One of the advantages of again working at a place with another TV critic is that I don’t have to feel compelled to review everything during an insane week like this one, and particularly when the other critic and I would basically say the same thing.
Over the summer, Fienberg did early not-quite-reviews of the original versions of the network pilots, and his take on CBS’ “Mike & Molly” is pretty much the exact thought I had while watching both the original version and the final cut (which is basically the same) that’s airing tonight at 9:30. Specifically, I co-sign this part:
There are two pilots at war in the single pilot for “Mike & Molly.” One is a character-driven story about two people falling in love. In that pilot, the two characters meet at Overeaters Anonymous and their struggles with their weight are definitely linked to nearly every punchline. The second is a story about two fat people in love. In that pilot, tables keep collapsing or being overturned and staircases turn out not to be wide enough.
(Dan posted a more in-depth final review last night, but the sentiment as expressed in the original post was easier to excerpt.)
As I’ve said repeatedly about “Big Bang Theory” (and as Dan talks about at length in the longer review), Chuck Lorre and his writers can never seem to decide whether they’re laughing with or at their characters. When they decide on “with,” they can be both very funny and unexpectedly sweet. When they instead choose “at” (think virtually any “BBT” plot involving Wolowitz), it’s heinous. The good parts of “Mike & Molly” are just good enough that I’ll give them a few weeks to see if they can settle on a take.
Feel free to comment here after the pilot airs tonight.