Mike (Billy Gardell), a police officer, and Molly (Melissa McCarthy), a school teacher do take some time in season one getting their relationship going, but once they do it's enjoyable to watch as their bond grows deeper, depicting a wonderful on-screen couple that feels both genuine and likeable. Not since Paul and Jamie Buchman ("Mad About You") have I invested in the idea that these two people could actually be a real couple, in the real world. McCarthy and Gardell work wonderfully off one another, and the writers focus occasionally on the little things that make couples real.
Reminiscent of late nineties/early 2000 sitcoms, "Mike and Molly" is, at the core, very much your average story of a two people in love and overcoming every day obstacles like moving in together ("Mike in the House") and scrambling to make Valentine's plans ("Valentine's Piggyback"). What takes "Mike and Molly" from average to downright enjoyable comes down to three things, genuine writing, great leads and great supporting characters.
Like several sitcoms of the past (think: "According to Jim" or "King of Queens"), every lead needs a great buddy; or in Molly's case, interesting family members. Molly lives with her mother Joyce (Swoosie Kurtz) and sister Victoria (Katy Mixon). Joyce isn't your typical motherly type, and Victoria is a pothead. They're wonderful countertypes to Molly's schoolteacher persona. Mike's best friend is his partner, Carl (Reno Wilson) who is a nice sounding board for Mike, but who's own relationships and situations create added layer to the plots. While the additional characters and storylines don't compare to the relationship between Mike and Molly, they help balance the show and keep it from becoming one note. At times, it would be nice to have just a bit less of their storylines crowding out the stories for the leads, however, they are not unwelcomed. Kurtz, Mixon and Wilson are all superb choices as supporting characters, and each delivers their own take with just enough charm and edge to keep their characters all the more interesting.
If season one was all about new love, then season two is all about the next step. In season one, Mike asks Molly to marry him. I'm sure you can guess what she says. If you don't know, then don't read any further. After saying yes (I sure hope you didn't read further if you didn't know), the couple start planning their wedding. Season two focuses on what comes after the proposal. It starts off with Molly wanting to plan their wedding, while Mike is set on going fishing ("Goin' Fishin'"). While other typical sitcom fodder ensues when planning a wedding (Mike wants to spend money on a vintage car instead of the wedding, the rehearsal doesn't go quite as planned), the second season does a nice job of balancing between wedding-centric episodes, and regular "Mike and Molly" episodes.
Watching Mike and Molly take the next step towards marriage is great, and makes you wonder what's next for the adorable couple. While the series isn't something new, it has so much heart and genuine writing and performances that one can't help but smile while watching. If you've never seen the series, I'd recommend starting with season one, just to see how the duo met, fell in love, and found their way to the altar.
Season Two Episodes
2-01 26/Sep/11 Goin' Fishin'
2-02 03/Oct/11 Dennis's Birthday
2-03 10/Oct/11 Mike in the House
2-04 17/Oct/11 '57 Chevy Bel Air
2-05 24/Oct/11 Victoria Runs Away
2-06 31/Oct/11 Happy Halloween
2-07 07/Nov/11 Carl Meets A Lady
2-08 14/Nov/11 Peggy Gets A Job
2-09 21/Nov/11 Mike Cheats
2-10 05/Dec/11 Molly Needs a Number
2-11 12/Dec/11 Christmas Break
2-12 02/Jan/12 Carl Has Issues
2-13 16/Jan/12 Victoria Can't Drive
2-14 06/Feb/12 Joyce's Choices
2-15 13/Feb/12 Valentine's Piggyback
2-16 20/Feb/12 Surprise
2-17 27/Feb/12 Mike Likes Lasagna
2-18 19/Mar/12 Peggy Goes To Branson
2-19 09/Apr/12 Molly Can't Lie
2-20 16/Apr/12 The Dress
2-21 30/Apr/12 Bachelor/Bachelorette
2-22 07/May/12 The Rehearsal
2-23 14/May/12 The Wedding
VIDEO: Warner Brothers offers up the series with a crisp, clear 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation that was of digital cable quality. Colors looked bright and well-saturated, while flesh tones looked accurate.
SOUND: Standard sitcom sound - crisp, well-recorded stereo soundtrack with natural-sounding dialogue.
EXTRAS: "Mike and Molly's Wedding Video" - This is a decent featurette that includes interviews with the cast and crew and footage from the season. While not the most informative feature, it's a great addition to the DVD set and recommended for fans.
"Gag Reel" - Fans of the series may enjoy the gag reel that features the cast flubbing lines and more. Good for a laugh.
Final Thoughts: "Mike and Molly" is, at the core, very much your average story of a two people in love and overcoming every day obstacles together. What makes it stand apart is the great performances and writing that makes the relationship believable and enjoyable. Recommended.