Weighing In On Mike & Molly

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Somewhere deep beneath the Earth’s surface, CBS executives are standing in a circle so they can simultaneously give and receive pats on the back. After all, it’s been a banner year for CBS: A Twitter show! Lots of minorities in Hawaii! Only one CSI-ish series on Thursday nights (for now)! And, in the case of Mike & Molly, fat people! The network is an all-around beacon of progressiveness—and nowhere is this more evident than in the back-assward, stilted, and offensive new series about heavyweights who hook up.

The show (which debuted Monday) is the story of two overweight people who are overweight, finding love as two overweight people. (Can you believe it? Gone are the days where just the guy is the fat one.) The series premiere really hammered this point home. Mike, a cop, is chided about his weight by his best friend, and his attempts at dieting are laughable: While dining out, he orders a bland, calorie-free meal even though what he really wants is a hot dog. (It's the most refreshing take on dieting since every other take on dieting!) Molly, meanwhile, also gets made fun of about her weight and (hilarz!!!) attempts to work out for a few seconds before getting tired. (Also, her mother and sister tell her she will not find love until she loses a few pounds.) Mike and Molly meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, and they go on a date rife with (hilarz!!!) physical mishaps due to their size. It ends with them sneaking out to the car to eat some fatty food.

Every time Mike and/or Molly grace the screen—which, because they are the leads, occurs in every single scene—someone has to take a crack at their weight, or their eating habits, or their weight and eating habits. It’s constant. Never mind the concept that Mike and Molly could be happy with the way they look, or be told they are beautiful and handsome regardless of their size. Never mind the thought of them not attending Overeaters Anonymous, which is akin to adulterous celebrities attending sex-addiction clinics for bogus-yet-PR-spinning reasons. Never mind the idea that the show could portray being fat as anything more than a problem that must be solved, rather than as an obstacle to being truly happy.

The worst part of the whole mess is that the leads, Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy, are charismatic, charming, and funny, both together and separately. They give the show's dumb dialogue a breezy casualness, spinning humor out of even the 400th fat joke. They unequivocally deserve better than this.

What did you think of the Mike & Molly premiere? Did anyone else find it offensive?

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