So Tell Me About Mike & Molly: A Movieline Premiere Week FAQ
The losses of King of Queens and According to Jim may have left you with a yearning in the pit of your stomach for a reliable, middle of the road sitcom and tonight, CBS tries to sate that hunger with Mike & Molly. The new project from Chuck Lorre premieres at 9:30 and promises all of the ingredients paramount to a working class comedy: blue collar comic actors (lead Billy Gardell hails from Pittsburgh), all-American settings (police station, school, diner) and familiar concerns that the middle class understands and finds hilarious ("That sandwich is a suicide with meatballs as bullets!"). Will those elements yield a new classic tonight -- or just a retread of a tired genre full of tired Americans? Proceed to Movieline's Premiere Week FAQ to find out.
What is Mike & Molly?
A CBS sitcom about an overweight police officer and an overweight teacher who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group and fall in love. This will mark Chuck Lorre's (The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men) third sitcom presently on CBS.
Who are the leads?
Melissa McCarthy is recognizable from her roles as lovable ditz Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls and Dena on Samantha Who?. (And -- fun fact -- the actress is Jenny McCarthy's cousin.) Billy Gardell is a Steel City-born comic who has had roles in Bad Santa, You, Me, and Dupree and My Name is Earl.
This sounds pretty blue collar. Is it more or less blue collar than Roseanne?
Well, Mike is an overweight police officer with a heart of gold. Molly is an overweight elementary school teacher with a dysfunctional family who taunts her while she is working out on the elliptical. Everyone lives in Chicago and frequents a diner that makes one helluva meatball hoagie. You do the math.
Will this disprove the theory that fat people have great personalities?
Will this show be offensive to overweight people?
Not at all -- unless you consider gags about hefty people breaking furniture offensive.
I need some new fat jokes. Will I hear any original material that I can recycle at work?
Sure. Take a cue from Mike's quippy best friend (Reno Wilson) and tell your friend/co-worker/loved one that you love to emotionally abuse "Sweet Jesus. It's like I'm hugging a futon!" the next time you embrace him/her. They'll love it.
Who are the skinny broads in the series?
Emmy Award-winning actress and Movieline friend Swoosie Kurtz plays Molly's mother and Eastbound & Down's Katy Mixon plays Molly's sister. Both women are thin and do not understand what it is like to have weight insecurities.
Because of the series subject matter, will I have to sit through 10 minutes worth of weight loss-related ads during the commercial breaks?
I hope not.
What are the chances that Mike & Molly will crossover with Big Bang or Two and a Half Men?
Well, unless Charlie Harper is sent to Molly's fourth grade classroom to glean inspiration for a new working class-inspired children's album -- or Sheldon Cooper is dispatched to Chicagoland to do field research for a special episode called "The Spare Tire Saturation" (alternate title: "The Chub Conundrum"), no. But we can dream.
Will Mike and Molly actually lose weight during the course of the show?
EP Chuck Lorre confirmed at this summer's TCA tour that they won't. The weight loss concern and Overeaters Anonymous meetings really just serve as a backdrop for the series and a meet-cute.
Will Chuck Lorre write vanity cards for the new series?
If he has time. Fingers crossed he does.
Is the pilot worth my time?
Unless you are a sucker for absolutely any kind of feel-good programming, no. But that doesn't mean that the show can't improve this season. Have faith, middle Americans.