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Is 'Mike and Molly' One Long Fat Joke? - TCA Report

by Laura Prudom, posted Jul 28th 2010 5:35PM
Mike and Molly - TCA
If the questions from the assembled television critics in the 'Mike & Molly' TCA panel were any indication, the press at large seem to view CBS's new comedy, which follows two overweight singles who meet at Overweight Anonymous and begin dating, as a prolonged fat joke masquerading as a rom-com.

Thankfully, creator Mark Roberts and executive producer Chuck Lorre were on hand to dispel that notion. "This isn't a show about weight," Lorre insisted. "It's about real people with real issues trying to have a relationship -- [I know] TV would have cast Chris O'Donnell and Courtney Cox as two members of Overeaters Anonymous ... but [Mike and Molly] are just people trying to make their lives better and find love."

Despite this early clarification, the assembled journalists were like a dog with a bone, continuing to prod stars Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell on their weight.

Gardell heroically introduced some much-needed levity to the proceedings, admitting, "I broke a chair before I came out here." At some nervous titters from the audience, he insisted, "I'm not kidding, I'm heavy; you can laugh -- I've caught a mirror."

McCarthy said, "I think it's good to have something more realistic so people aren't striving for perfection -- no one is perfect apart from a small set in Hollywood."

Reinforcing the romantic aspect of the series, Gardell insisted, "This is a love story; this is a show people can look at and go 'I look like that,' or 'I look better than that,' not 'I'll never look like that'."

The relatability of the show was a big draw for creator Roberts: "I didn't set out to write a show about Overeaters Anonymous, I wanted to write a show about two people at the beginning of a relationship," he explained. "It's a show about people with problems; I wanted to do a show like this to get real people on TV. Most stuff on TV seems really unrealistic -- their apartments are really nice. I don't buy any of their problems."

Mike & MollyTo stick to the realistic theme of the series, McCarthy admitted that even Molly's wardrobe would reflect real life; she's a teacher, so all her costumes will be comfortable and suitable for being chalk-stained. "We're keeping it realistic to her budget -- there won't be a joke about a teacher's pay and then have her walk out with a Marc Jacobs bag," she promised.

Despite the elephant in the room, the cast were in fine spirits and happy to face the "Apple-sponsored firing squad," as Roberts titled the assembled journalists. It seemed as though McCarthy and Gardell were just excited to be bringing a new, more positive body image to primetime TV.

"These men are incredibly gracious to put someone who's not normal-looking in the middle of the show," Gardell enthused. "If you look like me, you're usually either the bad guy, the cop or the neighbor. I'm humbled to be at this weight and this age in Hollywood and to be on a show of this caliber with this team."

McCarthy agreed, saying "I got hit with the lucky stick, but why not? I don't have three heads! The show's not about weight for me either; I thought it was such a lovely relationship with Billy and my character's family. I love that it didn't have any snarky quality to it, but was still very funny and lovely."

Lorre added, "If we're still talking about [weight] by episode 6, then we have problems, because it's not an issue to hang a series on. They go to Overeaters Anonymous because they're on a journey, they want to make a change in their lives. I think that speaks to a lot of people who want to change the status quo in their own lives."

With a cast this charming and a creative team this knowledgeable, we have a feeling that we'll have far more to talk about than weight come episode 6.

Will you be watching 'Mike and Molly' this Fall?

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michael jenkins

well i say i wont see this show i will turn the tv i don't like seeing big its on TV she should not talk about people being fat has she looked at herself or mike ever not even that but she is ugly you can fix the fat part but she will never be able to fix that face please let me no what u think on facebook michael jenkins

October 27 2010 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patty P

OH MY GOODNESS!!! This show is sure to not make it on tv... and do you want to know why...MY HUSBAND & I LOVE IT!! And when we like shows like this they never make it. BUT PLEASE..... KEEP IT ON THE AIR. My husband and I are both over weight and I can say that it is WONDERFUL!!! I have not laughed so much and hard as I did with this last weeks show. KEEP 'EM COMING!! It is a great show.

September 28 2010 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

DO NOT COMPARE this show to Roseanne. That was about a family with hard times. This show has other people making fun of overweight people. Its wrong no matter how you look at it. If you have EVER been overweight you know that people treat you differently. And its really a show about having tables fall underneath people - making fun of their sizes...What is this teaching our kids and teens? I am sure there are kids and teens that are going to be watching this show. And as to insulting each other on here - Don't even do it - your just stooping to this stupid show's writers level. I pray this show ends. I am sorry for the actors losing their jobs. Because I see their side of it - trying to make it in Hollywood when your obese...But please don't compare this show to Roseanne...That show was about hard times and the comedy was written so well in Roseanne. This is like slapstick humor. A little joke here and there. Its wrong. Plain wrong.

September 24 2010 at 4:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am part way through watching "MIKE AND MOLLY" or whatever that new show is called and its ticking me off - ALL THE FAT JOKES...Its not what should be out there for people to watch. Its offensive. Over half the population is overweight - and they are teaching people to make fun of overweight people instead of helping them?? Oh I am ticked off. They are stereotyping people in all the jokes and the undertones are just offensive. I was looking forward to this show - but its just going to make people think its ok to make fun of people. Oh I am mad.

September 23 2010 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I saw the pilot. It's a hilarious show and I can't wait to see more!!!!!!!!!!

August 01 2010 at 3:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kathy B

If you don't find it funny to laugh at anorexic's or people with bulimia, why is it ok to laugh at the "other" eating disorder of obesity?

August 01 2010 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, I will probably give the show a try. It could be wonderful. Oh, and pat breen - maybe you should read the part where they meet at Overeaters Annon and are attempting to actually correct the weight issue. It will be showing people whom are over weight attempting to be proactive in taking control of that problem apparently. I guess you only read the parts you wanted to. I've struggled with my weight my whole life, and I have to say joining OA was a huge step in finally attaining, and KEEPING, a healthy weight. If the show can, at the very least, allow people to know that programs like that exist - maybe its a good thing.

August 01 2010 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pat breen

No...i would not even bother watching this show.i don't want to glorify being obese...especially with so many of our kids so overweight. more importantly,where's the relatability for people that are not overweight.(a large part of the audience)We're supposed to sympathize?...while a majority of people do everything they can to maintain a healthy weight? Show's in poor taste

August 01 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone remember Roseanne Barr and John Goodman?
So what has size got to do with it?

July 31 2010 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So why are you "wasting" OUR time with your comment...just don't watch the show

July 31 2010 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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