The Mick: Always Sunny’s Watered Down Cousin

Caitlin Olson in the new FOX sitcom “The Mick.” Photo Courtesy of FOX

Fox’s The Mick is a mediocre sitcom with a cliché premise. In the pilot episode, Mackenzie Murphy (Kaitlin Olson), AKA Mickey AKA The Mick, gets stuck taking care of her two bratty nephews and bitchy teenage niece because their parents get arrested for fraud. Initially, this is supposed to be temporary and all “just a misunderstanding.” Of course, if that were true, the show would be over before it began, so the writers have Mickey’s sister and brother-in law flee the country, leaving the dysfunctional, unprepared, and under-qualified Mickey to take care of their children.

The perpetually drunk and poor Mickey needs a babysitter herself and isn’t the most likeable person in the world, but she is sympathetic because it’s clear life didn’t work out well for her and her actions are a response to her environment. Her nephews and niece aren’t sympathetic on any level, despite being young and losing their law-breaking parents. Mickey’s nephews, Ben (Thomas Barbusca) and Chip (Jack Stanton), are convinced their parents will get off by paying off the cops, while her niece, Sabrina (Sofia Black D’Elia), doesn’t like having any authority figure and hates Mickey’s existence.

Every character in the show is terrible on some level. Fortunately, the same can’t be said for the actors, who play their roles convincingly. Considering the series shares writers, producers, and an actress with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, this isn’t a surprise. However, fans of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will find the show watered down.

An example of the watering down of edgy material is Mickey’s response to Sabrina’s desire to go to a Planned Parenthood gala and her assumption that Mickey may not know what the charity does. Mickey snarks about having a punch card to Planned Parenthood and then clarifies that it was for an infection, not for receiving a regular supply of the political elephant in the room. It was unnecessary, but the network probably forced the writers into a politically acceptable joke. Humor like this works better on Netflix or HBO.

In spite of all of its flaws, The Mick manages to work about as well as every other mildly edgy network sitcom trying too hard to compete with more interesting cable shows. While The Mick has potential, it would be better off switching full time to FXX, which will show reruns after they air on Fox.

RATING: 5 OUT OF 10

The Mick Airs Tuesdays at 8:30 PM on Fox

Anglophile, Rockabilly, Pompadour lover, TV and Music Critic