It can't be easy writing a comedy about two people meeting in Overeaters Anonymous and falling in love; a show like that is something that takes a skilled writer who is able to take unlikely characters and make them starring love interests, while not always falling back on the easy and horribly obvious fat jokes. Unfortunately, "Mike and Molly" wasn't able to get those writers, and we're left watching as fat jokes were tossed back-and-forth faster than our eyes could roll.
We're introduced to Mike, an overweight cop who would just like to lose a few pounds. He and his partner Carl are hanging out at a diner. Before Mike's 'plain hot dog-no bun', makes it to the table, we've already had about five fat jokes. Mike turns down a night out with his partner scoring uniform-hungry women to attend his Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Carl whines about there being meeting on a Friday, but Mike won't let up; he's already lost three pounds and seems to be feeling good.
When we meet Molly, she's working up a sweat exercising, as her wonderfully oblivious mother Joyce eats chocolate cake on the couch next to her. As Joyce goes on about Molly "Just being big-boned", her pretty blazed sister Victoria joins the cake on the couch for some soul-bonding. With her mother and sister chowing down on the chocolately goodness, Molly is obviously in hell (and mostly likely silently cursing her super skinny family). Being resilient though, she ignores the cake and gets ready for her OA meeting instead. Ooh, who wants to lay bets on where this is going?
Victoria decides to tag along with Molly to OA, but ducks in to the bathroom for a quick toke beforehand. Molly enters the meeting without her, where Mike is already sharing with the group. He talks about losing three pounds and is obviously proud of that fact, before going into the evils of fun-size candy bars. He talks about the sabotaging voice in the back of his head, how he's afraid of ending up alone- Molly is smitten.
After the meeting, Carl shows up, still hoping to entice Mike into a night on the town; Victoria finally shows back up, after chasing down some stale crackers after a bad case of the munchies. She flirts with Carl, Carls flirts with her, Molly asks Mike to come talk to her sixth grade class. Mike agrees, and is oblivious to the fact that he's being hit on. Aww, they're already adorable!
At the school, Mike contemplates asking Molly to the aquarium as he and Carl scare children in the bathroom. It's not as creepy as it sounds. When talking to Molly's classroom, Mike gets barraged with snarky questions from a bunch of nine year-olds. Mike talks about why he wanted to become a police officer, and tells a sweet story about how his dad was a cop. It's all very touching, until he reaches the point where his dad left the force and his family for a prostitute. Way to ruin the moment, writers.
Poor frazzled Molly is the cutest thing ever as she talks to Mike after his speech, but before Mike has a chance to ask her out, she has to run back into her classroom to control her horrible students. Poor Mike.
Over at the diner, Mike's plate is loaded down with two meatball subs and a milkshake. He's obviously committing food suicide after his failed attempt with Molly. Before he has a chance to eat, Carl zooms in to save the day and his diet. They share a moment and a hug, before Carl complains that it's like 'trying to wrap his arms around a futon'.
Back at Overeaters Anonymous, Molly's up and sharing. She talks about her childhood and her dad having to write out checks to the Girl Scouts for 'unaccounted for cookies'. She talks about loving herself regardless of her weight and being happy with who she is, a message the show had been sorely needing.
After share time, Molly runs into Mike, who was listening in the back. He takes her aside and confesses his love… for fish. Mike isn't very smooth, but Molly is still into it. As he finally starts getting the hang of asking for a date, the table that he's leaning on collapses and he breaks his finger. Wow, show- way to smother any positive feelings that we might have gotten from Molly's speech earlier.
Mike's in the squad car feeling pretty hopeless about Molly. Carl suggests Russian Mail Order brides. Mike is not amused. Thankfully, the police scanner interrupts them, but not before Carl suggests moving to Japan, since 'the big man is like a god over there'. The head to the emergency, which is surprisingly at -gasp- Molly's house! They had been robbed, and poor Joyce is heart-broken. The ever-high Victoria is mostly just upset that her 'water pipe' was stolen. Luckily, she's crafty and has an apple.
As he goes through the things that we stolen with Molly, Mike sneaks in a subtle 'will you go out with me?'. Molly is understandably caught off guard. Mike goes on, talking about how much he likes her, all the while still taking notes and being all Police-y. Apparently in cop mode, he's more confident. Luckily, Molly is still as smitten as before, and agrees to go out with him.
Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy are wonderfully sweet and likable as Mike and Molly, and they, along with the majority of the cast (especially the ever-amazing Swoosie Kurtz) are enough to keep us coming back.
Unfortunately, the constant fat jokes are already getting old, and we're really hoping that in later episodes, the show is able to touch on some of the more heart-warming moments, like Molly's speech at OA. We're all for low-brow humor, but "Mike and Molly"'s writers seem to have nothing else to fall back on. If the show can find something to laugh at aside from their title characters' weights, we'll be in it for the long-run.