Review: The Mick

“it’s an entertaining chunk of television”

The Mick’s special premiere took place Sunday night, immediately after some football game went down. Assuming the viewer would forget to watch this new show later in the week, the network felt the need to give us the first episode now, on January 1st, when we’re all likely to be sitting around nursing a hangover anyway. Most of the jokes in episode one are what you’ve already seen on the previews that flooded FOX and FXX, but I’d say it’s still worth watching.

Kaitlin Olson’s Mackenzie is a pretty cliché character, but a likeable one at least. She enters the viewer’s TV set as a hot mess, no structure in her life, running through a grocery store stuffing her face and baby powdering her vagina before grabbing a beer from a paying customer on her way out. From a chat with her boyfriend in the car, we learn her sister married rich (and was apparently a stripper?), lives in a mansion and hosts an annual party. Mackenzie’s appearance at the party shocks her sister, who is clearly embarrassed by her.

So if you haven’t heard of The Mick until now, the FBI crashes the party and arrests Mackenzie’s sister and husband. Suddenly, her sister needs Mackenzie around to watch the kids “for the night”. Obviously, the kids’ parents flee the country and Mackenzie is left to be their guardian until whatever crap they’re in blows over. After all, that is the whole point of this series.

The kids: Chip, the middle child, is the future politician (“We’ll throw money at the situation to make it go away,” he later tells his younger brother). Then there’s the rebel teen activist, Sabrina, who calls out Mackenzie for being estranged and disarrayed, and is clearly going to be her antagonist in the series (the two almost make amends over absinthe. I wouldn’t be surprised to see encouragement of underage drinking on the FOX network, but the twist here sets the scene leads to the role these two will play against each other). And of course, the young, darling child Ben who will be Mackenzie’s buddy. Mackenzie also has an ally with the family’s maid, Alba. She may be the best character on this show so far.

Kaitlin Olson’s character is much like the one she plays on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There’s more heart here though, not necessarily evident at first….but it’s there. The writers/producers, John Chernin and Dave Chernin (also of Sunny), were inspired by the FOX sitcoms they watched growing up. You know the ones- families who fight, brothers and sisters who pull harmless jokes on one another, yet at the end of the day they were there for you. This is what they set out to create with The Mick. So for nostalgia purposes, this show works well.

It’s likely they had Olson in mind when creating this show, and she’s great here. But it doesn’t seem to make sense that The Mick premieres in January, as does Sunny. Both are mid-seasons, and Olson is an actress I’d prefer to see year round. If it gets picked up, maybe FOX can move the show to a Fall time slot.

Either way, it’s an entertaining chunk of television. Though mostly predictable, and not the most original premise for a show, it pairs nicely with FOX’s other half-hour comedies. There’s nothing to think about here, no allegories or plot twists. It’s just slapstick and dirty jokes. What’s wrong with more of that in our lives?

The Mick will begin to appear regularly between New Girl and Bones on Tuesday nights, starting on January 3rd.

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