The Mick

3 out of 5

Created by: Dave Chernin and John Chernin

covers season 1

FOX is banking on us being Always Sunny fans.  And that’s okay; I don’t mind being lured into watching or reading something – mainly in this case Sunny co-star and The Mick star Kaitlin Olson, but also occasional Sunny-writers and Mick creators Dave and John Chernin – if there is, actually, crossover appeal.  And as The Mick has a very Always Sunny outlandish streak to it, the appeal is there.  And in giving the spotlight to Olson, while her Aunt Mickey is sort of just a more confident Dee,  the show has the good fortune of being able to rely on a capable comedic talent, with both good physical comedy sensibilities, and the ability to wrangle worry repartee.

Olson is surrounded by a fun cast, which is no easy feat since they’re firstly meant to be a fairly unlikeable lot, and secondly that they skew young, but the three charges abandoned into Mickey’s care – Sabrina (Sofia Black-D’Elia), Chip (Thomas Barbusca) and Ben (Jack Stanton) – take their obnoxiousness to the right extremes before allowing juuust a dash of humanity to shine through and stay within tolerable comedy ranges.  Scott MacArthur as Mickey’s hanger-on would-be boyfriend and Carla Jimenez as the humorously liberated nanny round out the ensemble well.

The main difference between this and an Always Sunny type show, though, is the slight linearity to the plotting.  While each episode still squarely falls into a foible-of-the-week bit, the overarching plot of Mickey’s rich sister and brother-in-law going on the lam to evade FBI persecution over tax fraud – leaving three kids and a mansion in Mickey’s care – kicks around in the series’ background, while semi-consistently evolving the kids’ relationship to their Aunt.  Who is am outlandish person, of course, staying in the mix for the free mansion and money bit getting caught up in child-reading duties, amped up to TV-MA 11 involving lots of drugs, drinking, sex, violence, and pratfalls.  It might sound a little Jackass-y humored in that regard, and that element is there, but Olson adds a naievete to the mix (a key Always Sunny trait…) that grounds the whole thing.  Or grounds it enough, at least.

Which results in a mostly amusing sequence of half hour episodes.  The crazy caretaker format ain’t new, and The Mick certainly isn’t attempting to shake it up all that much, but its an entertainingly brash take on the genre.