Mike & Molly is a new half hour sitcom on Monday nights. It's the story of an "obese" man and woman who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group, hit it off and begin dating.
It stars comedic actress Melissa McCarthy as Molly and Billy Gardell as Mike. I've never seen Gardell before (not that he hasn't been around) but I've fell in love with McCarthy in such television shows as Samantha Who and Gilmore Girls (and most recently in the movies, Life as We Know It and The Back-Up Plan). I have a crush on her -- she's incredibly cute and she's funny. The supporting cast includes veteran actress Swoosie Kurtz as her mom, Katy Mixon as her sister, Reno Wilson as Mike's best friend and partner (they are police officers), and Nyambi Nyambi as a waiter at the boy's favorite eatery (he's also been a scene stealer on a number of occasions).
The show contains the expected fat jokes but they have been pretty mild. I haven't felt insulted in the least by them and I don't feel like it is the focus of the show. The weight can't be ignored after all but Mike and Molly also highlights some of the real trials and tribulations that couples of all sizes experience when starting a new relationship: nervousness of first date, first kiss, first time having sex together, introduction to family (and friends), and just getting to know one another. We all have insecurities and to share them in a relationship can be hilarity in itself. At least in hindsight.
There has been much criticism of the show from encouraging obesity, which I think is downright ridiculous but if the fat acceptance groups can say skinny images harm young people I guess the same can be held true of fat images, to a Marie Claire blogger complaining about having fat people kiss (or allude to having sex) on television. Really? I mean really? Of all the stuff that appears on television people are finding two fat people kissing as an offensive point to note? And to do it vehemently.
Mike & Molly is not my favorite sitcom on television and I really don't think it will stand the test of time like Roseanne and Dan did for nine seasons but that being said, I'm going to continue to watch it for the occasional laugh which it does have and take the occasional minor cringe (fat joke) along with it. I want this show to do well and I want the actors to do well, if only for the reason that it gives us some realistic images of fat people trying to get through life like the rest of the world. It's been over twenty years since Roseanne and Dan have made out on television. Mike & Molly has been a long time coming.