A sneak peek at CBS’s Mike and Molly

Note: This review was written by Steve Hatton for Channel Canada’s Fall TV Preview section and may contain some spoilers.

I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to watch the pilot of Mike and Molly. I had never heard of the actors before and I knew very little about what this sitcom was about. Now that I’ve seen the pilot, I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

The show is about two plus size single people, a cop named Mike and an elementary school teacher named Molly who happen to meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. There’s an immediate attraction between the two and the plot of the pilot is about whether or not Mike will find the courage to ask Molly out. The episode also looks at how Molly isn’t getting much support at home, diet-wise, from her sister and her mother.

The characters are likable and quirky. There is nothing cheesy about them. They also seem like real people, the type who could easily be your next door neighbour. Some viewers may find it a refreshing change from the unrealistic, over the top, self-obsessed characters on shows like 90210.

Co-created by Chuck Lorre, who has a pretty solid track record when it comes to sitcoms, Mike and Molly will no doubt pull at viewers heartstrings. However, don’t expect it to be as funny as some of the other hits he has brought us, such as Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. None of the jokes had punch lines that were gut wrenchingly, side-splittingly funny, but that is the only drawback that I can think of.

Besides, given how everybody believes that the television sitcom is dead, the expression “less is more” might apply here. Mike and Molly may be a sitcom, but its charm lies in how simple the concept is and how it doesn’t need to try too hard, because it is about ordinary everyday people. Plus, the comedy is still funny in a way that is consistent throughout the entire episode. There’s isn’t a single moment where I didn’t have a smile on my face.

It is scheduled for Monday nights at 9:30 on CBS and /A\, which normally isn’t a bad time slot, except that it will be on against Dancing with the Stars. Other shows competing in the same time slot include NBC’s new drama The Event, which also looks pretty good, and Fox’s Lone Star.

In spite of all this, Mike and Molly may still do well enough to last the season. I wouldn’t expect killer ratings for it but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. I would definitely recommend that viewers give it a try.

My Rating: Limited success (Might survive a full season)

Starts: Monday, September 20th 9:31/8:31 Central, CBS and /A\

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