If you’re like me, you probably saw the previews for Fox’s new series The Mick, and thought “That’s basically The Gang Becomes Rich Children.” The difference is what you felt about that thought. If you decided, “not worth my time,” well, I’ve got nothing for you. You had a chance at happiness with more Sweet Dee, and you threw it away. If, however, you felt “I’d really like to see what Charlie Kelly would be like as a child,” you, my friend, have won at life.
I should add, The Mick is only on a very surface level “The Gang Becomes Rich Children.” And Mackenzie “Mickey” Murphy is only mostly like Sweet Dee. These are both very good things. Mickey is, in fact, a selfish, underachieving woman-child. Unlike Sweet Dee, though, she has a few redeeming qualities, and, god help her, she gets to win a few. Mickey is what Sweet Dee would become if only she could shed her unrealistic dreams of becoming famous, her pronounced sense of entitlement, and those dickbags she calls friends. With neither the Gang nor her own hopes and dreams holding her down, Mickey is relatively at peace with her mostly-shitty life, willing to cheat, steal and sometimes work in order to grind out a suitable life for herself. She’s not a movie star, but she’s got a roof over her head and no one is constantly crashing her car. She’s OK.
Or she’s mostly OK until her sister and brother-in-law flee the country to avoid tax evasion leaving Mickey responsible for their three children: the eldest Sabrina is the self-absorbed brains of the operation (Dennis), Chip is the middle, entitled asshole whose worldview he relentlessly adheres to (Mac), and Ben, the youngest, most innocent, and, frankly, super weird one (Charlie). Speaking of frankly, Frank is only mostly represented by Mickey’s “guy” Jimmy, who she refuses to acknowledge is her boyfriend despite the fact they’ve been plowing for ten years. So not exactly Frank, but there was that one episode where Frank and Dee pretended to be dating to swindle money from Dee and Dennis’ real dad, who was played by Stephen Collins and will therefore never be spoken of again. So mostly Frank. There’s also the long-suffering nanny/maid Alba who isn’t in a lot of scenes, but makes them all better. We’ll say she’s Rickety Cricket.
Olson’s comedic style and the group dynamic is really the extent of the comparison though. In all the ways in which Always Sunny cuts itself off from reality, The Mick enforces in order to enhance the comedy. What happens when the Gang kidnaps a local restaurant critic, and forces him to rewrite his review of Paddy’s Pub? Nothing. Nothing happens to anyone. What happens when a five year-old-boy begins taking birth control pills because he mistakenly believes they are “magic pills”? He loses his fucking mind. And the results are hilarious.
Of course, a lot of your mileage is going to come from your fondness for Olson’s acting, comedic skills, and, mostly importantly, her reaction shots. If Dee’s face here doesn’t make you at least chuckle
you’re probably not going to love The Mick. If, however, you’ve ever purposely sought out a super cut of Sweet Dee shouting “goddamnit,” you have found your show. The plots and writing are all designed to showcase Olson’s abrasive and shrill style while still letting her be the person you root for. Basically, someone finally gave Sweet Dee a break, and everybody’s better off for it.
The Mick airs Tuesdays on Fox at 8:30/7:30C. Emily Chambers has absolutely no plans to try to meet and friend young Jack Stanton despite the fact he’s the coolest kid she’s ever seen.