For the past eleven years, Kaitlin Olson’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia character Dee Reynolds has been slumming it in Paddy’s Pub. Dee is a crass, unabashedly foul-mouthed drunk. Now imagine Dee Reynolds raising children. That’s what I got from watching Olson’s new series The Mick.
Before going on, I think it is important that I make the case that in no way am I calling her one-sided or typecasting her. Olson has been nothing but phenomenal in the presence of the brilliant and hilarious trio of Rob McElhenney, Glen Howerton and Charlie Day, and she brings that same gusto into her newest role.
The premise of The Mick is pretty simple. Olson’s Mackenzie is a loose cannon with an affinity for alcohol and other assorted substances. In need of money, she pays a visit to her sister in Greenwich, Connecticut, who married into wealth. The sister and brother-in-law end up getting arrested by the feds and flee the country, which leaves Mackenzie to take care of their three spoiled children.
As someone who has a love/hate relationship with network sitcoms, just based on the premise, I would probably give the pilot a shot and never watch it again. I have masochistic tradition of watching the pilot of every network sitcom that hits the air just to find the one gem, which rarely happens. But I keep on trekking every year. But The Mick genuinely surprised me. It’s as dark and crude as it is sitcom fluffy. The show does a really good job, so far, of putting these characters in very risqué situations, instead of the normal popcorn tropes that sitcoms normally use with children.
And the bright shining star on it all is Olson.
Now, here’s how it comes back to what I was saying earlier, if you love It’s Always Sunny then you will gravitate to Mackenzie for the same reasons you gravitate to Dee.
With that said, you don’t have to like It’s Always Sunny to appreciate The Mick. Olson is so talented that you can’t get passed it. Watching her deal with three spoiled children is so entertaining. Mackenzie is a mess but she has no choice but to step in and raise her niece and nephews while dealing with her own problems.
It’s pretty clear, because of the nature of the premise and the fact that it is on Fox, that Mackenzie will start to soften around the edges and really create this new quasi-weird mess of a family with her sister’s kids. I am okay with that natural progression of things, but what I really want is Mackenzie to stay exactly the same. There’s this scene in the pilot where the kids are at school and so Mackenzie drinks everything in the house, puts on her sister’s wedding dress, slides down the marble banister and ends face flat on the floor for the kids to find her the following morning still passed out. That’s what I want out of The Mick. A crazy rollercoaster of hallucinations, purple mouths, gentleman callers and crazy drunken banister rides in which Olson can shine and shine.
This review is based on the first three episodes.