Mike & Molly

TV Series Review

Everyone already knew you don't need to be skinny to find true love. The question was, when this series premiered in 2010, can a pair of obese lovers find an audience?

The answer is yes. Mike & Molly, yet another CBS sitcom from superproducer Chuck Lorre, has turned into a supersized hit.

The show centers around hefty policeman Mike Biggs and his (after a while) wife, plump teacher Molly Flynn-Biggs. In the beginning, when the two were just dating, their struggles with weight were primary plot points and almost the only joke. In the pilot, for instance, Mike's patrol partner, Carl, suggests attracting Molly with a "taffy apple" and, in a later episode, tells Mike to stick a reminder on his "eating hand" so he'll be sure to see it.

"Always play the fat card, huh?" Mike asks.

"I play the hand I'm dealt," Carl says.

Thanks largely to its likable leads, the sitcom has (mostly) outgrown its unhealthy reliance on fat jokes, some of which were (and still are, when they come up) gently self-deprecating, some downright mean. Melissa McCarthy, who plays sweet-hearted Molly, was the surprise winner of an Emmy in 2011, and both have given added dimension to their one-time flyweight characters.

Mike and Molly feel like real people now—not simply plus-sized mannequins for a one-note nudge-nudge. Audiences are more prone to laugh with them than at them—a key difference from where the show started. They truly love each other and—here's a stunner—work hard at keeping their love alive and marriage magical. And for those of us who sometimes eat that extra piece of pie against our better intentions, the series gives us a couple of characters we can relate to.

Does that mean things have outright improved? Um, no. While Mike & Molly is perhaps Lorre's sweetest, most genuine comedy, that's not saying much for the sitcom generator who gave us the crassfest that is Two and a Half Men.

A short litany of overindulgence: Molly's sister, Victoria, seems perpetually stoned. Peggy, Mike's "born again" mother, may be the rudest, most inappropriate character on the series—a Charlie Harper with a Bible on her nightstand instead of condoms in his drawer. Episodes ravenously consume a steady diet of sexual innuendo, toilet humor, vaguely racist one-liners and faith-demeaning asides.

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Episode Reviews

MikeandMolly: 12-15-2014
MikeandMolly: 2-11-2013
MikeandMolly: 11-21-2011
MikeandMolly: 11-14-2011
MikeandMolly: 10-18-2010



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Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn-Biggs; Billy Gardell as Mike Biggs; Reno Wilson as Carl McMillan; Katy Mixon as Victoria Flynn; Nyambi Nyambi as Samuel; Swoosie Kurtz as Joyce Flynn; Louis Mustillo as Vince; Rondi Reed as Peggy; Cleo King as Grandma; David Anthony Higgins as Harry






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Paul Asay

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