are sure to ensue, and I’m honestly not sure what else. This does seem like a fairly limited premise in terms of how far the show can actually go as it progresses.
How long will it last? Nestled in CBS’ successful Monday night comedy block, the show should do okay. “Rules of Engagement” has somehow hung on this long. I actually can’t decide whether this show will go the route of “Accidentally on Purpose” (an inferior show, for the record) and up and disappear after a season or whether it will find a home on Monday nights. I would guess that it won’t be going anywhere at least until the end of the season.

Pilot grade: C-

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