Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fox Mid-Season Pilot Review: The Mick - Premieres Sunday (Jan. 1); WLNY Presents The Odd Couple on New Year's Day

The Mick

The Mick - Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT on Fox
Special Premiere Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT


by Vincent

Mackenzie, aka Mickey, is an unapologetic degenerate who suddenly finds herself stuck in affluent Greenwich, CT, raising her spoiled niece and nephews: Sabrina an ambitious, 18-going-on-30-year-old who is a worthy adversary to Mickey; Chip, 13, an arrogant, entitled neo-con-in-the-making with an extremely punchable face; and Ben, an adorably fragile nerd. It's pretty much everything Mickey has never wanted. Regardless, she's determined to rise to the occasion and transform these little monsters into honest, hard-working, decent members of society - something she knows absolutely nothing about.

Cast Details:

Kaitlin Olson as Mackenzie Murphy
Sofia Black D'Ella as Sabrina Pemberton
Thomas Barbusca as Chip Pemberton
Jack Stanton as Ben Pemberton
Carla Jimenez as Alba
Susan Park as Liz

Kaitlin Olson (Mackenzie) is an actress best known for her role as Dee Reynolds on the long-running hit sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She is also known for her role as Destiny in Finding Dory.

Sofia Black D'Elia (Sabrina) is an actress previously known for her role in shows such as Gossip Girl, The Messengers and The Night Of.

Thomas Barbusca (Chip) is a young actor known for his guest spots on shows such as American Horror Story, The League, and Another Period. He will also appear in the upcoming Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time.

Jack Stanton (Ben) is a young actor. The Mick will be his first role in television/film.

Carla Jimenez (Alba) is an actress known for her recurring roles on Raising Hope and Last Man Standing, and for her guest spots on shows such as Community, The Mindy Project, and 2 Broke Girls.

Susan Park (Liz) is an actress best known for her role as Christine on HBO's Vice Principals. She has also appeared in recurring roles on shows such as Fresh Off the Boat, Fargo, and Life in Pieces.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (Airs Sunday, January 1 at 8:00PM)

An unapologetic degenerate moves to affluent Greenwich, CT, to raise the outrageously spoiled kids of her wealthy sister and brother-in-law, who have fled the country to avoid prosecution for illegal activities in the all-new "Pilot" special premiere episode.

"The Grandparents" (Airs Tuesday, January 3 at 8:30PM)

The Pemberton kids learn some lessons in "tough love," when Mickey (Kaitlin Olson) calls in their overly strict grandmother (guest star Concetta Tomei) to discipline them. Meanwhile, Mickey reunites with Jimmy (Scott MacArthur) and brings Alba (Carla Jimenez) the ride.

Analysis:

For nearly 12 years, Kaitlin Olson has quietly been knocking it out of the park on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the funniest member of one of TV's funniest ensembles. The Mick feels like a very deliberate attempt to take her talents and deliver them to a broader audience in slightly more accessible fashion – and it does a pretty good job of it, as Olson carries most of the show in the four episodes I've watched so far. It's very easy to see The Mick being completely insufferable, given the amount of clich├ęs at work here, from "total mess who winds up having a heart of gold" to "spoiled rich kids learn that money isn't everything." Luckily, the show manages to avoid these pratfalls, mostly thanks to Olson's comic talents, but there are enough well-crafted punchlines and cleverly subverted expectations in these first handful of episodes that I'm willing to have some faith there's more here beyond just a really solid lead performance. The kids are surprisingly well-developed by the end of the fourth episode, managing to go slightly beyond their textbook stereotypes and feel a little more like actual human beings than you might expect from spoiled rich kids in a sitcom. And the show seems to acknowledge that its premise is a little rote, given how many times a potential "teachable moment" is quickly and hilariously botched and ridiculed.

Still, the potential for irritation isn't completely absent from The Mick – there are several moments that feel like they're trying a bit too hard to be "network TV edgy," such as an unnecessary plot where Mickey drugs Alba (the family's housekeeper) that doesn't really add anything to the show other than "hey, we're doing this kind of stuff, isn't that cool?!" There are also a handful of moments where Mickey's neglect of the children she's been tasked with caring cross the line into genuinely disturbing, which would be fine if The Mick was able to go as dark with its humor as Olson's other series, but its status as a network sitcom revolving around family will likely keep it from going there. The Mick is eventually going to have to sort out exactly what kind of comedy it wants to be, but for now there's enough promise here that I'm willing to stick around for Olson's performance and some solid, well-earned laughs while the rest of the show works itself out.

Conclusion:

The Mick has an incredibly strong lead performance, surprisingly well-developed characters, and some genuinely hilarious jokes and comic set-ups that help it navigate some tonal wonkiness and overly-hasty plotting. The show has some annoying tendencies and sometimes falls into the pattern of "edginess for the sake of edginess," but there is enough to like here that it's worth tuning into, and hopefully it can be given enough time to sort itself out and be the truly great starring vehicle for Kaitlin Olson that it has the potential to be.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • Fox.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • The Mick Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • The Odd Couple

    One of the most beloved comedies in television history will light up the airwaves at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, Sunday, January 1 in New York City, when WLNY-TV (Channels 10/55) presents The Odd Couple marathon from 12 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m (the only break is at 9am for a half-hour for Sunday Mass). The marathon will include 41 episodes from the classic series, culminating with the 1973 "My Strife in Court" episode, featuring Felix attempting to act as his own attorney in court (8:00 p.m.) and the 1975 "Felix Remarries" episode when Felix convinces his ex-wife to remarry him (8:30 p.m.). WLNY's The Odd Couple marathon will also feature the 1973 "The Ides of April" episode where Felix inadvertently gets Oscar called in for an audit from the IRS (3:00 p.m.), 1973's "Let's Make a Deal" episode, where Felix and Oscar appear on a game show in an attempt to win Felix a new bed (5:00 p.m.) and the 1973 "Take My Furniture Please" episode where both Felix and Oscar take turns redecorating their apartment (6:00 p.m.).


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    The Conners - "Hanging in Dorms With Boys and the Secret Life of Men" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Darlene urges Ben to make some male friends as he feels anxious about turning 50. Elsewhere, Mark asks Harris to buy him and his friends beer for their dorm room.

    Abbott Elementary - "Career Day Part 1" / "Career Day Part 2" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
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