This new Chuck Lorre produced multi-camera is probably better than you expect. It’s also exactly two-points worse than anyone could expect. Two and a Half Men is about awful human beings, The Big Bang Theory still keeps a level of distance from the audience and the characters but Mike and Molly attempts to get the audience familiar with the beats of these guys, who they are and the general life they live. This may have something to do with Lorre’s lesser involvement (he hasn’t got a creator credit, anyway), but it also means that the creator, Mark Roberts, does indeed have an idea of what type of show he wants this to be — even if he’s a former Two Men writer.
Technically speaking, it accomplishes a lot in its pilot and continues that trend in a normal romantic comedy fashion. The main issue with Mike and Molly is the simple fact the jokes are really, really unfunny. As subjective as humour comes, this is seriously predictable stuff. The occasional gag about the stars weight might come across as realistic, but when you don’t just have Mike mocking himself, we have everyone else reinforcing these truly terrible jokes — I say jokes, but really, there’s one gag done to death in this; how “pathetic” Mike’s life is – its genuinely boring to watch. We learn he gets hookers, is hilariously recommended Russian brides and is teased consistently about his over-eating. Or do we? Are these jokes or exposition? The acting and delivery of these lines are possibility the best thing about it. Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy absolutely nail their characters. These people do in fact seem real. They have lives, ambitions and worlds to themselves – just the only problem being the fact that almost everything everyone says, no matter how smiley, is a pun or back-slap about their weight. It’s the equivalent of a speaking disorder, its natural for these characters to end every sentence with a fat joke, and that may be okay in some respects; it would make it an unwatchable show. Simple.
Except its not, this show is a little bit watchable. Very much so, due to the charming leads (and supporting cast) plus the writing before the fat joke. It could easily fit into an hour-long dramedy without them and the laugh track.
Mike & Molly is a show that’s worth knowing, experiencing but definitely not focusing on. It might be okay to spend 20 minutes a week with their company in hopes of an eventual change in it, but not one that really should be watched with any intent.