Quick Take: Mike & Molly, "Goin' Fishin'"
"You sunk a boat?" - Molly
Review: Mike & Molly, "Goin' Fishin'"
(S0201) It's full disclosure time, people: I have to admit that prior to last night I'd never seen a single second of CBS' award-winning sitcom Mike & Molly (other than commercials, of course). It isn't because I thought I wouldn't enjoy it -- although I suspect that is part of the reason why I avoided the show. The main reason I had never seen the Mike & Molly is because I knew for certain that I wasn't a good enough person to enjoy it. I'm immature; I knew that instead of focusing on the characters or the plot, I would be constantly thinking about fat jokes.
And I was right. For the entire episode, I pretended I was auditioning for a writing gig on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and my only responsibility would be to write zingers to be directed at the Fat Mac character. And it wasn't just me. My girlfriend got in on the act, as well. Before the first commercial break she dropped this gem: "Why would they even put this show on the air? It's just advocating diabetes." We're horrible people, I know.
So was Mike & Molly's second season premiere, "Goin' Fishin,'" good? Honestly, I don't know. Is watching a girl's high school basketball game "good"? Is going to an open mic night at suburban comedy club "good"? I guess it depends on your definition of good. If by "good" you mean "quality television", I would have to say, “Not really." If by "good" you mean "enjoyable," then the answer is a resounding yes -- only probably not in the way the producers of the show intended. Although, is it ever good to laugh “at” someone, rather than “with” them?
The strange thing about Mike & Molly is this: no matter how juvenile the jokes you make from the comfort of your couch, the situations the writers of the show concoct for the titular characters are many times more cruel. Again, I've only seen one episode, but I get the impression that writers just sit around a table and think of the most stereotypical "fat gags" they can think of. "Hey guys, wouldn't it be funny if Molly (Melissa McCarthy) went to a yoga class and struggled to get her massive body into the downward dog pose?" "Yeah, that would be awesome! What about this? What if we have Mike (Billy Gardell) go on a fishing trip with his buddies, but he's so fat that he tips over the fishing boat?" "Yes!!!!! We are comedy geniuses!"
If I were a morbidly obese person, I think I would appreciate a clever, lovingly self-aware joke about weight problems more than a childish sight-gag of a fat chick in yoga pants or a big guy falling out of a boat. But that's just me. And like I said, I'm an awful person.